New social media platform to counteract loneliness among the elderly – University of Copenhagen

Healthy Aging UK > News > Friends Online

30 June 2017

New social media platform to counteract loneliness among the elderly

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A new online platform will try to help prevent loneliness among seniors. The concept is called “Online Befrienders" and is a collaboration between the University of Copenhagen and connec ApS. The project has just been awarded a business phd grant by Innovation Fund Denmark.

Nanette B. Fournier og Astrid Jespersen

Up to 25% of all elderly Danes who receive home care assistance are lonely. So say figures from the National Board of Health. A new project is trying to do something about this issue.

A dedicated social platform for establishing contact between lonely elderly and highly educated volunteers. That is the idea behind the project “Online Befrienders”, which seeks to increase the quality of life and reduce loneliness among lonely seniors.

“Online Befrienders” has been developed by connec ApS, which, in cooperation with the Center for Humanistic Health Research and Center for Healthy Aging at the University of Copenhagen, has just received a business phd grant from Innovation Fund Denmark. The phd project will monitor and contribute to the development of the platform. According to the associate professor at the SAXO Institute and theme leader at Center for Healthy Aging Astrid Pernille Jespersen, the project is an exciting opportunity to combine research with concrete, welfare-enhancing development projects driven by private companies.

"We are very much looking forward to contributing with humanistic skills in a growth- and value-creating project," says Associate Professor Astrid Pernille Jespersen, theme leader at Center for Healthy Aging.

The project will initially be rolled out in five municipalities, but according to Director Flemming Munch, connec ApS has been in dialogue with several municipalities who would like to participate in the pilot phase of the project, just as there has also been interest from abroad.

"We give high priority to helping increase welfare and believe in concepts that are based on co-creation, such as here with municipalities, volunteers and knowledge institutions," says Anders Geert-Jensen, connec ApS.