Alive Activities Ltd | A teleconferencing platform for older people



Why the work is being done

Alive Activities is looking to work with the other members of the Bristol Support Hub network to create a teleconferencing process that is simple and easy to use for older people. We intend to conduct further user interviews, produce user journeys and conduct service mapping and prototyping to explore which existing teleconference software is the most effective, as well as offering the most seamless transition to video calling. 

This will allow the Bristol Support Hub to preserve it's current support groups using an accessible platform and then work towards upskilling members in using video calling

This project is part of the Catalyst and The National Lottery Community Fund COVID-19 Digital Response funding initiative; a partnership between The National Lottery Community Fund and CAST, supported by the Catalyst network.

Problem to solve

Alive Activities work with older people facing social isolation. We realised that for older people to remain engaged with support and social services they need an easy and simple platform so that they do not get confused. 

Who are the users and what do they need to do

During the Discovery Programme Alive identified four main user groups;
- Older people living in their own homes
- People delivering formal care to older people living in their own homes
- Loved ones delivering informal care to older people living in their own homes, including those living in the home and those living away from the home.
- Support group coordinators who are trying to continue delivering services virtually.

Alive Activities interviewed three older people living in their own homes. They had a range of support needs including mild to moderate dementia, sensory and physical impairments. From these conversations we developed the following top-level user needs statement;
“As an older person at home during lockdown, when I want to engage with support services or social groups, I need to use familiar technology so that I don’t get confused.”

Alive also interviewed six other users: two memory café coordinators, two formal carers and two informal carers. From this, three other overarching user needs statements were produced: 
“As a memory café coordinator, when I want to engage with the café attendees, I need them to be familiar with and trust my method of communication so that they are sure who they are talking to and do not get confused.”

“As an informal carer, when I am caring for my loved one during lockdown, I need to help them have contact with others so that they do not decline.”

“As a formal carer, when I am supporting older people to engage with support services or social groups, I need to be trained in using technology so I am confident to help. “

Key outputs:
  • Further user testing to understand the most suitable platform for hosting teleconferencing
  • Working to improve that platform in order to make it as user friendly as possible
  • Finding the most cost effective solution for delivering teleconferencing and designing charging systems
  • Working with all organisations in the support hub who conduct teleconferencing to find a customisable solution for each delivery partner
  • Understanding the possibilities of mixing video calling and teleconferencing to enable people of all technological abilities. 

Key project resources