Let's Talk Loneliness Let's Talk Loneliness
It’s ok to feel lonely, particularly at a time like this. Don’t suffer in silence, we can all help each other stay connected.

Age Engage: Tech tackling loneliness

We are Age Engage; two Northern Irish teenagers with an app idea; designed to combat loneliness in seniors.

We came up with this idea when we entered (and won!) a competition in 2018 called Digital DNA Digital Futures, where school pupils across Northern Ireland were challenged to come up with an app idea, produce a prototype and present it in front of a panel of industry experts. The prize? A once in a lifetime trip to San Francisco and Silicon Valley, with exclusive access to Instagram, Facebook, Stanford, Uber, Nextdoor and many more. It was an incredible trip, and we are forever grateful for the experience, and the amazing insightful feedback from the people we met.

Coming up with the idea

Personal experience was a huge factor, as Daniel’s grandad moved closer to family after living in Enniskillen for his whole life, and they discovered just how hard it can be for seniors to get out and about, involved in their communities, and find activities they were interested in and make friends. So, we felt pushed to create a solution to this issue and create an app that allows lonely seniors to get involved in their area. Our idea centers round the idea of providing personalised local events, tailored to everyone in their local area. We also hope to expand this to incorporate other features such as the ability to contact friends or event organisers, a calendar, a panic button and in future we hope to incorporate an uber feature into our app. This is all due to our central design philosophy, keeping the app as easy to navigate and intuitive as possible, and so we want to include as many useful features as possible.

The future of the app

Currently we are trying to find a developer for our app (Not easy when you are 16!), so in the meantime we have been trying to improve and refine our idea by getting input from industry experts from companies like AGE UK and experts from as far afield as Sweden! All this information is helping us to adapt our app to be as effective and user friendly as possible, which is important when you are working with seniors!