iPals is an intergenerational project bringing together younger and older people through touchscreen technology.
We are firm believers in using technology to support older people's engagement in society. We also know first hand the benefits of intergenerational activity to improve the mental health and wellbeing of older people.
By linking up a school and care home, iPals brings together the community and allows different generations to communicate, learn how to use new technology and learn more about each other. The year long project introduces the children and residents to each other via the creation of picture collages featuring likes, hobbies and interests. The pupils then come in to visit their iPals and together they learn more about each other by using creative apps and producing a collage together.
Moving forward, residents will learn how to search for their favourite song or film, use Skype to connect with loved ones and much more, while continuing to meet up with the children. Over the project, the children will come and meet their iPals a minimum of 3 times plus meetings via skype.
iPals also enables the care staff to learn new skills and use what they have learnt and collate life stories with other residents in between the sessions so all the residents will be able to benefit.
The children are enjoying the iPals project very much. It is a good opportunity for them to get to know and appreciate someone in their community from an older generation. It also helps to boost their self esteem by doing something for someone else. We hope that the links they have started to make will develop into a greater cross- generational understanding. Deputy head, Bournville Primary
“iPals truly has brought the residents alive! It's given many of them a new skill and so much more confidence when talking to others about the project and generally, they especially love the interaction with young people and it has inspired some of them to take on reporting on events for the Deerhurst newsletter. In short they love it & it is exciting for families and staff to see them develop skills and produce collages that can be displayed.” Care Home Manager
Working with Alive! has been an incredible positive experience, it has given the people living at Deerhurst an extraordinary opportunity to re-engage and it has had enormous positive effects on their well-being. One of the gentlemen who attends the workshops has developed a skill in writing and has even become the editor of our ‘in-house’ magazine, regularly interviewing – and writing about - staff and volunteers. Consequently, he claims to have had a new lease of life! Lesley Hobbs, Home Manager, Deerhurst