A revolutionary way for the elderly to connect
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A revolutionary way for the elderly to connect

 Older people don’t have to struggle to connect now or in the future

Brigit Grant is the Jewish News Supplements Editor

Sparko TV helps people live an active life
Sparko TV helps people live an active life

Isolation. It’s not fun, is it?

Deprived of the right to roam freely and unable to see family and friends, we wait for the curfew to end so we can reconnect with the world in person.

But what if  isolation continued and you were alone indefinitely? 

In this time of Covid-19, even those surrounded by children and spouses are experiencing what life is like for elderly people who seldom see anyone. We are also discovering how hard it is to connect to a generation who don’t know how to videocall.

Staying connected to the outside world and remaining active has rarely felt more mandatory. Yet the most vulnerable group in our society is hardly connected at all: Ofcom figures show as many as 80% of the over-75s are not exposed to the latest technology and are unable to receive video calls, nor are they able to easily receive on-demand service from local and community groups. They are the “digitally excluded”.

And the availability of smart technology on a phone or a tablet is not enough. There is a need for a guiding hand: a dedicated community co-ordinator at the other side of the screen who will attend to an old person’s needs. Sparko TV offers that service.

This British service-tech startup has developed a game-changing solution called Sparko Virtual Retirement Community.

Sparko TV enables the elderly to stay in their own home and remain connected with family, friends and community support.

Backed by AgeUK, Sparko VRC (Virtual Retirement Community) offers an integrated, user-friendly interactive tech solution, combined with dedicated human staff.

Sparko’s solution rests on 4 pillars:

Connection to the outside world: It provides the member with unlimited video calls with family, friends and caregivers, messages, reminders and a photo exchange.

Support at the tip of your finger. A dedicated co-ordinator assists and organises.

Follow a daily routine. The user is given a bespoke daily plan that will leave him or her active and filled with a sense of purpose.

Mentally and physically stimulated. The easy-to-use technology includes exercise videos, cooking and language classes, entertainment programmes.

And Sparko TV isn’t just about survival now. When restrictions are lifted, those in isolated conditions will have access to a virtual retirement community and services in their neighbourhood to help them deal with all household chores and daily tasks.

The inspiration for this extraordinary and easy-to-use service came from Sparko founder, Israeli-born Moti Bari (pictured). Having creating Seculife panic buttons in Israel, Germany and the Netherlands, Moti’s own experience of an isolated community in Evian on Lake Geneva made him realise how important it is to be connected.

“I had taken early retirement in 2007 and moved to a place that was theoretically paradise, but it was practically very boring,” he explains. “Being alone and not part of a community made me think about how I wanted to grow old.”

The first version of Sparko TV has now been launched in north-west London.

  •  For more information call 0333 305 0182 or visit www.sparko.tv

 

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