Prolonged independent life
The Fik@ room – a web platform for reducing older people’s social isolation and experienced loneliness
The puropse with the project is to develop, test and implement a web platform that aims to reduce older people’s social isolation and experienced loneliness.
Project manager at MDH
As an older person, being socially isolated (having an inadequate social network) and experiencing loneliness is connected to mental and physical ill-health. Web-based social activities have the potential to improve older people's social networks and increase participation in activities, which can reduce their experience of loneliness. However, there is a lack of research on what and how the target group wants a web-based support to contain and design.
The purpose of the project is to develop and test a web platform that aims to reduce older people's social isolation and experienced loneliness.
Phase 1, which is funded by MKHV, was carried out during 2019-2020 and consised of two sub-studies. In sub-study 1 (2019), workshops were conducted in co-production with older people with experience of loneliness, staff from home health care researchers and program developers. In an iterative co-design process, the needs and design of the web platform were discussed, which were then developed by researchers in collaboration with an IT company. In sub-study 2 (2020), the web platform was tested in a feasibility study where 30 older participants used the web platform for 3 months and continuously answer questions about usability and appreciate social networks and the experience of loneliness. Interviews are conducted (2021) after the feasibility study to share their experiences of using the web platform.
Phase 2, which is financed by Vinnova, is carried out during October 2020 to June 2021 and involves a further development of the Fik@ room in terms of function, design and capacity. The web platform will be tested in a pilot study during 2021 in Eskilstuna municipality and the city of Västerås, where both the implementation process and functions in the Fik@ room will be evaluated.
The Fik@ room is expected to complement existing care and social service in current organizations with its primary and secondary preventive approach to general health and social isolation and experienced loneliness. Furthermore, the goal of the Fik@ room is to increase independence, participation and accessibility among the older population.