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Postcard Prevention Pack

A pass-it-on mail out scheme that encourages sharing of a fall self assessment tool and prevention information amongst older people

Photo of Joshua Falconer-Roberts

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Who is your idea designed for and how does it enable older adults to live their best possible life by preventing falls?

The Postcard Prevention Pack is designed for older people who enjoy their independence, older people who like to share with their friends and older people who are most likely to listen to their peers. The Postcard Prevention Pack is designed for all older people. The pack exposes older people to tools and information on fall prevention as well as encouraging them to pass the benefits on to their peers.

The Postcard Prevention Pack is a postcard sized foldout booklet containing a simple fall self assessment tool and pragmatic guidance on fall prevention. At the back of each pack is a tear off postcard on which an older person writes the address of a friend and a short message. The postcard is sent to Postcard Prevention HQ and triggers the sending of a new postcard pack to the friend's address. The original postcard and message is copied on to the front of the new postcard pack to give a personal touch.

The Power of Social

We are more likely to engage with information that has come from someone we know and trust. The Postcard Prevention Pack is sent between friends, family members and acquaintances. Displaying the message from the sender on the front of the pack increases engagement with the vital information contained within it. The tear off postcard at the back of the pack also creates the opportunity for the pack to be sent on again and again - setting the scene for fall prevention to go viral.

Agency in Fall Prevention

We are more likely to implement changes if we understand and decide to make them ourselves. The Postcard Prevention Pack is specifically designed to give older people agency in the prevention of their own falls. The self assessment tool allows older people to explore and discover their own risk of falling. Fall prevention information will be pragmatic and framed to encourage older people to take action themselves: "What extra exercise could you include in your daily routine from tomorrow?" rather than "Contact a physiotherapist to discuss exercises that increase strength"

Simple and Intuitive

The design of the pack is simple and intuitive to reduce the complexity of fall prevention for the reader. The pack is in a concertina shape with self assessment questions and fall prevention information for key areas, such as mobility, environment, footwear, etc, each having a double page spread to themselves.


The Postcard Prevention Packs open up a marketing channel for brands seeking to target an older population; such as healthcare brands or other age related services. Sponsorship of the packs will be an important route for gaining the funding and publicity to make the packs a long term success. The packs could even be run in periodic campaigns - different sponsors would support campaigns as their marketing goals align with the opportunity to engage the older population offered by the packs.

What early, lightweight experiment might you try out in your own community to find out if the idea will meet your expectations?

Design a basic information leaflet on a single postcard: Side 1 - Prevention information Side 2 - Instructions on sending the postcard into Postcard Prevention HQ to have a postcard sent out to a friend + space for a message and their friend's address These single postcard 'packs' will be distributed to the older population through social clubs, at doctor surgeries, etc. If people send postcards to Postcard Prevention HQ requesting postcards be sent to friends, we'll know the idea works.

What skills, input, or guidance from the OpenIDEO community would be most helpful in building out or refining your idea?

Help to design an initial prototype postcard or pack would help get this idea off the ground. Once a prototype has been created, we would hope to use the OpenIDEO community to trial it with as many older people as possible to see how the idea works and get their feedback. And, of course, any comments or feedback at this stage will be appreciated.

How long has your idea existed?

  • 0-3 months

This idea emerged from

  • A group brainstorm

Tell us about your work experience:

Josh is a social entrepreneur from London. He is the founder of The Middle Ground, a social enterprise transforming unused spaces into community venues, and a graduate of the Year Here Social Innovation Programme. Josh is also a volunteer for his local patient's group.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Grace Park

This idea is so interesting, especially since it uses social aspects for fall prevention. I know the elderly like to use snail mail and I think that's really great how your project uses that, but have you also thought of an electronic version for the tech savy out there? I think this would be especially useful if you are thinking to have family more involved- kids or young adults sending this to their grandparents and parents might prefer this way. I know a lot of electronic mail companies now have the option to send snail mail via design on an app (even with a scanned handwritten note)- maybe you can use that to make an electronic copy more personalized. (Check out Inkly- I've used this app to send a personalized card to someone and it was really great).

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