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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

Written by

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.

Sponsorship

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.

17 comments

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Spam
Photo of Kate Rushton
Team

Hi Joshua,

Thank you for all your participation in the challenge and for sharing the Postcard Prevention Pack with us.

All of the ideas posts are locked but the comments section is still open, so please feel free to look at other ideas and comment on them, seek feedback on your idea etc.

I know I have asked many ideators this question but I am asking again as some ideas pivoting in the challenge. Would you say your idea is Most Viable or Most Promising? How would the incentives associated with that Award (Most Viable/Most Promising) be helpful for you?

Spam
Photo of Khuyen Bui Gia
Team

Hi Joshua,
Congratulation for making this far! Have you had the chance to work on this idea, and if so what feedback have you got? Ideas with feedback get better and more credible. I really like this idea, and I thought one easy next step is to have a prototype of the post-cards and maybe an user journey - you can read more about it here https://d3gxp3iknbs7bs.cloudfront.net/attachments/bda1f109-0466-4f8e-9699-1359e406df56.pdf

Spam
Photo of Kate Rushton
Team

Hi Joshua,

We are half-way through the refinement phase and I can’t wait to see continued updates on your idea. More information can be found in the refinement toolkit which can be found at the top of the refinement phase page.

An easy first step is to complete the refinement questions which can be found by logging into your OpenIDEO account and selecting the ‘Edit Contribution’ button on the top left hand corner.

If you scroll down to the bottom, you can see the five added questions with a character limit (including spaces) to help you focus your answer. The questions start with "How would you describe this idea while in an elevator with someone? (what's the elevator pitch for this idea?) - 400 character limit"

In addition to answering these questions it would be helpful if you could mention how your solution fits in the market in the ‘full description’ section of your post. Who are your competitors and how is your idea unique?

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me, my email address is krushton@ideo.com

Hope to see you on the refinement call this Friday at 9 am PST. This is 5 pm London time.

Spam
Photo of Kate Rushton
Team

Hi Joshua!

Welcome to the refinement phase!

I really look forward to seeing how your idea develops.

There are a few ideas from previous OpenIDEO challenge you might want to check out:

The Food Trooper Smart Tool Kit for Kids (a finalist from the Food Waste Challenge) clearly shows how the idea developed during the refinement phase:
https://challenges.openideo.com/challenge/food-waste/top-ideas/the-food-trooper-smart-tool-kit

Napkin Finance from the Financial Longevity Challenge has an interesting way of explaining complex information in a more simplified form - https://challenges.openideo.com/challenge/financial-empowerment-challenge/final-feedback/napkin-finance-everything-you-want-to-know-about-money-in-30-seconds-or-less

Spam
Photo of Kate Rushton
Team

Hi Joshua!

What help would you need to design an initial prototype postcard e.g. medical information? How would you like to trial postcard prevention?

Spam
Photo of Rebeca Khorzad
Team

I really like your idea to reach out to seniors through the mail to disseminate education about falls prevention more rapidly. 

Building onto your idea, another way to reach out to seniors (by mail) could be through elementary schools, children could be the ones sending the postcard or kit in the mail to their grand parents or great grand parents (i.e., just like every year they reach out to their families to raise money for the American Heart Association).   The 'chain' could also be setup in a "pay it forward style", so they could read the information and then send it to another person that is 65+ and so on.

 I like the idea of including coupons too!, it has to be something seniors would be really interested in getting , maybe they would have to call a # to acknowledge receipt of the kit to get the coupon (so those could be better tracked).
The idea of reaching out in a massive scale to 65+ with something like chain letters, pyramids, pay it forward it's very interesting and truly proactive.

Spam
Photo of Lillian J Warner
Team

Rebeca Khorzad Hi! Yes. I love the idea of getting kids to write postcards, too. Similar to how classrooms often write letters to military troops abroad. Kate Rushton  what do you think?

Spam
Photo of Kate Rushton
Team

Thanks for the tag. I do know that my parents save every drawing from my niece and nephew, but quite readily throw any mailed adverts or information leaftlets in the trash. What is your experience with your parents or grandparents? Are my parents typical in this regard?

Spam
Photo of Lillian J Warner
Team

Love this idea! It reminds me of chain letters people used to send before the internet. I like the possibilities of new social connections through this project.

Spam
Photo of Joshua Falconer-Roberts
Team

Life before the internet...I just googled chain letters and the wikipedia article says they are essentially pyramid schemes. Using a pyramid scheme for social good, rather than fraudulent profiteering, was actually one of the starting points for this idea. It's nice to see it come around full circle. Thanks for the feedback!

Spam
Photo of Lillian J Warner
Team

Ah, yeah, I actually didn't realize the concept of chain letters was co-opted by pyramid-schemers. I was thinking more about the nice kind of chain letters that people wrote in order to socialize with new people, meet penpals, etc (i.e. an early form of social networking platforms). People used to do all sorts of creative things using the postal service as a platform. Do you know the filmmaker Miranda July? She started a video chain mail project in 90s called Joanie4Jackie. People basically sent each other videocassettes through the mail and built on them with their own films, and sent them along to other people in their network. I'm sure there are all sorts of other interesting examples of how other people have used the postal service as a social networking platform. Looking forward to hearing how your idea develops during the challenge.

Spam
Photo of Bettina Fliegel
Team

Hi Joshua.
Love this idea! I really like that it involves peer to peer communication with personalized messaging and empowers users to take action, towards self care and also to advocate care for others.
Reaching users directly, via mail, removing steps such as internet searches and printing is a great approach. There are many Fall Prevention Checklists available online. I asked a few seniors in my network and none had received any during medical visits, or been told that they are available online.

I wonder if adding a coupon might attract attention and encourage reading the packet prior to discarding it for those who might see it as another piece of "junk mail"?

Have you thought about who might sponsor this?

Looking forward to seeing your idea develop!

Spam
Photo of Joshua Falconer-Roberts
Team

Hi Bettina,

Thank you for your kind feedback.

I also really like the "offline" approach to this idea. I think it can be really important to look for low tech as well as high tech solutions, especially when dealing with a population that isn't always engaged with the internet.

I really like the idea of adding a coupon or offers to the pack. I think, as well as giving the receivers of the pack more of a reason to read through it, it also gives the senders more of a reason to have a pack sent to a friend because they know their friend will get additional benefits from it.

Sponsorship is also a great idea. I think it would be really important in the funding and publicity of the packs. I've talked a bit more about sponsorship in my above response to Kate but I agree sponsorship would definitely be a good thing to focus on to ensure the packs are a success.

Spam
Photo of Bettina Fliegel
Team

Joshua,
Another thought….for those older adults who are tech savvy I wonder if prompting recipients of the mail pack in a gentle way so that those who aren't are still engaged…. 'for tech lovers maybe take a photo and share with your techy friends via email or your networks?"…. amplifying reach by sharing real postcards and virtual postcards?
(I am not sure I like the idea of mixing the two approaches. What do you think?)

Spam
Photo of Kate Rushton
Team

Hi Joshua!

Thank you for sharing your idea. I like the fact that it engages older adults and they control the flow of information.

What could the role of the sponsors potentially be in your idea?

Spam
Photo of Joshua Falconer-Roberts
Team

Hi Kate!

I hadn't initially considered sponsorship but it's a great idea. It would be great to get a mixture of private and more socially minded sponsors involved. Private sponsors who might want to promote a particular brand amongst the older population, United Healthcare for example, and more socially minded sponsors such as the NHS or AgeUK who might aim to increase engagement with their services. I suppose the nice thing about the idea is that it could be sponsored wholly by an organisation or it could be run in campaigns with each campaign being supported by a new sponsor. Sponsors would bring the advantages of financial support as well as increased publicity.

To bring in Bettina's thoughts from below, sponsors might also want do to more than just have their logo on a pack. They could also be persuaded to offer extras, such as a 50% off at a favourite restaurant or coupons for shopping at a large supermarket. This would increase engagement with the sponsor but would also act as an incentive both to the sender, to send a pack to a friend knowing that they will receive a tangible benefit, and to the receiver, who would be encouraged to look through the pack.

Thanks for the feedback! Let me know if you have any other ideas.

Spam
Photo of OpenIDEO
Team

Hi Joshua!

Really interesting idea!

We noticed your post is currently unpublished. Was this your intention? We would love to have it included in the challenge. You can publish it by hitting the "Publish" button at the top of your post. You can also update your post by clicking on the "Edit Contribution" on top.

You can continue working on your idea once it is published. I just think this idea would really benefit from early publishing and feedback from the community.