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Learn from 'The Hotline'

A website/hotline system with young people of various backgrounds available round the clock to be called, texted, mailed by various older people to get solutiosns on whatever issues they are facing (like an old people's emergency hotline).

Photo of Oraelosi Kenechukwu
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How would you describe your idea in one sentence?

A website/hotline system with young people of various backgrounds available round the clock to be called, texted, mailed by various older people to get solutiosns on whatever issues they are facing (like an old people's emergency hotline).
Its more of an idea, but can work as a research tool. Let's set up a website/hotline system with young people of various backgrounds available round the clock to be called, texted, mailed by various older people on whatever issues they are facingn round the clock everyday (like an old people's emergency hotline). It could be an older executive trying to get a feel of the behaviors of young demographics for a new product she's developing, or a father asking another young person what people her age like so he can use that information to better reach his daughter. Communication could work across any platformn and face-to-face meetings will even be possible. The system will make the users anonymous so that would take away the shame of old people asking for advice will be gone (except in the case of the face-to-face meeting of which both the advisee and advisor will agree to the situation and take full responsibility for the consequences). This is especially important because a major reason older folks don't like to ask for advice is because of shame. It would be a crowdsourced system, but not just any young person would be able to become an advisor (there would be basic criteria and tests such as psychometric tests for instance). There may even be a 'rent a young man or young lady' service for older people to have the companionship of younger people for a specific time (though for security reasons it would only allow group movements). There could be gamification elements, and a pairing system between the favorite oldie and his/her favorite young advisor/companion. The site part of it would be most simple/minimalist in its UI and most easy to use, with more attention paid to visual tools that can help describe things better. Also the site could just stock up on a lot of videos, say youtube videos, made by people showing (best from a first person view) how they do different things. The system will rely heavily on the experience and expertise of those who work at care homes, and may even help develop a network and classification system of all the different care homes. Well, that's all the idea for now.

What early, lightweight experiment can you try out in your own community to test any assumptions you might have about your idea?

A facebook page and a twitter page, both with the initial hotlines (our personal numbers) in the page/account descriptions. We could advertise (say using pay per clip) the page to people in the older age ranges, or we could tweet at them. SMSes too can be sent to the phone numbers of old people we know.

What aspects of your idea could benefit from the input, skills or know-how of our OpenIDEO community?

In Everything. The most important help I'll need though would be in building the app and support system (I have no idea about coding :D ). Others would include experience of senior workers with older people (their behaviours, habits, etc), helping to create the network of care institutions, structing out the exact day to day operations of the system, structuring out the detailed user experience, and how the young/old team pairups would work. Bue really I'd need the community to help with everything.

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I love this idea because it combines "Old School" telephone technology with new digital technology. I think many seniors would rather speak with an actual person as opposed to an email or digital format.

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