There are many potential users: around 2.2 million people over 65 in Germany live alone. Across all age groups, there were more than 17.5 million single households in this country in 2019, this is the latest statistic. But not only those, also single parents or young families are often grateful for support.
69 percent of Germans feel that they have become less neighbors in the last 20 years. Source: Ipsos, 2019
The app gives tips on who can help where
“With the app, we want to bring the village into the city and network the neighbors in a neighborhood,” says Matthias Goldhan, scientist at Fraunhofer IIS. It should be more than a bulletin board for “search” and “offer” entries: users create a profile and describe what they can do for others: connect lamps, repair things, accompany visits to authorities. If someone looking for help makes a request, the app suggests suitable helpers to whom one can turn. In this way, modern technology can build bridges that some people may miss in everyday life: Because more than two thirds of Germans feel that we have become less neighborly in the past 20 years, according to an Ipsos survey.
A community manager establishes personal contacts
The free app is currently being tested by residents in a district of Nuremberg. The concept also includes a real flesh-and-blood contact behind the technology: a community manager can network users in personal contact. Anyone who is not well versed in using apps can be trained in how to use them. Fraunhofer IIS wants to pave the way to digitalization for older people in particular.