Give&Take: Sharing economy for senior citizens
Cooking, sewing and mowing the lawn. Many elderly people have skills that could benefit their peers. A new digital sharing platform will give senior citizens a platform for exchanging services - potentially improving quality of life and saving public costs.
Even when the working life is behind us, we can have skills to share with our peers. Some are fond of cooking, others are keen gardeners. A group of researchers from the IT University is developing Give&Take, a digital tool that allows senior citizens to exchange practical favours. The project is led by Associate Professor Lone Malmborg, who believes the platform can result in both a higher quality of life among the elderly and a reduction in public expenses.
“In all Danish municipalities and throughout Western Europe we are challenged by how to handle the growing elderly population. We believe that this tool can complement public services and also support people to actually need less service from public organizations,” she says.
A sustainable model
The Give&Take application is under development as part of a three-year EU-funded research project in cooperation with Frederiksberg Municipality and a number of other partners. The project recently received top marks in a midterm evaluation by EU evaluators.
“Our hope is to develop a sustainable model for allowing the elderly to exchange services, supplementing the public services,” says Lone Malmborg.
The idea is that government institutions and other organizations will be able to purchase licenses to implement the Give&Take platform for their specific purposes. At the moment, the platform is being tested in Vienna and Frederiksberg.
It’s good to be challenged
In August 2015, Lone Malmborg presented Give&Take at an event for senior citizens at Frederiksberg City Hall. Here, most visitors embraced the idea.
“Many people who are alone could benefit from being in all sorts of communities and networks. It’s good for us to talk to other people and be challenged by them, so we also see life from the perspective of others," said an elderly female citizen.
See a video from the event at Frederiksberg City Hall at the top of the page.