Vincles BCN

Vincles BCN is a social innovation project designed to strengthen the social ties of elderly people who feel lonely and to improve their well-being with the aid of new technologies.

There are over 300,000 people in Barcelona aged 65 or over who live alone. In fact, 100,000 are over 80. An ageing population is a global phenomenon and in recent years there has been a proliferation of studies on the loneliness of elderly people and the negative repercussions this has on their mental and physical health.

This concern led the Barcelona City Council Area of Social Rights to launch the Vincles BCN project. Its main goals are to:

Reduce the feeling of loneliness that elderly people have.
Maintain and strengthen their existing social ties.
Expand these social ties and create new spaces for them to relate.
Use ICTs as a communication tool for relating with the people around them.

The project is designed to allow elderly people to manage their own relationships by means of new technologies. This service uses an app installed on a tablet as a communication tool, enabling people to get in touch and strengthening their ties, as well as creating new ones. Online communication via the app is encouraged, as well as face-to-face contact.

This allows the user to communicate with their family and friends plus the people in the Vincles user groups:

- Family and friends
Personal network. Family and friends make up a person’s own network: their children, grandchildren and friends. The project aims to facilitate communication between this group and provide them with more ways of communicating with each other (photos, videos, messages, etc.).

- Vincles user groups
The aim of these is to create a community of elderly people who live in the same area and have interests in common. The group has a member who acts as the driving force, encouraging participation in conversations and activities to develop closer links with people in the neighbourhood and involvement in new activities in the city.