Photo from Petits Frères des Pauvres’ website
Les Petits Frères des Pauvres, a large network providing support to older persons facing social exclusion and loneliness, has launched a call for new forms of solidarity to be deployed to help the most vulnerable cope with the impact of the Covid19 crisis on their daily lives. “Given the situation, it is essential to protect older persons. But it is also indispensable to maintain contact with them, especially the most frail and isolated,” warns the association.
On their website, they provide examples of new communication tools such as adapted tablets with simple interface that are much easier to use by older persons. Whether specially designed for senior people or not, the tablet is now part of the daily life of 10% of the 70+, and almost 30% of the 60-69 year olds. If the older person can use a tablet, there are several applications that can be used to communicate with him/her: Skype or Tango for video telephony, WhatsApp or Messenger to exchange photos and messages in real time… and show him/her that you care even if you cannot visit him/her for the moment. Phone remains an option of choice, provided the person can use one. Otherwise, letters, handwritten postcards or grandchildren’s drawings sent by post remain very popular with everyone: tangible memories that can be displayed and kept.
The organisation has also denounced publicly examples of growing hate speech that invade social media. Since the beginning of the epidemic, the organisation has witnessed shocking messages about older persons on social networks. “A society that does not respect its seniors is a society that loses its humanity!” reminds the organisation.