‘Here’s a Hand’?

What is ‘Here’s a Hand’?
Here’s a Hand is a new online service for older and carers. The service transforms the process of asking for and offering support by connecting people that already know and trust one another using mobile phone text messages, email, and online messaging. By communicating across a group of family, friends or neighbours instantly and simultaneously, the service creates a real time, dynamic network of support.

Why has the service been created?
Evidence suggests that there is a need to reduce social isolation and disconnection with the community that is experienced by older people and their carers (resident and non resident). This service has been developed with the aim of facilitating:

  • More frequent contact and stronger bonds between people in the network of support
  • Greater confidence and resilience in requesting, receiving and offering assistance with tasks
  • More choice and control over the balance between independence and caring/being cared for

Who would we like to be involved in this research?
We would like to invite 6 people to help us test this service. These individuals can invite along a supporter who can also take part in the research.

The 6 people who take part in this research must:

1. Be either an older person (defined as someone over the age of 65) or a carer
2. Have prior experience of using the internet
3. Have an understanding of a mobile phone

The people who come along to support should be someone who is already part of the older person or carers network of support and is interested in this service, for example a family member, friend or neighbour. These will be a maximum of 12 people involved.

What will taking part in the user research involve?
The research will take no longer than 1 hour and you will be asked to use some software and answer a few questions about your experience of using the software. You will also be asked some general question s about how you use the internet and tasks that you complete in your day to day life.

You will be able to stop the testing at any time and do not have to explain you reasons for doing so.

About the development of the service
This service is being developed by Catherine Macrae who is combining her experience as a carer with her knowledge of the internet and social media and James Baster an Edinburgh based web developer. Catherine and people who are supporting her develop this service are doing so without charging a fee as there has been no funding for this stage of the services development. As a result we regret to say are unable to offer to reimburse your time for taking part in this project, however travel costs can be reimbursed where necessary.

To Find Out More Visit www.heresahand.org.uk

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