How the Joining Hands app can combat loneliness and support those in caring roles
PUBLISHED: 11:58 03 May 2019 | UPDATED: 15:32 08 May 2019
We find out about Joining Hands, an app designed to bring people together, from families and friends to carers and those who feel isolated
Linking a full-time carer to someone requiring support, or parents to their children, the Joining Hands app can help in overcoming loneliness and isolation as well as providing carers support, all whilst still ensuring the users' privacy.
One of the brainchildren behind the app, Cary Grant used to work as a full-time carer before he was asked by his friend Sandra to help look after her husband Brian. Cary dropped everything to do this and cared for Brian with Sandra and another carer called Odette , Brian suffered two strokes and dementia - until he passed away. Following this, Sandra wanted to give something back and offer support to people who are in a similar situation, which is where the idea of an app came about.
From helping with forgetfulness and reminders to tracking your way home and support for dementia carers, Joining Hands has a number of features offering not only help for carers and individuals, but also a social network with added privacy. The app lets people requiring care join from one side, and then a carers network can be built around that with family, loved ones and carers (one of these will be a primary contact) themselves joined together in one network.
The app's features include:
- Messaging and calling - The app lets you communicate with family and loved ones via the messaging service. It also allows for group video/conference calling, meaning all the family or care group can be in the same conversation at the same time.
- Reminders - Joining Hands allows users to set reminders for tasks throughout the day. Whether it's a reminder to take medication or to buy a birthday card for a friend, someone suffering from forgetfulness is able to keep on top of their to do list. This is also a great help for carers and primary contacts on the app as it cuts out the worry, especially when they're not physically there with the individual.
- Social - Social media with extra privacy is on offer in Joining Hands. In a private space, you can share photos and comments with your friends and family without them being seen by the world as with Facebook, Twitter and other social networks. Having this network can help combat loneliness and isolation.
- Take me home - The app is fitted with a tracking system which links the user's home to a map. This can be helpful for people suffering from dementia, especially in the early stages when forgetfulness can hit a person at any time. The find home feature gives directions back to the user's address and also notifies all primary contacts to let them know the individual is safe and well.
- News - An up-to-the-minute news feed collates the latest stories from the BBC and other trusted sources.
- Alarm button and Alexa - The app has a built-in alert button, which sends a message to your care group and loved ones to say you're in trouble. The first person to respond can send a reply to let the individual (and other contacts) that they're on the way. If the user has an Amazon Alexa system in their home and don't have their phone about their person, they are still able to contact their carers network, with the app programmed so that Alexa will ask what the issue is.
- Carer time keeper - Time tracking is available on the Joining Hands app, allowing loved ones to see how long carers are spending with a loved-one.
- Shopping - Make a shopping list and your carer will receive the info from their end of the app. This allows them to pick up the shopping before getting to your home.
Joining Hands is out now on Apple and Android devices. Find out more at joining-hands.com