Strong Stories (Sterke Verhalen in Dutch) is a TV-station within the community centre. It makes use of the strengths and wisdom of elderly and in this way, takes away their fear of being a burden to others.
The caretaking students working at Lokaal+ make video reports of the hobbies of elderly and the independent activities they execute, using a very easy editing-free camera. These videos are shown as a TV broadcast within the community centre, together with all the elderly. This way elderly are becoming aware of each other’s and their own strengths, they will get more comfortable relying on each other for social connection. Meanwhile, the students are getting a more interesting internship task. In the concept video, the envisioned scenario and user tests are visible.
In this individual project, I started by identifying what the problem at client Lokaal+ was. After observing the activities and doing interviews with the coordinators of the centre, the elderly, an expert working at a home for the elderly, and the care students working there, I came to the conclusion that the problem of the isolated elderly was in the fear to be a burden and a lack of self-esteem. At the same time I discovered that almost every one of the isolated elderly I encountered, had a hobby or activity they spent a lot of time on. Because it was the only thing they did, they were often very good at it.
With my concept, I wanted to make use of these strong points. The elderly themselves often didn’t realize how special it was what they did. After idea generation and co-reflection sessions with the students, elderly and coordinators, a TV-station turned out to be the best way to convey the activities. I only needed to make video broadcasting easy enough to be done by the care students.
I designed a low-fidelity working prototype of a camera with a button to initiate ‘fast-forward recording’ while filming the elderly. This enabled the students to keep the video interesting by just pressing the button when an elderly would be knitting for 3 minutes, or something else that’s too long to be directly integrated in the broadcast, without having to post-process the video. It turned out to be working really easy, and the elderly were already making appointments to see each other next time, during the first test.