Third place of the 4EU+ Urban Health Case Challenge: Team 7 - Uppsala University

School of Global Health
2. december 2020 4eu+, urban health case challenge
The third place in the 4EU+ Urban Health Case Challenge went to Team 7 from Uppsala University. Their solution was called "Grand-Pal System: Connecting elderly and students", targeting elderly above 65 year olds living in Uppsala and students studying at Uppsala University.

About the solution: Our solution is to create a buddy-system in Uppsala city, in which students are teamed up with an elderly to initially establish a communication channel such as phone calls or Skype, and in a long-term do outdoor walks together. We are targeting two vulnerable groups; students of Uppsala University and in particular, elderly who have less social resources and have demonstrated a severe negative health impact such as loneliness and isolation, due to the restriction of Sweden.
The participants will sign up and be matched with each other and initially, the calls will happen once every two weeks. When it will be safer, participants will have the option to go on outdoor walks together, following distance measures to prevent the risk of spread. A template will be provided with talking subjects. The students will benefit by allocation of housing queue points and a certificate by Uppsala University, while the elderly benefit through social interaction. This system will be implemented and administered by the student union in collaboration with Uppsala municipality. They will be responsible to advertise to elderly communities, and the student unions will advertise it to the students. A monitoring system will be established to make sure everyone fulfills their parts.
To summarize, our service addresses a need of social connection for both students and elderly. The benefits are mental health resilience among elderly and cultural and intergenerational exchange.