Howard Bashford from Finerday explains the inspiration behind his work and the benefits of simple strategies to keep people across all generations connected.
Four years ago, Lilla Harris, a nurse and mother of three boys, managed a care home in Leicester. Of her many concerns for her residents, one was that every morning many of them would ask for their post, yet the number of letters from family and friends had dwindled to almost nothing.
Photographs had also become a thing of the past. When was the last time anyone got two prints made of their holidays snaps so that they could leave copies with their mother or father? The internet was leaving many people, mainly the vunerable, more and more isolated.
Lilla looked for some way to ‘connect’ people and generations. No solutions seemed available and the idea for a free, safe, easy to use social website was born.
Finerday.com was designed to be very accessible and very engaging. The key is to connect generations. The website had to look as cool to an eight year old grandchild on an i-touch as it is easy and intuitive to use for a ninety five year old.
We believe many older people do not want to be left in an older person’s world.
What is most important to my mother is seeing photos of what her grandchildren did at the weekend. Relaxing with a cup of tea and watching a slideshow of family occasions. Receiving a message (online) from one of her grandchildren, nieces or nephews, makes her day – naturally, it makes ours too.
Sharing memories is just so obvious. Finerday has developed a feature to build treasured memories to share with generations. Most people have a box of black and white photos at the back of the cupboard, so why don’t we spend quality time together building memories and writing about family occasions?
My mother and I have just completed a photo memory about my father. We also saved the family recipe for our Christmas cake and pudding, with photos, recording all the details about ‘the person who finds the silver sixpence in their pudding doesn’t have to do the Christmas washing up …’
More recently, we released a new free website call Our Yesterday (www.ouryesterday.com). This offers reminiscence, nostalgia and memories for older people, their families and carers. It also contains a printable newsletter which is updated twice a week. Recently, an Activities Manager in a care home said to us:
“Just to let you know residents have been on “our yesterday” twice a day, huddled around the computer, they are so overjoyed with the information that is available for them! Thank you so much.”
An uncomfortable truth is that it is not always easy to think of new things to talk about. Our Yesterday is a simple idea to provide fun and interesting online content to spark conversation and to enjoy together.
This week includes Billy Cotton, Steptoe & Son, Z Cars and much more …
Sometimes ‘simple’ works.
Roy and Lilla explore the Finerday website