Reducing social isolation, a study from Spain

Read about how the Vincles social isolation project brought together older people living independently using digital inclusion in Spain.

Improving health and wellbeing through Telecare using digital inclusion

Nov 15, 2018

More than 300,000, or 20 percent, of Barcelona’s elderly residents live alone, and a third of these people are over 80. This isolation not only reduces their quality of life, but also increases their risk of developing health complications. Barcelona City Council’s Vincles project, delivered and managed by Tunstall, has helped to improve people’s health and wellbeing by increasing their interaction with others.

Managed and delivered by Tunstall, Vincles is a social innovation aimed at people over 65 who have a feeling of unwanted loneliness, whose objective is to strengthen the relationships of older people, both with their family and friends and with people in their neighbourhood. Referrals can be received from health and social care professionals, from the existing Barcelona teleassistance service or from individuals who wish to use the service. Tunstall staff also make proactive visits to community centres to promote the service to potential users.

All members also have use of a Lifeline home unit and pendant, to enable them to get help from the Tunstall 24 hour contact centre in the event of an emergency at home or episode of acute loneliness, giving them reassurance and a friendly voice available day and night.

The service is also used to promote wellbeing, for example by sending public health messages to the tablets e.g. advice on coping in hot weather, avoiding falls, how to prevent the spread of flu.

 "Vincles looks at ageing in a positive way, empowering the individual to be truly independent. It starts with what is possible rather than the deficit; it is about prevention rather than cure."

Fermin Minguez Orayen, Chief Project Management Officer, Tunstall Spain

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