Today, smart phones have practically evolved to act as an extension of ourselves – they're a place to connect, discover and inspire. But Singapore has a growing elderly population who don’t have access to this technology due to a lack of know-how or financial reasons. Project Silverline is a CSR initiative by Singapore’s largest telco, where used iPhones can now enrich the lives of the seniors and connect them back to the community.
From research, we recognized that Singapore is one of the most rapidly aging countries in Asia. Currently, 8% of the population is above the age of 60 with this figure projected to increase to 19% by 2030. But whilst there are more senior citizens now than ever, increasingly depression and loneliness are prevalent. In fact, social isolation has been described as 'the hidden killer', causing serious health problems.
Singapore Telecommunications Limited, commonly abbreviated as SingTel, is a Singaporean telecommunications company, with a combined mobile subscriber base of 416 million customers from its own operations and regional associates in 25 countries, making it one of the largest mobile network operators in the world.
Because the apps were created specifically with the elderly in mind, it was important that we involved them in the development process. We conducted a pilot test with senior citizens from Lions Befrienders and Willing Hearts to see how effective the Silverline apps actually proved.
The project was well received by the community, earning itself extensive free coverage over 30 nationwide publications across print, broadcast, radio and online media. An international rollout plan the project is also underway. Social sentiment was on an all-time high on the SingTel Facebook page, and most importantly, over 1,000 seniors from the Lion Befrienders and Willing Hearts senior community groups were reconnected back to the community through refurnished phones.