Madrid Te Acompaña (Madrid is with You) - Madrid
Madrid Te Acompaña (Madrid is with You) (MTA), is a social project of Madrid City Council. It is aimed at all people over 65 years of age registered in the city of Madrid. Through the use of a mobile application specifically designed for them elderly madrileños can request the accompaniment of a volunteer of the municipal programme Voluntarios por Madrid to accompany them to the doctor, to go shopping, for a walk, to go to the cinema, or to the theatre or any other recreational activity, to carry out administrative procedures, to accompany them to hospitals, to accompany them to take their pets out and more.
Volunteer’s accompaniment will not only allow the elderly person to continue living a normal life, but will also make possible the establishment of new neighbourhood relationships and intergenerational solidarity friendship, as well as the enrichment that these tasks have on the volunteers who offer their time in a disinterested way.
Also through these accompaniments, the volunteers are able to detect situations that require additional public resources and greater monitoring: such as tele-care, home help and others.
MTA is a public-private-service collaboration service of friendship and companionship, managed and organised by the General Coordination of the Area of Families, Equality and Social Welfare of Madrid City Council, through the Department of Volunteering, which trains and coordinates the people who offer this service through the municipal volunteer programme Voluntarios por Madrid, in close collaboration with the general directorate for the elderly.
With this initiative, the city seeks to create and strengthen ties between its citizens, help the elderly to feel accompanied by younger citizens and restore their confidence, activity, dynamism and personal relationships, which have been so disrupted by COVID-19.
It allows digital interaction, thanks to the provision of two mobile apps -one for elderly citizens and the other for volunteers-, among elderly people who request for company, and volunteers who accompany and help elderly with kindness.
The project respects also accessibility, security, availability, usability, protection of personal data and privacy principles in the design and deployment of the solution.
The initiative entails a low burden of administrative hurdles thanks to the quick and easy way of communicating among elderly people and volunteers. It is only necessary to guarantee that they are elderly people registered in the city of Madrid and volunteers are recognised and trained by the Volunteering Department of the Madrid City Council.
The service is provided completely digitally and City Council is able to manage and monitor the main indicators about it and the citizen engagement thanks to a specifically designed scorecard.
To end with, there is a clear incentive for digital service use and is is the speed of requesting the company of an elderly person and the agility to consult if a volunteer can accompany him/her; as well as the simplicity for the volunteers to review by location and timetable those accompaniments that can be made. This use gives more agility to ask and receive the service, and let all participants to chat and being in touch with their network of contacts in the app.
The potential recipients of the service are those people registered in Madrid who are over 65 years of age, which represents approximately 500,000 citizens.
By mid-February, more than 3.400 elderly people had already been registered. Regarding services requested, walks represent the 70% of total requests and medical appointment the 17%, over other type of services such as, shopping, leisure, pets, hospital, managements, etc.
In addition to cold numbers, Madrid Te Acompaña seeks to solve one of the main problems and priorities of Madrid after the pandemic, that is to ensure that not a single elderly madrileño feels alone again. And to demonstrate that we are a civic city that accompanies and respects the elderly.
The initiative was promoted by the Madrid Digital Office and implemented by Madrid City Council's IT department with the partnership of private companies.
The app for elderly people and volunteers has been developed on Microsoft's Cloud Azure platform, for iOS (https://apps.apple.com/tr/app/madrid-te-acompa%C3%B1a/id1546703092) and Android (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=es.madrid.VOLUNMVANDMAYORES) mobile devices, involving experts in volunteering and services to seniors, to ensure usability for this group.