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Bee Buddies help boomers

Lorraine Graves   Sep-15-2017

Screen grab from beebuddieshive.com


Three Richmond students are on to a good thing, helping the isolated seniors of Richmond find buddies.

The trio’s idea, to socially connect seniors, was conceptualized, drafted and developed through the free after-school program Young Entrepreneur Leadership Launchpad (YELL) offered annually at Richmond High.

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Bee Buddies, which aims to connect seniors based on their shared interests and the neighbourhoods in which they live, plans to launch this fall (beebuddieshive.com).

And the timing of their business project couldn’t be better; there are now more Canadians over 65 than under 16, Statistics Canada announced earlier this year.

With the knowledge that isolation reduces quality and length of life for many of our elders, Muhammad-Mustafa Rashid, Charles Van, and Sofia Chang have banded together to create Bee Buddies, an award-winning solution to the loneliness many older Canadians live with. The trio beat out dozens of other teams and ideas to come out on top among seven school districts.

“It gives seniors a chance to go online and connect with like-minded individuals,” says Rashid.

While resorting to computers seems a novel approach, it turns out 60 per cent of seniors go on line and of them, 71 per cent say they are online every day.

Until now, computers didn’t cure the lack of human interaction, at least not face-to-face interaction.

Lack of friends is a reality for many seniors. According to Bee Buddies’ website, 13.2 million of our elders feel socially isolated.

The creators of Bee Buddies have combined the fact that most seniors are computer savvy with their need for face-to-face human interaction to give them the option to find buddies in their community.

Not a dating site like Match.com, Bee Buddies looks to form friendships rather than kindle romance.

People can get in touch with others who want to socialize over a cup of coffee or to play a game of cards. They can connect to share errands like picking up some groceries, taking a dog for a walk or gardening together. Bee Buddies is also a way to find retired professionals such as electricians, carpenters or plumbers.

Seniors seeking to connect can subscribe for a monthly fee.

For retired professionals such as plumbers, handy-people, and gardeners, looking for a bit of work, they can register at Bee Buddies for $17.99/month.

Now there is a way for seniors to find each other in Richmond thanks to these three Richmond young people. So, while we worry that computers are isolating our youth, those very same computers give seniors a tool to get out and about with new friends.

For more information, contact: beebuddieshive.com


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