Many elderly living alone face social isolation and depression during lockdowns imposed in many countries. They are the most vulnerable group of people affected by the covid-19 virus and have been advised not to leave their homes.The elderly care centres and community centres are closed. Social workers, volunteers and family members (who live apart) cannot visit them physically. Many of the elderly are illiterate and are not tech savvy to access online resources to occupy themselves. Hence, a tool is urgently needed to minimise the effects of prolonged period of isolation of the elderly.

What it does

This application allows the administrator to customise daily schedules using voice reminders and videos for each elderly. The administrator can either input text which will be displayed and read out to the elderly or upload audio files such as reminders to take medication. The administrator can also upload pre-recorded videos to be played at specified times for e.g. birthday song greeting or schedule videos of suggested activities to be played back at specified times. The application includes suggestions of videos created by the Peoples' Association in 4 categories - Culture, Craft, Exercise and Cooking.

How I built it

Firebase is used to store the data and transfer it between the administrator interface and elderly interface. gTTs (Google Text to Speech) is used to read out the text. Pygame is used to play audio and PyQt5 is used for the GUI. Selenium is used to pop up the browser window with the video.

Challenges I ran into

At first, I ran into some problems with uploading data to firebase. However, I eventually figured out how to do it.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

Successfully implemented the solution despite the short time.

What I learned

To solve problems, you must persevere and never give up.

What's next for CareBuddy

There are further improvements I like to make such as

  1. adding in more language options for the content to be delivered to the elderly in their native language
  2. adding more online video suggestions suitable for the elderly
  3. include a motion detection capability using the camera of the device which will send an alert to the administrator if no motion is detected for 24 hours.

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