In the ageing society of Singapore, there are more and more elderly people in need of some sort of assistance or companionship. At the same time, the working force (mainly the children of said elderly) are too occupied with managing their own lives and are generally not able to provide an appropriate level of companionship to their own parents. Sometimes, cases may occur where an important errand or task needs to be completed but the caretaker or the immediate family is unable to handle it. This is the gap we aim to eliminate through our app.

What it does

Our app essentially links up the elderly in Singapore to volunteers who can provide a service they need. These services can be of the form where volunteers provide company to the elderly (especially those who are often alone or keep to themselves) and can also be of the form where these volunteers run certain errands for the elderly who might have trouble accomplishing them.

Such errands may include helping to take out the trash, delivering groceries to the elderly in need or even teaching an elderly how to use a smartphone. Companionship services may involve activities like playing chess or simply just talking to the elderly person and hearing out their opinions and thoughts. Errands/services are posted as job-posts which can be then viewed and taken on by interested volunteers.

How we built it

We designed backend using node.js and frontend using vue. This platform would serve as the main navigation platform between the different features of the web app. We also included database functionality using PostgreSQL to store user and job post data.

Challenges we ran into

We had a hard time navigating through and hashing out how our application would look and what exactly it would do while taking into account possible adverse effects of potential features and potential loopholes. We were at times very unfamiliar with the tech stack and we took quite some time in some of these situations trying to figure out the right way to accomplish the technical task. One of us was also new to Node.js and full-stack development in general so it took an even longer time on average to get our tasks done.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We are very proud of our ability to pick up stuff quickly and on the go. We are also proud of being able to do as much as we were able to (locking down and assembling the key components of the application) in the limited time we had.

What we learned

We learned more about backend and frontend architecture as well as database management. The integration stage (between backend and frontend) was a lot rockier than we had initially anticipated it to be and in the future we will definitely take that into account when planning our ideas and time.

What's next for helppeer

Refine the functionality and UI while safeguarding the application against potential loopholes or potential to be abused by users. Look to do more research into the problem statement itself by carrying out interviews and collecting more data to concretely establish demand for such an application before looking to gain traction for the application.

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