Launched in 2010, DropBy supports a growing membership and has become a lively, fun, interactive online community in which the over 60s share their interests and experiences and support each other in their daily lives.
Mary Baker the founder is passionate about encouraging older people to have an influential voice in improving services and she funded the development of DropBy from her own resources.
DropBy is friendly, caring and supportive and every member is valued and encouraged to contribute. Membership is free and privacy and security are priorities.
Mary, the founder, named Mary B on the site, says: “My hopes are that we can use existing technology to make living as we grow older easier, and that we help to end isolation. There really is no need for anyone not to be connected these days – it’s just a matter of finding the right approach.”
“Like all communities we are the sum of our parts. Members find new friends, share ideas and interests, ask for help or advice, and find ways to give support to one another. Sometimes just to know there are others experiencing the same difficulties can be reassuring, and a few kind, supportive words can make all the difference. Members are not embarrassed to ask for help, and always give support wherever they can. It’s a give and take thing.”
DropBy provides online chat and instant messaging, hosts photos, videos and music, and has an easy-to-use video link. It is a safe hub for older people to communicate and interact with their families, friends and each other. The ultimate aim is to combat loneliness among older people and others who are isolated or housebound.
Some members will use the site to video link with their family and friends in distant places. The dividing line between being alone and feeling lonely is a very narrow one. Sometimes it is good to know there are like-minded people available to chat with, who can be reached by clicking a few buttons. Mary has also been working with local care home to introduce residents to DropBy and the benefits of using the internet.
The website has a fun side to it with a Games Room, forums and blogs and a Rant room where members share their frustrations, and receive friendly support and advice, but the focus is always on interaction. Do DropBy!
To contact DropBy:
Follow on Twitter @MaryBDropBy