Famileo, a family app that has taken France by storm and is now available in the UK, says its users are more likely to visit their grandparents.
As National Grandparents Day [2nd October 2022] approaches, a survey of 2,200 subscribers to the Famileo app found it actually encourages physical visits to elderly relatives.
In France, Famileo is one of the top selling apps with over 200,000 families – around 1.5 million people – using the app.
Famileo crosses digital divides as younger family members add photos and messages on the app, which are compiled into a personalised newspaper or gazette that is printed and posted to their relative – usually a grandparent.
The pragmatic solution works by respecting the communication habits of each generation – digital for younger generation and paper for the older one.
As campaign groups in the UK warn mobile apps leave elderly people struggling and excluded, Famileo offers a new solution that aims to enrich family interaction in the digital age.
The survey found almost half (43%) of families questioned struggled to stay connected with older relatives. But 80% of users of the app in France said Famileo eased communication with older relatives; 75% said it offered more meaningful interactions for families, with many using the gazette as a conversation piece with their loved ones.
The app was the brainchild of Tanguy de Gélis, who was inspired by his own grandma.
Tanguy said: “Our social impact study of the app found a wide-range of positive impacts, but the one that was really powerful was that using Famileo helps grandchildren to visit their grandparents.”
Tanguy explained: “There are several reasons for that. One is that when you’re using Famileo, you’re thinking of your grandparents, so they’re more in your mind. So, it’s a prompt to ring or visit them. A second point is, if you don’t know your grandmother well and feel guilty because you haven’t visited her as much as you would have liked, Famileo makes it easier because you have some news to share from cousins and other relatives. You can read the gazette with her. It’s an easy way to talk with a grandparent. When you’re young, there might be less common ground for conversation as there’s a big gap between the generations, and so, we discovered Famileo helps with that.”
Famileo was launched in France in 2015 by Tanguy and his co-founder, Armel de Lesquen.
Tanguy said: “We’ve seen a sharp rise in users. This is partly because the pandemic accelerated our digitally centred world, and families were looking for ways to cross the digital divide for older relatives. It’s also I think because many people re-evaluated their priorities, and family comes out top for most. The UK has also experienced the loss of the Queen, a national grandparent figure, which has highlighted the important and constant role of grandparents in an ever-changing world.”
For older people, poor eyesight or lack of dexterity is a barrier to using technology, such as smartphones, iPads or social media apps.
Tanguy thought of Famileo after he bought his grandma an iPad one Christmas so she could join in the family WhatsApp group.
Tanguy said: “One day when I went to visit her, I noticed the iPad on her table gathering dust. She told me it wasn’t easy for her to use and that she missed the family postcards and letters she used to get. So that got me thinking about an app with a digital interface for young people and a newspaper for the elderly.”
It’s proven a big hit with grandchildren and grandparents as an easy way to cross digital divides and keep in touch.
Each newspaper, or gazette, includes as many as 30 messages and can be delivered around the world. The idea is to help families, no matter where they are or how busy their lifestyle, stay in touch.
Tanguy said: “It can have a profound impact on the family dynamic. As well as being an easy way for grandchildren to write to their grandparents, it also helps build connection and reduce feelings of loneliness. It’s an app that brings joy to grandparents.”
The survey found Famileo improves the self-esteem and well-being of older adults helping many of them (84%) to feel more surrounded.
For more information visit www.famileo.com
For further media info or to access a demo, contact Ann: firstname.lastname@example.org m: 0753 489 2715
Notes to editors
Explainer video: https://vimeo.com/748805317/6cad46cf3c
Photos for media use: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/01oz0ey8vn16vm1/AAB09Jabh5GR3xqHBMCdRLIEa?dl=0
Famileo was founded in 2015 in France by entrepreneur Tanguy de Gélis and his business partner, Armel de Lesquen.
Around 200,000 families now use the service and over one million messages have been sent through Famileo.
The company employs more than 50 people. Famileo’s newspapers, or gazettes, are read by people in over 50 countries and they are now available in English, Spanish and Dutch. Subscriptions are available in euros, dollars and pounds.