Golden-oldies are sharing skills, via their special app

A RETIRED saxophonist is available for events, a 76-year-old offers painting classes, and a former plumber can help you fix your sink, for a reasonable price.

And, says Núria Ricart, while sandpapering an antique drawer: “There could be someone out there who could help you with a lot of things you don’t know about.”

This retired librarian, who has spent months learning how to restore antiques, is now offering her experience to other people on Phyltime, an online platform which helps seniors share their skills and find activities.

“I thought I was pretty clumsy, and I was a bit scared about painting, but I like antiques and I thought, ‘why don’t I learn how to restore them?’” adds Núria.

In a small studio in Barcelona’s Sarrià neighbourhood, she and her classmates spend their afternoons among paintbrushes and varnish. But nowadays, it’s less about the restoration and more an excuse to leave the house and meet up with her new friends.

“I applied because I wanted to continue feeling active, even if I were no longer working, and, in the process, I wanted to meet new people,” says the 72-year-old.

While she barely knows how to use a cellphone, she checks her notifications on the Phyltime app excitedly, every day. Be it a sewing course, a museum expedition or guitar lessons, there is no limit to what is offered to seniors, who are eager to get out and about.

“One of the main characteristics of the platform is its social function,” says Phyltime head Juan Luis Domínguez.

Users simply need to register with the network, list their location and what activities they are interested in. Then, a communication system similar to WhatsApp informs them about what activities are available. and at what price.

The Phyltime app has created an active senior community

“My mother retired five years ago, and, from one day to the next, she lost that vital rhythm she had when she was working,” says Domínguez. “It was like watching a plane crash.”

The platform has grown, rapidly, since it was created. Now, there are more than 150,000 users, aged over 50, registered across Spain and Latin America.

“In the restoration group, we are all a similar age,” says Núria. “There is a 65-year-old woman who retired early, and then there is another woman who doesn’t like to mention it, but she’s 84 and she looks great.”

Although she made her first foray into social media with a mix of doubt and stubbornness, Núria is now an internet convert, with a strong believer in its possibilities.

“Thanks to ideas like this one, my classmates and I can meet up, get out of the house and have fun for a while,” she says, with a grin.


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Posted by on Aug 10 2018. Filed under World News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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