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Famileo – the family newspaper bringing joy to elderly relatives

Famileo is the family newspaper that’s letting elderly family members into the joy of their younger relatives’ daily lives. 

Launched in the UK this summer, in this blog we find out more about “WhatsApp for the elderly”. 

Famileo family newspaper

As we all know, family members can now regularly share updates from their daily life with one another. But this is all taking place online, on devices and apps that elderly relatives largely don’t have or can’t use.

Famileo was the brainchild of Tanguy de Gélis, who was inspired by his own grandma after he bought her 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.”

Famileo bridges the ‘digital gap’ by providing elderly relatives with a hard copy of their family’s news, delivered directly to their door.

Younger relatives add photos and messages on the app, as and when they want, and this news is automatically compiled into a family newspaper that is printed and posted to an older relative at the frequency of their choice.

Famileo family newspaper

Once signed up, each family member can login and add photos from a desktop or download the free Famileo app, login and add photos and messages on their smartphone.

The news each of you contributes can be found on the ‘family wall’ of your family account when you login, much like a Whatsapp group. Once (or twice, depending on your subscription) a month, your collective news is formatted into a newspaper, with easy-to-read font, printed and posted to your elderly relative.

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.

Launched in France in 2015, over two hundred thousand families are subscribed to Famileo. It launched in the UK this Summer.

Karen Ferguson, 65, lives in France and signed up to Famileo for her 90-year-old mum Nancy, in Edinburgh. A trained solicitor, Karen now teaches English in her local primary school and has four children who have lived and worked all over the world.

Her mother, who has 15 grandchildren and 18 great grandchildren, lives alone after her husband died a few years ago.

The Famileo App has been a godsend for their nomadic family. “Famileo is a wonderful tool for keeping our family in touch and for sharing the memories we are making – for all of us,” said Karen, who heard of the app through her partner’s daughters.

She often puts old photos of her father into Famileo for her mum and said it is a great way for her to stay in touch with all her grandchildren.

“Mum says she really looks forward to each one, and the family life in those pages. It’s also a connection. I’m able to do something, from a distance, which gives my mum pleasure,” said Karen.

“My colleague refers to it as ‘WhatsApp for the elderly’. Even for families who aren’t as far flung as mine, it’s a wonderful tool for keeping in touch and sharing.”

Whether you’re a family of 2, 12 or 20, the subscription fee is £5.99 to print and post one paper a month or £9.99 to print and post two papers a month. The more family members who join the subscription the better, it costs the same and makes for a better ‘family newspaper’ for the recipient, so cousins, godchildren and friends are all welcome.

Famileo brings joy to grandparents in more ways than one. 75% of members find that Famileo enables them to have more meaningful connections with their loved ones. The printed paper provides visual context to phone calls and visits when we talk about what we’ve been up that month. Elderly loved ones can keep going back to the paper, bringing it out to show visitors.

For more information, or to sign up, you can visit the Famileo website