An old couple is sitting on a bench in a flower garden.

LEAVES: better mental health for senior citizens


A program that blends online and personal counselling to help senior citizens deal with grief when they loose their significant other.

The project

Loosing a spouse is not uncommon in the later stages of life. While most people process such grief in a normal manner, some develop prolonged grief (PG). LEAVES is an online grief program that supports people and those who surround them (family, care givers, etc.) in the grieving process. It blends online treatment with telephone or face to face counselling to detect who is at risk for prolonged grief and aims to prevent negative impact.

LEAVES will be developed in an interdisciplinary research team over the next three years. The project is funded by the AAL Association, with Innosuisse as a partner in Switzerland. It brings together parties with different fields of expertise including health care professionals as well as companies working in design and technology.

The logos of sponsors AAL and InnoSuisse.

Nothing’s contribution

We add our experience in design and digital product development to the LEAVES conception process, starting with the design of the service. At the current stage of the project, our focus is on creating personas and identifying scenarios that potential users will go through. The scenarios will help to identify potential problems that could affect people who use the service. Following the initiation phase, Nothing will work on the product interaction and produce all things visual, including the user interface.

The complete, international project team

Overall, the LEAVES affiliation covers three countries: the Netherlands, Switzerland and Portugal. We look forward to working with these talented people and the unique expertise that they bring to the project:

  • Roessingh Research and Development (NL): coordination of the interdisciplinary team
  • National Foundation for the Elderly (NL): expertise on elderly people, with specific focus on promoting quality of life for older people in the Netherlands
  • DELA Natura (NL): specialist in caretaking with regards to all things funeral
  • School of Social Work, University of Applied Arts (CH): focus on social innovation and development of practical solutions for social problems
  • NOVA University (PT): expertise in interdisciplinary projects and the investigation of problems that affect society
  • University of Bern (CH): know-how in development and evaluation of internet-based self-help interventions for prolonged grief
  • Psychiatric Department at the Health Unit of Baixo Alentejo (PT): geriatric psychiatric team assisting older people with mental disease
  • Sensing Future Technologies (PT): responsible for business modelling and exploitation
  • Nothing AG (CH): expertise in designing products that matter through iterative design

We are excited to contribute to a project such as LEAVES and make a difference in people’s lives.