- Butler-type service provides companionship and services such as tech assistance
- Elderly are served by youths trained to communicate using psychotherapy principles
- Psychotherapy matters a lot to many people all over the world, E-Kids to help deliver
TAIPEI, July 29, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — The elderly can now rely on an exceptional butler service to serve their companionship and assistance needs from Taiwanese startup E-Kids. The startup recently promoted their platform at VivaTech 2022 in Paris, France to other startups and leaders to demonstrate the company’s vision.
The innovative solution mimics having a companion at home, where youths can converse with the elderly, share information, and provide tech assistance and even entertainment for them – in a way, posing as surrogate children.
E-Kids’ services are different from other butler services in that contemporary psychotherapy practices and principles inform their communication style. The service helps childless elderly individuals or those who lack the companionship of their children to get the best support in life, especially regarding their mental health.
“Psychotherapy teaches us how to heal. From introducing positive language into our vocabulary to changing our inner conversations, these influence our moods and behaviors. However, psychotherapy can be scary, and not everyone is ready for it.”
“So we take that fear out and embed it into our communication style, especially with the elderly. We are trained to prioritize emotions and to speak with kindness,” said Jude, founder of E-Kids.
Solving the mental health conundrum plaguing Taiwan’s elderly
Taiwan is a rapidly aging society, where in less than three years, 20% of its citizens will be over 65. Although traditional Chinese culture prioritizes filial piety and obligation to parents, Taiwan is seeing a shift in family values – which has translated into a diminished sense of responsibility in some adult children towards their aging parents.
As such, many Taiwanese elderly find themselves feeling lonely in their old age, often devoid of assistance navigating the modern world and craving the companionship of the younger ones.
“Being an Asian society, mental illnesses and discussions of mental health are still heavily stigmatized. Worse still, access to mental health services is hampered in many ways, even though people are gradually becoming more open to seeking professional help.”, shared E-Kids’ psychotherapy advisor Alpha.
From Instagram to startup
Four years in development, the startup started humbly enough as an Instagram account providing resume-building services built around the message that “everyone is perfect.”
After finding out that the message resonated with youths from Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Malaysia, Jude and her team realized that it took little to make people feel significantly better, happier, less anxious, and less depressed.
Recognizing the benefits of psychotherapy-embedded communications, the team decided to work on a butler service for the elderly, as he believes that mental wellness starts with better communication in the hopes of helping the elderly move towards accessing psychotherapy services.
Already launched, E-Kids has web and mobile apps in the works. So far, the startup has engaged in fundraising efforts by pitching at London Tech Week and VivaTech, having been sponsored by the Taiwan Tech Arena (TTA) on a trip to Europe. Jude says the company is facing accelerated growth with market opportunities in Taiwan and Japan.
“I envision a future where people value each other’s physical and mental health, with infrastructure that mandates kindness and is conducive to healing. All components are vital to building a mentally healthy, accepting, forgiving, and healing future.”, said Jude.
“E-Kids is the first step to that. We are not a digital therapeutics app; we are building a community that changes how we communicate, which leads the way to therapy for those who need it.”, he added.
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