http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2018-0 ... 098597.htm
The German postal service Deutsche Post Group has announced Monday the launch of a pilot project which will offer new support services to elderly citizens.
Together with the municipal government of the Northern German city of Bremen and the charitable association St. John, Deutsche post staff will check in regularly with seniors, make cash deliveries, and offer information about charitable services, on top of their regular postal duties.
The test run of project "post personally" is scheduled to launch from May onwards, but "an expansion to other cities is not planned as of now," a Deutsche Post representative told Xinhua.
Although the cost for the novel service has yet to be determined, as a privately-held company, Deutsche Post hopes to compensate for falling revenues from standard mail delivery by increasingly catering to the needs of Germany's ageing population. Rather than hiring new staff, existing postal workers at the Bonn-based firm will receive training to include the new services in their everyday routine.
The trade union ver.di told press on Monday it was acceptable for postal staff to take on additional duties during the pilot project. The union warned, however, that once the services became part of "standard operations", Deutsche Post would have to hire new workers.
"Mailmen and women are responsible for bigger and bigger districts because Deutsche Post has laid off so much personnel," ver.di spokesperson Matthias Bueschking said.
Enhanced postal services are only one part of a wider initiative by the city of Bremen to facilitate the life of elderly and frail citizens. Amongst others, the municipal government has introduced a new service to deliver printed government forms to seniors' doorstep free of charge.
"We want to improve our service for people who cannot download and print everything from the Internet," a spokesperson for the city told press.
Additionally, care home residents will receive shared E-book devices with large fonts. They will also be visited by registration office staff every three months to make changes to their official address or apply for new passports.
The municipal government-funded pilot project is scheduled to run until the end of 2019.