Quarkside

08/05/2013

Sustaining digital engagement by older people

Filed under: Governance,People,Policy,Technology — lenand @ 6:57 am
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Not many people realise that elderly people become more disengaged with ICT as they become older.  They ‘fall off the bandwagon’.  There is plenty evidence and the relevance is summarised in this St George’s House Consultation.

“It has been shown that ICTs can help the fifty-plus population to live independently, access government and commercial services, and engage socially. However, very many older people remain offline and unconnected. Even more worryingly, some of the older people who may at some point have gone online may subsequently disengage, i.e. they do not stay online. They face particular, age-related barriers including physical and cognitive changes, transformation of social and family environment, as well as fast-altering technology. More general barriers include distrust lest they be exploited by commercial providers, and incomprehension of ICT terminology and jargon. Meanwhile, technologies continue to evolve at a bewildering rate. The challenge is not just to help (older) people to get online in the first place, but to provide a context which will help them to overcome challenges posed to their on-going digital engagement (whether by changes in capability, social support or technology) and to develop their own skills and competencies as far as they wish to do so.”

This theme will be followed in subsequent postings.

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