Over 75s face continued digital exclusion whilst mobile becomes universal for young

Mobile phones are becoming universal for younger people, whilst people aged over 75 are continuing to find themselves digitally excluded, according to Ofcom.

The 2012 Consumer Experience Report, published this week, also highlights how age is continuing to play a role in switching services, with older people less likely than younger people to move supplier.

Mobile phones universal for younger people

The Consumer Experience highlights how mobile penetration has grown and points out that use amongst younger people is virtually universal (98% among 16-24s and 97% among 25-44s). Continue reading

Can we “nudge” older people online? Or might we need to compel?

Seven and a half million people in the UK, the majority being older or disabled, have never been online. Yet despite the common perception that this is an issue that will go away, progress on getting older people online is slow. The latest Office of National Statistics report on internet use highlighted that progress in getting the over 65s online is much slower than for under 65s.

We know a lot about why individuals don’t go online. The barriers can be categorised within three groups: access issues, skills issues and behavioural choice. Yet whilst significant work has been undertaken to understand access and skills issues, there has been little focus on tackling the behavioural barriers to getting individuals online. Continue reading

Guest blog – Emma Solomon, Digital Unite: ‘Silver Sidekicks – or creating a shared silver lining for more of us?’

The Policy Exchange report makes an interesting read especially for those of us who have been promoting digital inclusion and digital skills to older people for years. (It’s worth noting that this report also looks at NEETs – young people not in employment education or training – and how the government could use digital technology better to offer personalised support to them.) Continue reading

Live blog: ILC-UK, New Dynamics of Ageing and the Actuarial Profession debate: ‘Improving care, tackling isolation and reducing costs? Can new technology live up to its promise?’

This is the live blog for the ILC-UK, New Dynamics of Ageing and the Actuarial Profession debate, ‘Improving care, tackling isolation and reducing costs? Can new technology live up to its promise?’ taking place from 15.00 on Wednesday 16th May at the Actuarial Profession, Staple Inn Hall. Continue reading

Tackling the digital divide. Should we compel, educate, or nudge people online?

The use of behavioural economics in the context of policy for older people has been high on our agenda over the past year. ILC-UK has explored the potential for behavioural economics to increase pension saving. We have also looked to how these theories can help support older people to make the right decisions about when to stop driving. And we have considered the potential for using behavioural theories to encourage people to make the right health decisions. Continue reading

Guest blog: Sophie Handler – Ageing facilities: a creative practice of age-conscious interventions

Ageing Facilities is an alternative urban research initiative that uses creative design to explore other ways of experiencing the urban environment in older age. Based on an ongoing programme of playful urban interventions it sets up small moments that temporarily reconfigure and re-imagine everyday relationships to urban space and, in the process, starts to challenge the more utilitarian-functional preoccupations of conventional elderly-specific design.

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Apps for independent living

Earlier this month I was given the opportunity to judge the Smart Accessibility Awards. These awards were organised by the Vodafone Foundation who partnered with AGE Platform Europe and the European Disability Forum (EDF). The international competition promised “to reward developers who have the creativity, vision and social commitment to harness the power of smartphones and the mobile internet in support of disabled and older people’s needs.”

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Technology works (“if delivered properly”)

Telecare and telemedicine can improve health outcomes and save money, argued the Prime Minister last week.[1]

The Whole System Demonstrator (WSD) programme was set up by the Department of Health to attempt to, amongst other things, explore the evidence base as to the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of these technologies. This week the Department of Health (DH) published the headline findings from the WSD.[2]

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Guest blog: Generations divided in the e-Society

The Office for National Statistics’ publication of its Social Trends data yesterday was a landmark in the sense that it was the first to include a chapter on e-Society[1], which discussed the use of the internet among different social groups.  There are some illuminating findings about inter-generational differences in internet access and use. Overall, the data showed that internet access has risen significantly in recent years across all age groups.  For most household types, the rate of internet connection increased by 40 percentage points between 2000 and 2008.  However, among older households (specifically one-person households above the state pension age) the increase has been slower, at only 26 percentage points.

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