Later life in a digital world

WEST Sally
Age UK
Publication year:
Place of publication:

This report looks at the importance of increasing digital inclusion in later life to ensure that older people are able to gain full access to public services. It highlights the increasing number of public services that are moving online and how lack of sufficient support can make it harder for people who do not use the internet to access services. It may also deter them from seeking the support they need. The report suggests three complementary approaches to ensure that older people are not disadvantaged by the move to digital services: greater support to increase digital inclusion, user-friendly technology and design, and appropriate alternative access for people who are not online. Drawing on the findings of qualitative research into the views and experiences of older people, it also identifies some of the barriers they face to using the internet and shows that older people do not necessarily value the potential benefits that Internet users describe. The report highlights the need for initiatives to find ways to engage older people’s interest, provide tailored training, ensure there is follow up support, and address concerns about security and costs. It is also important to have equipment and services which are affordable, well designed and easy to use. It includes recommendations to help support older people to develop skills to enable them to access services online. It also highlights the need to ensure that older people who cannot or do not want to, should continue to be able to access services and support in a that way suits them. (Edited publisher abstract)

Subject terms:
online services, older people, public sector, access to services, digital technology, skills, social exclusion, user views, internet;
Content type:
United Kingdom
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