Welsh Assembly Members have today been looking at ways to support more older people to use the internet and digital technology.
The Cross Party Group on Older People and Ageing heard presentations from Claire Bottomley, Healthy Ageing Manager at the older people’s charity Age Cymru, and Cathryn Marcus, Director at Communities 2.0.
Says Claire Bottomley;
“Using the internet can benefit us all as individuals and consumers, but people who do not use the internet are likely to become increasingly economically and socially excluded.
“A significant proportion of the Welsh adults who do not currently use the internet are older people.
“We need to get to grips with this situation and listen to and address older people’s concerns about using the internet and other digital technology.
“We also need to demonstrate to older people the many benefits of going online; as well as providing them with the training, support and encouragement that they need to access and use the internet.”
The Cross Party Group on Older People Ageing met at Tŷ Hywel in Cardiff Bay.
Commenting on the session, Mike Hedges AM, Chair of the Cross-Party Group on Older People and Ageing, said:
“Digital inclusion has the potential to improve our lives along with the communities we live in.
“Whether it be searching or applying for jobs, accessing public services, shopping, online banking, or just keeping in touch with friends and family, the internet has truly transformed the way we live.
“Despite this, recent figures suggest that a quarter of the Welsh adult population were not accessing the internet.
“In an increasingly digital age, we need to do everything we can to reach our digital potential, and this means ensuring that everyone, especially in the older community, is able to benefit from using the latest digital technologies available to us.
“I’m therefore pleased that members from Age Cymru and the Communities 2.0 programme are able to attend the next Cross Party Group to discuss their work in helping older people access the internet in their homes and become more digitally included.”