Published on 26 May 2011 11:30 AM
Responding to newspaper reports today that 309,000 pensioners in Wales and a further 92,000 people aged 55 to 64 have never surfed the internet, Claire Bottomley, Age Cymru’s Healthy Ageing Manager says:
“The internet is a part of modern life for many of us but for various reasons many older people are not taking advantage of the vast opportunities offered by being online.
“Research by the regulator Ofcom has found that some older people do not see any benefit to using the internet and have no intention of going online.
“However, other research has indicated that the main barriers to older people going online are concerns about security and affordability.
“With increasing numbers of financial, public and private sector services moving towards providing their information and advice online – often for economic reasons, it is essential to find a way to encourage more older people to make the most of the opportunities provided by the internet.
“Clearly there are significant attitudinal, institutional and environmental barriers that we need to overcome to get older people to embrace the internet and make it part of their lives.
“Age Cymru believes that the only way to tackle these barriers is to listen to the needs of older people and provide them with practical examples of applications of technology that they can relate to and understand.
“We need to do a much better job of communicating the benefits of using technology and the internet and support local providers to offer personal encouragement and training to older people to help address any concerns about safety and privacy they may have.”