Many people over 55 are struggling with technology, be the device a mobile phone, tablet, or laptop. If you feel you are in that category, you are not alone. The latest figures show that 35% of adults aged 50-70 and 70% of the over-70s do not use the internet. With so many everyday tasks increasingly only accessible online it is easy to see that this ‘exclusion’ can often add to older people’s feelings of isolation and loneliness.
Age UK have made it their mission to support as many over-55s as possible to overcome their fear of the internet and enjoy the benefits of being online. These can include sending and receiving emails, filling in online forms, sharing photos and videos, watching favourite films and TV programmes, and doing online shopping and banking.
Age UK’s service is offered for free and they are even able to loan any necessary hardware for free during the support period. Age UK have 12 local volunteer tutors (usually people who work/have worked with technology) currently supporting individuals with face-to-face sessions in their Worcester and Malvern offices, and they also provide doing home visits where mobility is an issue.
Experience has shown that most clients do not want to learn the ins and outs of a particular program such as Word or Excel but are much more likely to want to solve problems like connecting with the internet, setting up their device to suit their needs or finding out how to utilise the benefits from this or that online application.
This part of Age UK Worcester and Malvern Hills’s work is growing in importance and once of the reasons why I am working to raise funds for them this year. Please support my appeal by making a donation if you can.