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Almost two thirds of over 65s say they couldn’t live without the net

Almost two thirds of over 65s say they couldn’t live without the net

Almost two thirds of over 65s say they couldn’t live without the net

Spring Online logo This week is Spring Online week, a national campaign run by Digital Unite designed to encourage and support individuals and organisations to run free taster sessions to introduce older people and less confident users to digital technology. Hundreds of Spring Online events will be held at libraries, schools, housing schemes, UK online centres, cafés and community groups across the country. Over the course of the next few days, we’ll also be publishing blogs from users who have discovered the Internet later in life and organisations looking to support the cause of digital exclusion. Here we take a look at how the older generation are taking to the Internet ... We were really pleased to discover from research we recently commissioned that the over 65s are truly embracing the Internet - 84% of Internet users over 65 use the net to source deals, showing it’s not just the younger generation shopping online. More specifically 52% of over 65s use the net to search for deals and buy electrical equipment; 50% use the net to search for deals and buy holidays and 47% use the net to search for deals and buy financial services, such as bank accounts and insurance. Plusnet’s research also reveals that the Internet has become an indispensable part of life for the over 65s, with 63% saying they could not live without being online and three quarters saying the Internet keeps them feeling young and mentally agile. With this in mind it’s perhaps no surprise that 41% of older Brits use Facebook, and nearly a third of these are over 75. After all, it was TV legend Sir Bruce Forsyth, aged 85, who said in a recent interview, that "My wife and my iPad keep me young!" But although over 65s are getting increasingly savvy, research from Digital Unite shows that there is still a way to go as there are 6.5million people in the UK over the age of 55 who have never used the Internet. Of those who still haven’t made it online, 41% say this is because there is not enough training and that they don’t understand how it works, while 37% cite cost as their reason for not signing up. Jamie Ford, Plusnet's CEO commented:

“It is really encouraging to see that so many over 65s are getting online and really making the most out of the Internet. There is no reason for anyone to feel their age means they can’t get the best out of what technology has to offer.”

Have you taught a friend or relative in their twilight years how to use the Internet?  How did you find it? What were the biggest hurdles they had to overcome as a new learner?  Let us know by leaving a comment here ...

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Not applicable
I taught Computing (word processing, spreadsheet, databases) to many folk of senior years at an FE College, it was always good fun. Two things spring to mind;- what happens if I press the wrong key and if I do something wrong will it catch fire? These were always the starting questions. The first lesson therefore was "lets press the 'wrong' key and see what happens and that lead into the lesson of saving your work as you go. By the end of the lesson I'd go back to the first question and ask what 'damage' has been caused! Very rarely did folk drop-out from the courses.Once started everyone seems keen to learn and gave me a great deal of job satisfaction.
Not applicable
Can anyone tell me where, if possible, I can get access to the PlusNet/Digital Unite survey/research the details the reasons why over 65's can't get online? Thanks
Not applicable
Hi Marcus, The results show that a large proportion of over 65s are now online but for those that aren't there are various reasons: -41% cite lack of understanding, and say there is inadequate training for installing and using an internet connection at home. -38% don't think it's relevant or useful. -37% either cancelled due to cost or didn't get the internet because they thought it would be too expensive. Hope that helps.
Newbie
I'm now 69, and I have been using computers since 1986. In those far off days computers were malevolent boxes that did all they could to mess up your day. Thanks to Microsoft things rapidly improved, (remember Windows 3.1, all 7 floppy disks?). Computing and accessing the internet is now quite simple, but many older people still remember the tales of horror told by geeky people like me! The problem to be overcome is not one of confusing technology, but the perception of the technology. A step in the right direction to get folk started is touch screen devices, these seem to engage technophobes in a way that keyboards and rodents do not
Grafter
I am 82 and I teach older people how to use computers ,we are a charity which helps older people in many other ways and we find that there are lots of people willing to try new technology its finding the people to help that they find difficult. We have a large data base of older people due to our other work with older people and that gives us the opening to help them with the technology as they already know us and trust us.We have a waiting list of at least a year so we must have it right. Ted.