More than half (60%) of people over 50 have asked for help from younger relatives with digital skills during lockdown. Before lockdown, over 50s enjoyed gardening (49%), baking (18%) and DIY (19%) but since the start of lockdown activities such as online shopping, baking and DIY have seen the largest increases in popularity.
In contrast the research shows that young people, have been taking up more traditional pastimes in lockdown, using time to learn more hands-on physical skills while at home. The most popular activities in lockdown for millennials included baking (30%), gardening (17%) and decorating (19%).
With 31% of over 50s saying they would like to share their skills with the younger generation, Plusnet has teamed up with BT Skills for Tomorrow and social inclusion charity Good Things Foundation to encourage people to take part in a Skills Swap by teaming up with older relatives to help better their digital skills.
If you’ve been learning new skills during lockdown and want to learn in real life from the people who’ve been doing these skills longest, why not ask an older relative who wants to get online and do a Skills Swap?
You could record yourself learning how to cook something new with your grandma and show her how to put it on YouTube. Or teach your grandad how to use Facebook to socialise with friends while he teaches you how to do some essential household repairs.
There are still many older people that need help using the internet. With your support, these people can build their confidence to use digital technology and to continue the hobbies they love during periods of lockdown and social distancing – while you learn a new skill or two as well.
One of the ways people can help others is by using great learning content, such as on Learn My Way which has been created by BT Skills for Tomorrow partner Good Things Foundation. The Digital Champion course helps you gain the confidence and knowledge to support people in your local community to get online and improve their digital skills.
The course covers how to provide support on a one to one basis or in small groups and has ideas and tips on how to help them use the internet. Any support for others is valuable, and you can do this even at a time where we all need to comply with social restrictions.
Good Things Foundation’s top tips for helping an older person get online are:
Inspire– to inspire someone to get online, it’s important to find out more about them and build on their pre-existing passions and hobbies.
Explain – it’s a good idea to explain how to do things in a simple way, taking it step by step
Empathy– it’s important to empathise and be an active listener: people may lack confidence or blame themselves for not knowing how to do something you find easy.
Patience– It may take time to build confidence, so be patient! Providing encouragement and celebrating each step as a ‘win’ can really help.