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18 | Grey Pride: A manifesto

The facts

• 70% of 65 year olds and

over in the UK are digitally

excluded.

• Digital exclusion prevents

access to money-saving deals

worth up to £560 per year,

information about schemes

promoting wellbeing and

skills for employment and

opportunities for social

interaction.

Priority: Public services, technology

It is understandable why organisations

and governments are heavily reliant

on the internet to communicate and

interact with their customers: a National

Audit Office survey in 2002 found

government departments delivering

services online helped reduce their

operating costs by 10%.

This saving, however, does not factor in

the wider costs - both financial and social

- associated with the failure to serve the

needs of the many older people who have

limited or no access to the internet. While

tablets and other technology have proved

popular with the "younger old", it is still the

case that 70% of 65 year olds and over in

the UK don't have access to the internet.

The International Longevity Centre-UK

believes many older people are enthusiastic

about learning more about the internet

and using it but there are many barriers

preventing them from engaging with the

World Wide Web.

With a rapidly growing ageing population,

not to mention the associated buying

power of some of those individuals, both

hardware and software should match older

people's needs. Simple design changes,

such as ensuring all websites have easyread

versions, would be a step in the right

direction but issues such as remembering

complex passwords are magnified for older

people. Ready for Ageing identifies such

industries as banking as not engaging

effectively with older people and relying too

heavily on providing their services online.

As services, both public and private,

move online older people who are unable

people aged over 65

are often or always lonely

800,000

more than

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