Older people, technology and community

Independent Age, a charity supporting older people in the United Kingdom, was commissioned to determine what barriers exist to technology for older people and how it can help them develop and maintain social networks and actively engage in their communities. Many people over 65 have been excluded from the digital revolution and the benefits it brings. This report demonstrates that technology can help them renew and develop social contacts and engage in their communities. Technology can provide opportunities to participate in meaningful work and other activities, interact in new ways with family and friends, learn and develop skills, and share with others. Older people need to know the benefits of technology, and they need training and support from intermediaries like voluntary organizations and the public sector. This research concludes that communications technologies can help prevent and alleviate social isolation and loneliness among older people.