Many of us are accustomed to using digital technology on a daily basis. We use the internet to bank, make appointments, to catch up with the news, and to contact friends and relatives. But for a large number of people, access to the digital world is not so simple. For some, there is a cost issue. For others, it is a lack of knowledge. For yet more, it is because they don’t see how it could benefit them.
However, many services that we use regularly are already primarily online. For example, utility bills may be significantly higher for those on standard variable rates, with the best rates available for those that can compare online. Ensuring that everyone can benefit from the advantages that the internet can provide will be a long-term process, but one that will be essential.
Digital Exclusion And Older People
For some older people, using digital services can be particularly difficult. A lack of experience of using this kind of technology can present a real barrier to accessibility. Despite this, new technology could bring real and significant benefits for older people. For example, connected homes could lead to products that allow older adults to remain independent for longer, and innovations such as fall detectors could help keep potentially vulnerable older adults safe.
Alongside the practical uses of online services, the use of the internet for communication is an essential part of many people’s lives. However, widely used social media tools and video-calling services are often seen to be too complex or too open for many older users, and the prevalence of adverts and pop-ups can be off-putting. As we have previously discussed in our blog, loneliness amongst seniors is a real and present issue. Therefore, developing ways for older adults to benefit from digital communication is likely to be a positive tool in tacking both loneliness and digital exclusion.
The Role Of Link-Ages In Tackling Digital Exclusion
Link-ages was designed to help tackle both of these problems, by allowing older users to interact with their family and friends in a safe, secure and simple way. Additionally, the app contains both diary and photo management functions, to allow users to begin to use technology in a helpful and accessible way.
Link-ages was designed in consultation with older adults, and with dementia patients in mind, and therefore the Hub app (for the older user) is also dementia friendly. Link-ages is passionate about helping older people benefit from the online world, and we believe our apps can be a great first step.
For more information on our group of apps, and how they can help, please visit our How It Works page.