Race Online 2012 has just published a new 38 page report with the title “Getting On – A Manifesto for Older People in a Networked Nation“. Working in a community with an older demographic, the report came at the right time for me to circulate amongst the service managers who need to design web pages with that in mind.
The report identifies the clear benefits for older citizens in use of the Internet enabling them to save money and effort by picking and choosing online when shopping, and reducing the need to travel. A lot of the content is repeated and I lost track of the number of mentions of the 5.7 million people who are offline, but on the positive side there figures such as that 10% of Internet users in the UK are over 65 and that they actually spend longer on the Internet than any other age group.
The report has also split the older population into three groups – ‘traditionalists’, ‘hesitators’ and ‘highly supported’, with the unfortunate recognition that the traditionalists at 43% are probably going to present the greatest challenge to get online.
Whilst the government is obviously keen to get as many people using self-service as possible, the carrot is that the technology also extends into life-long learning along with increased independence and well-being by the use of the communication tools.