The Centre for Ageing Better has awarded a grant of £39,000 to Good Things Foundation for new research with people in later life around digital technology.
The organisation wants to develop a deeper understanding of why some people in later life become sustained internet users, whilst others only use the internet rarely or never, and even stop using it altogether.
According to the latest ONS report on internet use in the UK, approximately 40% of people aged 65 and over have not used the internet in the last three months, compared to only 4% of people between 16 and 64.
Helping people in later life to get online in the ways that they want will help them access information, advice and services more easily and cheaply, and connect with people and activities that matter to them. As key services such as banking, pensions and utilities move increasingly online, people who don’t use the internet will face a growing disadvantage.
There are already plenty of existing products and services online that people in later life could use to do things that they want or need to do. However, people don’t want to take these up – 93% of non-users aged 65 and over have no intention to use the internet. The research will therefore focus on demand and how to unlock it.
Good Things Foundation will be conducting research with people in later life – including those who have used the internet in the past but have now stopped – to understand the ways they want to use the internet and the barriers they face. The aim is to identify promising offline approaches to help more people in later life benefit from the internet, and access the information, advice and services that they want and need.
Jemma Mouland, Senior Programme Manager for Innovation at the Centre for Ageing Better, said: “We are very pleased to be working with Good Things Foundation to develop a better understanding of how people in later life want to use the internet, what’s stopping them and what could help. There is a growing risk that those in later life will lose out by not using the internet, as the best deals and access to services, entitlements and opportunities move online. If we want to find effective and lasting solutions, we need to start by understanding people’s needs, priorities and interests.”
Good Things Foundation will begin gathering insights in April 2017 and will be working with Online Centres across the UK to recruit participants for the research. The research is due to be completed by December 2017.
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