People over 65 are being left behind when it comes to participating in the digital world. The Australian Digital Index 2018 highlights that over 65s are among the most digitally excluded people, and a significant part of this relates to a lack of skills and inability to use technology.
Being able to participate in the digital world is important because it can reduce social isolation and assist people to access information and services.
A project developed by YourLink for its client Adssi In-Home Support aimed to improve the digital ability and skills for people aged over 65 living on the Central Coast of NSW, and to further introduce the use of digital platforms for Adssi clients.
Tea and Technology events were designed to break down barriers many older people face with technology and to provide more confidence with smart devices. There were eight events held in the Central Coast region in 2018.
Participants were part of a relaxed event where they learned more about how to use an iPad, apps and technology. Guests were encouraged to bring along their own device for hands on help and to ask questions.
Conducted free-of-charge, these three-hour sessions covered a range of topics recognising that individuals have different needs and interests for using technology. Content included terminology, online security, camera, video calling and apps, as well as basic functions and ‘how to get around’ their device.
The environment was a shared learning experience and offered a social component, with events taking place in existing hubs for social connection, such as senior citizen’s centres.
The attendee feedback revealed the interest older people have in the digital world and the value of the Tea and Technology events. There were 230 feedback responses received, which indicated that:
Attendee comments included:
For Adssi, the events positioned them as a leader in innovative solutions, promoting their brand and services to the wider senior community. As clients became more confident using technology, they were able to feel more socially connected and better engaged with their family, friends and the world.
As a follow up to the successful Tea and Technology program, Adssi and YourLink are now working on creating further initiatives to continue to enhance their digital service offering.
The Tea and Technology initiatve validated that the over 65s have an appetite for learning about techonology. Creating a welcoming environment that is relaxed and respectful was crucial to delivering a positive learning environment. The increased skills and confidence gained by participants during the sessions led to improvements in overall wellbeing and feelings of connection.
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