The increasing use of digital technology means that the way we access services and information, and the way that we communicate, has changed significantly in recent years.
While this provides many opportunities, the significant number of older people who are not online – estimated to be around a third of people over 75 – are at risk of being left behind and excluded from crucial information and services that support us to age well.
Issues relating to digital exclusion are frequently raised by older people, covering everything from booking health appointments to being required to use apps to pay for services such as parking. Other issues highlighted include difficulties accessing services, information and advice, and barriers people who are not online face when trying to make their voices heard.
To learn more about the kinds of issues and challenges older people who are not online or have limited digital skills are facing, the Older People’s Commissioner for Wales is inviting older people to share their experiences about the impact of being digitally excluded.
Organisations and individuals can help with this in a number of ways:
- Encouraging older people who are digitally excluded to get in touch with the Older People’s Commissioner for Wales office to share their experiences (contact information below)
- Sharing the attached pro-forma for responses (paper copies can be sent to you on request)
- Completing the online form [https://olderpeople.wales/15162/] on behalf of an older person you know or work with
- Displaying the attached poster in community spaces to encourage older people to get in touch
- Including information about this work in any updates or newsletters you produce and share with older people or stakeholders
- Sharing examples of good practice
- Forwarding this information to any contacts who could help to reach out to older people
This will help in identifying where further action is needed, and whether people’s rights to access information and services via non-digital means are being upheld. You can find out more about this work and subsequent follow-up here:
If you have any queries, please don’t hesitate to contact my Policy and Practice Lead, Sion Evans ([email protected]).