Tackling social isolation by getting older people online

Over the past couple of months I’ve been involved with a Steering Group which has explored ideas around using digital technology – and digital inclusion – to tackle issues of loneliness and isolation amongst older people.

Today saw the publication of a report; “Older People, Technology and Community” which includes the fruits of our discussions as well as a whole raft of other useful data, examples and ideas.

The press release notes:

“Social isolation and the feelings of loneliness it leads to are common problems for older people living in the UK today. Recent research reveals that a fear of being alone is a major source of anxiety as people grow older and that some older people go for days without seeing another person. The report highlights however that communications technologies can help prevent and alleviate social isolation and loneliness.”

 The project was led by Independent Age and funded by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. Steering group members were:
Emma Solomon – Digital Unite,
Damian Radcliffe – OFCOM
Adam Oliver – BT
Brian Lamb – RNID
Leela Damodaran – Research School of Informatics, Loughborough University
Guy Giles – Looking Local
Alan Taylor – BBC
Ben Brown- UK Online Centres
Kevin Doughty – Centre for Usable Home Technology, University of York
Paul Cann – Age Concern Oxfordshire
Kevin Johnson – Cisco
Jacques Mizan – Young Foundation
Andrew Barnett – Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation (UK Branch)
Luis Jeronimo – Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation (Portugal)
Annabel Knight – Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation (UK Branch)

Everyone played a key role in making the report happen, but I was delighted to see that my contribution was (unexpectedly) cited in the foreword. 

Given that, you’d expect me to say the report is well worth a read. But it is. Honest.

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