‘Alarming’ study reveals everyday tech problems facing older people – as millions don’t use the internet at all | UK News

Millions of older people in Britain are being excluded from doing “ordinary things” such as booking a doctor’s appointment or paying for parking because of the “rush” to move services online, a charity has warned.

A survey by Age UK found that almost half (46%) of people aged 65 and over were unable to navigate the internet “safely” and carry out the most basic online tasks.

The survey found that 23% were unable to turn on a device and enter login information as needed, while 28% were unable to find and open various applications.

Similar numbers were also unable to keep their login information secure, update or change their password, adjust device settings for ease of use, use a mouse or keyboard, or find and open a website.

Around 35% were unable to set up a Wi-Fi connection on their device, while an estimated 2.7 million older adults in the UK simply do not use the internet at all.

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‘Wake Up’

Caroline Abrahams, charity director at Age UK, said the figures “should be a wake-up call to policymakers because they show the alarming extent to which the rush to ‘digital as default’ is excluding our older population”.

She added: “The fact that so many millions of older people are unable to participate safely and successfully online is an inconvenient truth for governments and other organizations keen to cut the costs of moving everything online , but it is one we must confront and act on as a society.

“If we don’t do that, we’re basically saying it’s okay for legions of older people not to be able to do ordinary things like make a doctor’s appointment, organize a blue plate for their car or pay to park it and that is certainly completely unacceptable.”

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Age UK, a charity which aims to support older people, has called on public services to offer an easy-to-use, offline way of accessing key services.

It has also called on the government to publish an updated strategy to support people of all ages to get online.

Ms Abrahams said: “This is not being a Luddite, far from it… but rather a recognition that online methods simply do not work for millions of older people now and never will.

“They should be able to choose to access public services in more traditional ways – by phone, letter and face-to-face, as appropriate.”

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