Research argues that the number of internet users over 65 years old is on the rise and has been for some time. StatsNZ noted that in 2012, just under hald of those aged 65+ were internet users.
Research published by StatsNZ in 2012 shows that over 65s who use the internet use it just like other internet users! They use it to find health information (48%) and make online purchases (49%). Just under one-third read digital newspapers or books, one-fifth watch movies and download or listen to music. They also use it to connect to friends, family and others in their community.
Using the internet has many positive benefits including:
- Connecting – Older people can and do use technology to connect with their family and friends
- Emotions – Older people have reported using technology gives them a more positive outlook on life. Increased feelings of self-confidence, autonomy, competency, accomplishment, self-esteem and empowerment.
- Health – reports of health benefits including increase in cognitive function and brain stimulation.
- Makes daily life easier – Older people have found that using technology saves time, money and effort. It helps them retain or regain independence and feel a part of the 21st century.
It is easy to see why older people are continuing to use technology. For those who are not as digital savvy as they would like to be, there are many programmes, courses and companies who specialise in teaching people the basics of how to navigate the internet and use it to benefit the user.
Get in contact with you local library and see if they have anything on offer. SeniorNet also run classes, and there are a number of organisations who offer courses or tutoring, contact your local Age Concern who may be able to point you in the right direction.