Report highlights seniors desire for digital inclusion is outpacing service providers' and community response
Date: 20th November 2019
Sydney: Report highlights seniors desire for digital inclusion is outpacing service providers’ and community response
The Digital Paradox for Seniors Report released this week debunks the myth that seniors are digitally shy. YourLink and PwC have partnered for this report and it gives voice to the senior perspective, that when shown ‘how to’ seniors eagerly embrace technology. Their enthusiasm even gives digital natives, some of whom are their grandchildren, a run for their money.
The Research is very timely as the pace of digital change impacts seniors and aged care service providers alike. This is because more-and-more ‘life’ activities are primarily accessible online e.g. banking, payment of bills and accessing government services. This disconnect has been brought to life most recently with the bushfires, where anxious seniors without digital confidence had to rely on radio broadcasts and other means to inform them about evacuations and locations of fires that could have impacted family and friends.
The Report includes research from over 600 seniors. They shared views about their experiences of today and needs for the future - so they are not excluded from the digital wave of change. This is coupled with additional insight from experts including PwC, Adssi Limited and Nan Bosler (Australian Seniors Computer Clubs Association) as well as stories bringing to life the real experiences of seniors.
Richard Scenna, YourLink Co-Founder, said “This Research reveals a very real desire by seniors to learn how they can become more active participants in the digital world. The lack of confidence is a myth. It is actually about a lack of learning opportunities tailored to them and their context. When they are introduced to the technology they are curious and engaged. They are also frustrated by the assumptions made about them and their readiness, or lack of, to participate.”
PwC has supported the Report, highlighting how the rise of the consumer experience being digital is creating even more exclusion for seniors.
Nathan Schlesinger, PwC National Health Consulting Lead, says “Australia needs its seniors to be engaged in the life of living as consumers, connectors and active participants in the social dynamics of our communities.”
“We are delighted to support this research from YourLink and find the insights they raise are very worthy of further conversation across the sector”, Nathan continues.
Richard also states, “The real challenge we see is that current support networks around seniors. The Research shows that over 80% of respondents rely on friends and family. The support is often unavailable because of time or distance and when they are available, they are focussed on ‘fixing’ not teaching. This doesn’t nurture the digital independence seniors value.”
This data is critically important for aged care service providers as only 2% of seniors look to their care workers for digital support. In the competitive market, digitally literate care workers and staff can be a differentiator for providers. That means there will be commercial payback in investing in their people’s digital capabilities as well.
The Research also found that seniors enjoy learning in a social environment. With Christmas fast approaching and families considering digital gifts - getting the device into the hands of seniors is not enough. Helping them learn to be digitally independent is an essential part of the gift.
The Report concludes that communities need to be more in tune with seniors and how they engage and learn new technologies. The assumptions being made about the ability of seniors to actively participate in the digital age needs to be reconsidered. They are ready, willing and able, it’s up to aged care service providers and the community to meet this need.
For more information about the report, please contact Richard Scenna on 0408 742 743 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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YourLink Pty Ltd, located in Sydney, is committed to seniors having access to the quality of life that includes happiness, sense of purpose and a feeling of being valued through an improved relationship with technology.
The unique YourLink Involve solution is a co-designed managed service that brings together the wellbeing and education programs, devices, support and digital coaches, all in a simple monthly fee for aged care and health organisations.
0408 742 743