When news happens get involved. Send your pictures, views and video to us by text and email
Dorset pensioners are urged to become silver surfers by going online
12:00pm Tuesday 17th September 2013 in News
DORSET pensioners are being urged to go surfing – with more than half of elderly people not online.
Around 58 per cent of people in the county aged 65 or over do not use the internet, according to figures from Age UK.
With internet banking, online shopping and keeping in touch with loved ones the internet can offer huge benefits to older people.
The Age UK research comes at the start of the charity’s annual ITea and Biscuits Week to encourage people who have never been online to try out technology.
Di Lawrence, chief officer at Age UK Dorchester, said: “It’s really important that older people have the same opportunities as younger people and don’t get left behind.
“Banking and shopping are often only offered online as well as discounts for utilities.
“We are really keen to get as many older people online as we can.”
She added: “Often older people have concerns about using computers.
“They sometimes think they will break them or that online banking or shopping isn’t secure but it’s no more of a problem for them than the rest of us.
“It’s incredibly daunting and I think confidence is a huge issue but what I would say is don’t be put off, older people can use computers just as well and just need training or support.
“I’m not surprised by the figure and we have such a high uptake on our computer courses.
“Our computer team is brilliant and really great at getting people online.”
On average 61 per cent of older people in England are offline and there are only four areas in England where the percentage of older people online outnumber those who are offline.
Councillor Colin Huckle, spokesman for social inclusion at Weymouth and Portland Borough Council, said: “Obviously people need training and education to get online and there are a number of places in the area that offer this.
“It’s often a case of plucking up the courage to learn and I would encourage people of all ages to learn how to use the internet.”
Age UK is encouraging older people who have never been online to attend a local ITea and Biscuits Week session and for those who use technology to help an older person they know to get to grips with it.
For more information visit ageuk.org.uk/itea-and-biscuits or call Age UK Dorchester on 01305 269444.
Comments are closed on this article.