Technology and internet are good for older people!

I’ve noticed a few articles appearing recently discussing the benefits of technology and the internet for older people.

Health

“Googling is good for grandparents. Internet use can boost the brain activity of the elderly, potentially slowing or even reversing the age-related declines that can end in dementia, researchers have found.”
Web can help elderly surfers slow dementia

“Our most striking finding was that internet searching appears to engage a greater extent of neural circuitry that is not activated during reading.”

“Searching online may be a simple form of brain exercise that might be employed to enhance cognition in older adults.”
Moody and Small, UCLA Researchers

Economic

We all know that being online presents economic benefits such as greater choice and lower prices etc to online users, but encouraging more older people to participate could also help with ecomonic growth.

“Getting older people online and digitally enabled will empower them to reap benefits for themselves but also support finding solutions to sustainable, high quality social and health care for an ageing population. The potential business opportunities are huge, so long as market barriers can continue to be addressed and ethical dimensions are considered in full.”
Older people and technology- a social need, an economic opportunity? Dr Gail Bradbrook, Citizens Online (pdf report)

Social Inclusion

A recent Ofcom study has found that older people are continuing to embrace social networking tools such as blogging and Facebook.  These tools are providing another channel of communicate with friends and family for those who are digitally literate and confident enough to use them – a simple example of how digital participantion can help with social inclusion.

“This is good news and an encouraging trend. With social networking become such a integral part of people’s lives it is vital that certain groups in society, like older people, are not left behind.”
Jason Glynn, uSwitch: Social networking boom among older people – Ofgem

As more people, especially older people, are getting online, they are experimenting with social networking and blogging, according to regulator Ofcom. More people are using the internet to create their own content than ever before with 38% of online users having a social networking profile, compared with 22% in 2007.
Social networking booming with doubling of online profiles

Advertisements

Social Networks – Useful or Not

Social media is the topic of an interesting discussion on the NCVO website –  to discover whether it is of benefit to organisations, especially those in the voluntary and community sector.  Social networks/media are online spaces such as facebook and twitter.

The general consensus is that it is of benefit and one of the participants has submitted five good points:

  • It’s free market intelligence
  • Engage with your supporters and improve your customer service
  • Raise your profile and increase your reach
  • Collaborate with your colleagues and develop your knowledge
  • It levels the playing field between large and small organisations
  • Submitted by Claire Rollinson on Tue, 29/09/2009 – 13:21

Facebook Breaks for Staff!

Employment lawyers believe that staff should receive social networking breaks to address productivity losses.  This is an issue that is only going to increase in the future given the popularity of social media.

Organisations are taking different approaches depending on their work environment, but some sort of break may be a positive move.  Either way it’s one for the Acceptable Use Policy!

Read more …