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

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