Vodafone launch new report into technology and loneliness
A new report commissioned by Vodafone UK reveals that digital technology can help alleviate loneliness among the over 50s
A new report commissioned by Vodafone UK reveals that digital technology can help alleviate loneliness among the over 50s. The report was launched at the House of Commons on the 19th March, with the support of Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matthew Hancock MP and Loneliness Minister Mims Davies MP. It sets out how technology can play a vital role in alleviating loneliness in older people by keeping them connected to their family and friends for longer. However, it also highlights that a significant number of older people are not confident in using technology, including accessing the internet. The report also looks for the first time at the financial implications of loneliness in the over 50s and reveals a £1.8 billion per year cost to the UK economy.
- ONS data says 1.5 million people in the UK aged 50 and over suffer with 'chronic loneliness'
- New report outlines how technology can help tackle loneliness among the over 50s and keep people independent for longer
- The report looks for the first time at the financial implications of loneliness in the over 50s, with a £1.8 billion annual cost to the UK economy
- Vodafone announces a series of free tech masterclasses across the UK
- Video footage from Vodafone's techconnect pilot and the launch of the report can be viewed here
According to ONS data, a third of older adults (65+) identify themselves as only “a little confident” or “not at all confident” in their ability to use electronic devices for essential online activities. In response to this Vodafone’s new report, ‘Harnessing technology to tackle loneliness’, recommends increasing confidence in using technology among this age group.
Following these findings, Vodafone is launching a nationwide programme of tech masterclasses. Vodafone’s free ‘techconnect’ masterclasses will take place across the UK in 2019 following a successful pilot last month. At the masterclasses, Vodafone tech team advisors will provide information and advice on everything from ‘how do I set up my phone’ to ‘how do I use social media’. They will also help set up wearable tech and connected home devices and explain how they work. These devices can help people live more independently for longer.
If you want to take part in the online conversation, use #TechConnect on twitter.
The report also highlights that technology could be used alongside more traditional community services to facilitate social interaction, and that learning how to use it more fully can reduce loneliness and promote an active lifestyle. This can help older people remain independent in their homes and communities and increase confidence and the likelihood of positive interactions. It can also help to maintain and build networks and contacts, with technology used as a way of keeping in touch with friends and family and accessing new communities and groups.