Isabella Ross

With an increase in digital connectivity and innovation occurring within current society, it has always been a concern that older Australians would become isolated. But recent statistics have revealed that the impacts of technology on the older generations are not as drastic as previously predicted. Australians aged 50 – 69 are significantly more engaged with technology and understand its purpose and potential value.

“Digital connectivity is an increasingly important part of life for older Australians and our aim is to ensure older people are included in all aspects of Australian life,” revealed Chief Executive of the Council on the Ageing Australia Ian Yates.

According to the recent Connecting Australia report, approximately 4 out of 5 over-65-year-old nbn™ connected users are engaged in non-formal education.

“It has always been a concern that the digital world could be isolating for older Australians, but it is great to see evidence that many are utilising services over the nbn™ access network to make the most of new opportunities to learn online and upskill after their retirement years,” said Mr Yates.

The number of seniors experiencing social isolation has always been a concern. Yet with the Internet’s capacity to foster a sense of community and inclusion, there is no question that more seniors should embrace the tech-savvy lifestyle. Social media as a means to stay connected with family and friends is slowly increasing in popularity for older Australians. For those who struggle with using or accessing technology, there is a range of solutions available within the local North Shore community. Ku-ring-gai and Willoughby Council are offering digital literacy classes, beginner basics and mobile device usage tutoring.

Telstra Area General Manager, Tricia Wilson, spoke of the importance of programs like these in helping seniors build confidence in the digital world.

“We want everyone to thrive in the digital world, regardless of age, background, ability or where they live. These initiatives are about helping people learn how to unlock the benefits that come with being online, and also focuses on doing so in a safe way.”