Mind the digital gap report published
Age UK London is campaigning for urgent action to address the profound challenges of digital exclusion impacting the daily lives of thousands of older Londoners. The gap between those with and without access to the internet is widening and the capital is at risk of witnessing a growing digitally excluded underclass.
Internet providers, the Mayor of London and Local Authorities all have crucial roles to play and action is needed more than ever. Accelerating access to digital skills training to increase confidence online would make the single biggest difference.
New report: Mind the digital gap
These calls for action are among several recommendations in Age UK London’s new report on internet use and digital exclusion in London. Published in July 2021, the report ‘Mind the digital Gap: older Londoners and internet use during the pandemic’ looks at older Londoners’ internet usage and reveals that:
• Over 200,000 older Londoners over 75 do not use the internet at all
• One in four of older Londoners over 65 would like to use the internet more
• Just 20% aged 75+ reported using the internet more during the pandemic
Contrary to the belief that the pandemic has seen an acceleration in internet use amongst older people the report shows that just 20% of Londoners aged 75 and over reported using the internet more during the pandemic. 10% used it less.
The experience of Age UKs and older Londoners
“I am old and trying hard, but feel completely excluded from life by all the digitisation.” Older person.
The report also includes the stories of older Londoners speaking about their experiences and finds that learning new digital skills was crucial to increasing confidence when using the internet. A lack of trust, particularly when it came to the fear of being a victim of a scam, was also a significant barrier for many.
“I don’t feel confident learning digital skills, but if someone will show me step by step, I would be willing to learn. Everything is now online so even if I have to report a repair at home, I don’t know how to, but it would make my life easier to know how to use the website. But I will never use online banking because I’m scared.” Older person.