December 12 2013 Latest news:
Tuesday, September 17, 2013
From sending emails to watching videos of historical moments, older people living in Suffolk are among the most internet-savvy in the country, according to new research which shows more than half of people over 65 in the county are online.
The data has been taken from research by Age UK and shows 53% of over-65s in Suffolk use the internet, way above the average for England, which currently stands at 39%.
The figures place Suffolk as the fourth highest county for older people who are online, dubbed the silver surfers, but staff at the charity have stressed there is still more work to do to get others online and enjoying the benefits of the internet.
A spokesman for Age UK said: “47% of older people in the area are still not online and not able to do all of the things that the internet offers.
“With more and more government, local authorities and businesses moving services online, the research acts as a reminder that whilst Suffolk is doing better than most, more work still needs to be done to help others get online.”
In contrast to Suffolk, just under 47% of older people in Essex are online while in Norfolk, just 41.5% are using the internet.
The area with the lowest percentage of users was Tyne and Wear, with just 27.7%.
David Mortimer, Head of Digital Inclusion at Age UK, said: “We hope this data will highlight to the government, local authorities and businesses the work that needs to be done across the country to help older people to get online.
“More services from the private and public sectors are moving online in a bid to make significant cost savings.
“However if they want older people to use these services, they need to help them get online in the first place with tailored and on-going support.”
The findings have come as Age UK launches its annual ITea and Biscuits Week, which it is hoped will encourage more people to sign up and try the technology for themselves. Officials believe the internet will offer huge benefits to the over 65s, with research also suggesting those who are online are three times less likely to report being lonely than those who are offline.
If you would like more information about ITea and Biscuits, or to find an event taking place near you, call 0800 169 20 81 or visit www.ageuk.org.uk/itea-and-biscuits