Commissioned by Age UK campaigns team, Sue Linge
In an almost unbearably sad piece about the death of her husband, the journalist Decca Aitkenhead wrote that ‘loneliness, I have learnt, is not an absence of company. It is an absence of meaning.’
Age UK estimates that more than 1.2 million older people are lonely and that chronic loneliness is affecting a growing number of older people as the population ages. There are particular issues that mean older people are at risk from loneliness – such as bereavement, ill health and complex long term health conditions. Loneliness is an issue that we think deserves more focus and we highlight it in our manifesto for the 2017 General Election. We believe the new Government must take the lead in developing a national strategy to identify, prevent and tackle loneliness, especially but not exclusively among older people. Continue reading
This blog was contributed by David Mortimer, Head of Digital Inclusion, at Age Age UK.
For many years, local and national organisations have been working to support individuals learn how to use computers. Despite many good initiatives and easier to use technology, new approaches are needed to reach and support those at risk of being increasingly cut off from the public and commercial service offers which assume both access and the skills to use their products.
That this remains primarily an older person’s issue is no surprise, but most older people have joined the digital age and many are competent. Those who have been left out, or have chosen to be left out, are not a homogenous group with one catch-all solution.
The traditional approach of marketing the benefits of being online has a role, but will continue to miss the mark for the majority of ‘digitally excluded’ older people. With so many simply not seeing any relevance of engaging with technology to them, the benefits should be seamed through everyday interventions and social activities so that older people can make choices based on a better knowledge of how this technology can enhance their unique combination of interests and circumstances. Continue reading
Posted in Communities and inclusion, Consumers, Digital inclusion, Work and Learning
Tagged #digitalskills, @Go_ON_UK, Age UK, Age UK blog, Ageing, ageing population, ageing society, Communities and Inclusion, computers, consumers, Digital inclusion, digital skills, learning about technology, learning to use technology, learning to use the internet, older consumers, older people, technology and the internet, using computers, work and learning
Unlikely as it sounds, a recent 153 page legal decision about VAT returns could prove to be a turning point in the campaign to get recognition of the needs of many older people when it comes to using online services.
In what’s being hailed as a significant and closely watched decision, a judge has upheld the right of three small business owners not to file their VAT returns on line. Two of those who brought the court case have disabilities. The other lives in a remote part of the country without reliable broadband access.
In her ruling, the judge said it is a breach of the human rights act to require VAT forms to be filed online without exemption for older people, those with disabilities or who live in isolated parts of the country.
For Age UK, the decision is very welcome. Equal access to services not just for older people but everyone, has long been one of our core campaigning goals. Continue reading
Posted in Consumers, Digital inclusion, Equality and Human Rights, Money Matters
Tagged #HumanRights, Age UK, Age UK blog, Ageing, ageing population, ageing society, consumers, Digital inclusion, equal access to services, equality and human rights, filing VAT returns, filling out VAT forms, Human Rights, Human Rights Act, money matters, older consumers, older people, using technology, using the internet, VAT returns