How tech changed Christmas for older people

By Aisling King, AbilityNet volunteer, Northern Ireland

A lady helping an older lady with her smartphoneLong-standing AbilityNet volunteer, David Brew, recently helped an 83-year-old woman, ‘Pauline’ from Belfast, connect with her family through Christmas with the use of technology. 

Pauline always looked forward to her weekly social events within the community and due to Covid-19, everything was brought to a standstill. 

“Being socially active was something that I really enjoyed and with the pandemic, it really hit me hard as I found myself feeling very lonely with no one to talk to for days,” says Pauline. 

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She added: “When I heard about AbilityNet and the FREE technology services that they offered, I immediately thought this is just what I need to get my social life back.” 

Helping to Tackle loneliness and isolation

This year, research has found that twice the number of people than normal spent Christmas alone as a result of Covid-19 and this was especially high among those aged over 65 with 4.2 million who claimed to have never used the internet. 

“Thanks to David, I can now zoom call my sister overseas, exchange emails with friends and do some shopping online," said Pauline.

Read our blog on how technology can help tackle loneliness and isolation


Pauline added: "It’s amazing to know this technology is accessible to the older generation, especially now when we need it the most."

David Brew from AbilityNet responded by saying “It is very heartwarming to see so many clients learning new tech skills so they can stay in touch with their loved ones when isolation is high. Families are all coming together and staying connected where possible which is amazing.” 

How AbilityNet can help

AbilityNet supports older and disabled people to adapt technology to their needs.

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