Tech help for older people: partnering with Age UK

AbilityNet has worked with Age UK to help close the digital inclusion gap for older people in Wilshire in the wake of Covid-19 through a pilot called Click & Connect.

The pilot, which included Age UK, AbilityNet and Wiltshire Sight, explored barriers to technology among older people and has boosted confidence in using technology.

Barriers to using technology among older people

According to a report by Age UK, among older people (52+) who’d like to use the internet more, the biggest perceived barrier is a lack of digital skills, according to a report by Age UK. Among over 75s, some 79% reference a lack of digital skills.

Age remains a significant barrier to being online, with 77% of over 70s having Very Low digital engagement, said Age UK
The main barriers Age UK identified at the pilot’s start were:

  • Affordability
  • Accessibility
  • Motivation
  • Skills and confidence
For support with technology call our free helpline on 0800 048 7642

Successful connections: boosting confidence through a partnership

Text reads 72.7% said Click & Connect helped them overcome their lack of confidence. Includes a picture of a laptop and the Age UK Wiltshire logo on screen.AbilityNet worked to support the pilot’s aims to help older people identify and achieve their goals in accessing and using technology. Specifically, we conducted a basic IT skills audit for older people in the pilot and provided 1-2-1 support.

Confidence was the most significant barrier to using technology (69% cited this at the outset).

However, one year later, people’s confidence had significantly increased, with participants citing a level of 6.4 out of ten compared to 3.8 at the project’s start.

As a result of Click & Connect, 72% said they’d overcome a lack of confidence.

“I was frustrated with my computer, but now I know how to do simple things like remove icons. Click & Connect are very patient and don’t use jargon, perfect for when you are over 90!” said Jeanne, 90 from Malmesbury. 

Who we helped through Click & Connect

AbilityNet specialises in helping disabled, and older people use technology through our volunteer network and free online tools, and so this was a perfect partnership.

The Click & Connect pilot reached 76 people, of whom 50 have received help with their technology issues. We helped support people aged 50-90 with the majority (51.5% aged 75-84).

The majority, three out of four, were women. 

For support with technology call our free helpline on 0800 048 7642

Of those we helped, the majority achieved their goals; in 67% of the cases, the client’s goals were either reached or success anticipated. Where participants didn’t achieve their goals, this was because a family member intervened (27%). 

Overall the pilot proved a need for the service. 

How AbilityNet can Help