Getting Older People Online
Thinking of buying Papa or Granny an ipad or tablet for Christmas? Then why don’t you?
Lots of older people, when asked about the Internet, say ‘that’s not for me’ or ‘I don’t need it’.
Here is a list of 10 good reasons and most exciting things about the Internet that will help people who aren’t online realise the benefits of getting connected.
1 – Skype – Phone calls are great, but phone calls with video are even better! By the time you’ve reached the age of 65+, you’ll likely have friends and family around the world. It might be hard to get to them, but keeping in touch via Skype is the next best thing. And most of the time, it’s free!
2 – Social media – Having conversations with family members is great, but what about their day-to-day life that they might not share in a Skype call or email? Social media, sites like Facebook, allow you to see what’s going on every day of the week. Whether your granddaughter is travelling around the world or getting ready for a party at home, you can see her photos and updates online.
3 – Shopping! – For every high street store and supermarket you love, there’s a website that makes the whole process easier! No more worrying about carrying the weekly shop home on the bus, or forgetting the most important item. By shopping online, you can plan properly, and the items are delivered to your door at the time you choose. There’s also a lot of money saving to be done online – some research suggests up to £440 each year!
4 – TV – With catch-up TV and on-demand film websites being so popular, the Internet puts an end to flicking through channels and finding something to watch, or settling for something you don’t enjoy. From iPlayer and ITV player, to LoveFilm and Netflix, there is something to suit everyone’s TV taste online.
5 – Rediscovery – Popular apps like Spotify and websites like YouTube open up hours of content. From comedy clips, to favourite albums from days of old – these searchable databases of entertainment can bring back memories for older Internet users, and reunite them with the songs and series’ of their youth, see www.facebook.com/OldAyrshireandArran
6 – Games – Keeping your mind sharp is important for older people, and there’s no way more enjoyable than playing games and quizzes to ensure that’s still the case! From crosswords and puzzles, to Candy Crush and Scrabble, hours of entertainment can be found online. Lots of games even let you play against friends and family around the world, no matter where they are, so games are a way to stay connected as well as have fun.
7 – Hobbies – Stamp collecting, pottery, horse riding, knitting, clay pigeon shooting, the list of hobbies that older people enjoy is endless. Unfortunately, due to health, mobility and circumstance, many are forced to give up their favourite activities in older age. However, apps and sites are here to help! Whatever your favourite pastime, you’ll be able to find an online version to enhance or replicate the experience. And if you’re in the market for a new hobby, the Internet can help you find plenty more!
8 – Learning – With a simple Google search, you can read up on almost any subject! Websites like free encyclopaedia Wikipedia, to many cultural museum and gallery sites, to lots of interest-focused blogs can answer any questions about the world you might have. For those who want to take their learning further, many universities also offer the lectures and notes from their courses online for free, and you can even participate in educational courses on the Internet, too!
9 – Staying healthy – It can be difficult to keep on top of eating the right foods and trying to exercise. There are lots of apps and websites that can help with this – helping you make sure that you get the right amount of nutrition each day, and to make sure that you can increase your heart rate, even if you just stay in your chair!
10 – Keeping up-to-date – Your favourite newspaper also has a website, much easier to read than those big sheets of paper they give you! Alongside this, all of your favourite TV news channels have websites, including BBC news and most of their stories are free. If you have more specialist interests, you’ll be able to stay in the loop with latest news and updates from these online, too.
If you think an older friend or family member is missing out by not having a tablet, smartphone or computer, this list might help you show them the exciting things that the Internet can add to their life.