May 17, 2011

UK: Internet 'has improved life for over-55s'

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EDINBURGH, Scotland / Scotsman / Health / Internet / May 17, 2011

By Jane Bradley

OLDER people believe having access to the internet has improved their lives and allows them to keep pace with modern life.

Four out of five internet users aged over 55 said they felt they were better off as a result of being computer literate, while 81 per cent said it made them feel part of modern society.

The survey was carried out by Digital Unite - an organisation which specialises in supporting older people to use digital technologies - as part of a week-long drive to encourage older people to go online.   (Photo courtesy: ruralgateway.org.uk)

Emma Solomon, its managing director, said: "This survey confirms what we have long suspected; that having access to digital technology and being equipped with the skills to use it, can bring about life transformation and enhance people's health and wellbeing."

According to the survey, one in eight people said they felt younger by being online, while 72 per cent believed that using the internet could help reduce feelings of isolation.

Martha Lane Fox, the government's UK digital champion, said: "If everyone in the UK took the time to show an offline family, friend or neighbour the benefits of being online, we'd be very close to enabling millions more people to enjoy life online."

©2011 Johnston Press Digital Publishing