Many older people are not online

We know that in the UK around 3 million people over 70 are not online and are therefore missing out on the benefits that being digitally connected has to offer. These can include essential day to day activities such as online shopping for food, and ordering prescriptions but also increasingly a lot of our social world and entertainment has moved online during the lockdown.

How can you help?

Do you have an old smartphone that you no longer use that you could wipe of data, clean and send? If they just want to make video calls or use social media this may be enough.

Could you speak to them about buying an internet enabled device? You would have to order it online for them as physical shops are closed.

Some things to consider

How will they connect?

Do they have a broadband connection? If not, then they would rely on a mobile signal. This is Somerset! Are they in a good signal area?! And there are costs involved in getting connected. Do they want to commit financially to paying for data or broadband?

Going online has its own risks

They’ll need a crash course on avoiding phishing, malware and scams. Age UK offers some useful advice on Staying Safe online.

Can you be patient enough to explain how to use these devices?

It is quite difficult to teach something new when you can’t be face-to-face.
We’ve got a ‘How to’ guides page which we hope can help

A device will only be any good if it works for them.

What will they use it for and is it easy to use?

Although your phone might be great for you, tiny icons might make it tricky to operate.

Go online for them

If getting your older relatives or friends online is unlikely there are still ways you can help using your online knowhow…..

Online Shopping

Although delivery slots from a supermarket are scarcer than hen’s teeth at the moment you can shop online on their behalf and arrange delivery to their homes (doorstep only of course!). Many online retailers are still in business think not only food but books, dvds, etc.

Online Research

Many local groups have formed to provide shopping delivery and other services. It is easier for those online (especially on Facebook and Nextdoor) to find out about these and then pass the information on by telephone. We have compiled a list of food services and voluntary groups which we are adding to all the time – this can be found on our In Your Area page.

If you want to share information but you haven’t got a printer, we can help.

If there is information from this website that you would like to post but you don’t have access to a computer, please get in touch! We will try to help.

Advice and resources from other sources: