Teaching the older generation some basic digital skills such as how to email and how to use social networking sites and search engines could help tackle the loneliness that is prevalent amongst many elderly people.
This is according to think tank the Policy Exchange, which has highlighted that around 40% of people aged 65 or over do not have access to the internet at home, and over 5 million have never used it at all.
Loneliness is a real problem for the elderly, and can be the cause of additional GP visits, hospitalisation and early admission into residential or nursing care.
Addressing this isolation could prove to be one of the most cost-effective strategies for countering the rising costs of caring for an ageing population, says Policy Exchange.
“In an increasingly isolated and fast moving world it is vital that everyone in society is able to use the internet and understand its benefits,” said report author Eddie Copeland.” From alleviating social isolation, bringing together communities, paying bills and now accessing public services, online can improve lives.”
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