Internet Access or lack of it for seniors

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2 months ago (6:17 PM)
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Comments:

A Jones

maybe a band of younger volunteers in local libraries to help older residents with access help.
However I have neighbours in their 70s enbrassing technology.

rjbrooks

I find that the pressure to use computers all the time is not good. Although I am writing these comments on computer I would far rather talk on a telephone or face to face to someone as this is quite a solitary method. How many times are we told that 'the computer is down' or is 'going slowly' etc. if we finally get to try and use one? Then there are the password and PIN numbers which we are not supposed to write down. As we get older these are more difficult to remember too and are we really able to trust other people to do our banking for us? I have come across young people who are also reluctant to use computers so it is not just a 'Senior' problem. I we do have to use cash machines for banking then why are they not all standard? Likewise the self serve checkouts? Personally I think that we should all use counter staff again as by using machines we are all enabling the banks and shops to no longer need as many staff. If we use a self service check out we should get a reduction in the cost of our shopping. I realise all these young mothers probably have access to the Internet through their phones but I feel sorry for the children in their buggies who would love to be talked to by their mother or father instead.

AlisonPrice

Online banking is an interesting topic because there are many things you simply cannot do over the internet, probably for security reasons. Therefore, I still regularly use my local bank, in person. For example:
- If I want to pay in a cheque in a foreign currency, I have to go up to the counter and speak to a member of staff. The machines don't accept cheques in foreign currency.
- If I want to set up a standing order, I have to fill in a paper form and post it/deliver it to my bank or to the person/organisation I want to pay. I can use the internet to cancel a standing order, but, to set up a new one, I have to do it the old-fashioned way.
- I also have to use paper or my local branch to set up a direct debit. I could set one up over the internet if I went to the trouble to order a personal card-reader machine to be delivered to my home. Obviously, it's more practical just to do things the traditional way.
- Until recently, I could not get a bank statement with my address on it unless I went to my local branch or received statements by post. My latest online statement DOES show my postal address, but my statements are only available every 3 months. Therefore, I often go to my branch and ask for a print-out so that I have something up-to-date to show to officials.

General Genius

Not everyone can get their head round the internet, and as age and memory deficits progress it can become impossible. You don't remember passwords or names of site, captchas are impossible, entering the 9th digit from you secret password followed by the primary letter of your cousin's dog's blood group can be overwhelming. I taught many people how to use the net in their later years and they mostly forget everything. Secure details are written in big letters and taped to the pc and it is a security nightmare. There comes a point when we cannot do all the things we used to be able to do let alone llearn new alien things. This default to digital is excluding people. It is not progress.

rjbrooks

Further to my comments previously regarding 'Seniors', my mother who is 94 was being asked questions by a young doctor concerning her memory. She was puzzled by one question but when I suggested that the doctor rephrased it in an 'old fashioned' way, Mum answered it with no problem. I think there are too many jargon words being introduced in to our language which older people do not understand. I think using 'simple' words would be a lot easier for us oldies. Our life used to be so much less complicated without computers and mobile telephones. I can even still read a map!

AlisonPrice

I'm 32 and I definitely prefer a paper map over anything on the internet. I went to a course in an unfamiliar part of town and I was very glad I brought my dog-eared paper bus map. Looking at a map is instant, whereas using my phone involves entering my password and searching for a map and waiting for it to load over the internet...by the time I had done all that, I would have missed my bus-stop. My internet-savvy neighbours were so keen on my "A-Z" book that I bought them one for a present! I still use my "A-Z" book on a near-daily basis. I use maps on my phone now and again, but far less frequently.

alggomas

Hang on a minute why should an OAP HAVE to apply online?
This is not right.
What about some with slight shakes?
There should be a postal option.
The Post Office is wrong in this case [so if applicable is the government].
This is not about IT for the aged which I would welcome. This is about officialdom who have not planned anything but force people to change even if they do not have a computer.

AlisonPrice

They should give you the option to apply on paper or in person. It's easy for them to do. They either:
print the form, let you fill it in and then enter the information from your form onto the internet
OR
ask you all the questions on the form one by one in person, filling in your answers on their computer.
Yes, it would take them a little more time and effort than they would like.
The local library can be very helpful with internet things. If the Post Office won't help, ask at the library. They might do one of the things I suggested above.
100% agree the Post Office SHOULD do it for you.

livehere

Westminster City Council is now 'online by default', leaving too many people without access.

jkeery

This is the obvious role for libraries, which in other respects are becoming less relevant to many people who have easy access to books and publications.

AlisonPrice

My late mum used to go to the library to use the computer. At first, I taught her. She went from having a phobia of computers to being able to go to the library and do her thing on her own. The staff at the library were very helpful: if the computer froze or she pressed the wrong button, they would willingly come to her computer and help her to put things right.
This is yet another example of how the library helps people to help themselves, giving a hand up, rather than a hand out. So I think it's really DAFT that libraries have been closing and reducing their hours under the Conservatives. It's a false economy.

General Genius

Mental agility and memory decline as we get older and it is harder to learn new things. I taught both parents the same things over and over again on the computer, and then there comes a point when dementia starts and they can,t do these things at all. We have to acknowkedge that there will always be a margin of older people who for cognitive reasons, or failing vision, whatever, will not be able to use digital media.
Getting "help" with things like online banking has often turned out to be opening themselves up to fraud.

Shaunaaaa

It's not only about the youth that can't help the seniors with all that digital stuff. My grandma disclaim iPad given as a birthday gift. Even while the good friend of her uses laptops for reading some culinary books without (!!) Internet access. She doesn't want it and that all. "I don't need another bill to pay for useless thing"

AlisonPrice

I agree technology has a way of making life more expensive.

rjbrooks

Hurrah, someone else who uses old fashioned maps. You can't beat an Ordnance Survey map. You can even borrow them from libraries. I presume TFL still produces bus maps - I hope so anyway as mine are getting rather tatty. We do use them too. Recently we caught a train to Waterloo East and were going to catch the Tube but then discovered a bus ran from there, over Waterloo Bridge to Kings Cross railway station. It was so much more fun than the Tube.

jane77

There are couple providers like CheapInternet who offer special terms&prices for seniors. As for me, it's the duty of adult children to help parents with paying bills, including mobile, 3g/4g, wi-fi etc.
On the other hand we are faced the bigger problem: while young generation "can't imagine the life without WWW", but continuing to use it mostly for online-shopping and entertainment, the elders are suffering from the lack of communication. Is it normal?
The other problem was shown in article http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/mary-walton/is-it-legal-to-buy-an-ess_b_...

livehere

But so many seniors, these days, are having to help with financial support for their adult children.

livehere

That buying an essay problem. Someone I know is a proof reader, and was asked by an MA student from overseas who was studying in London to proof-read an essay and a dissertation. They did the proof-reading, but the student was not satisfied. It turned out that 'proof-read' is code for 'rewrite and improve all of it'. When my friend indignantly refused to do any such thing, the student was both surprised and a bit angry. He was used to both buying essays and having them half-written by other people.