Sunday 22 July 2018

Elderly people being 'left behind' as new report finds 50pc have never used the internet

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Elderly people in Ireland face being excluded as a new report has found that a large percentage have never used the internet, Age Action has warned.

The organisation is urging the Government to put more funding into digital training courses as it fears older people are missing out on opportunities.

Figures from Eurostat show 50pc of people in Ireland aged between 65 and 74 have never been online, compared with just 16pc in Britain.

Justin Moran, Head of Advocacy and Communications with Age Action, said: "An entire generation of older people is being left behind, cut off from all of the opportunities and benefits of being able to use the internet.

"Far fewer older people in Ireland are online compared with Britain and our other EU neighbours. As service providers like banks push customers to do their business online this is making it increasingly difficult for older people to get information and to access services."

Age Action runs its own computer training programme but Mr Moran says the resources are not there to cope with the demand.

In 2013, the Government described the number of people over 75 who are online as 'negligible'.

The report recommends increasing funding for the Digital Skills for Citizens Grant Scheme to €4.4 million in Budget 2019 to provide more training places and to improve the scheme's coverage in rural Ireland.

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