Far from being ‘past it’, nation’s over 75s are tech savvy ‘gadget-holics’
A study of 2,000 adults who have a relative aged 75 and over found 30 per cent claim their homes are brimming with the latest gizmos – bucking the stereotype that they shy away from technology.
The average person in this age bracket is proficient at using smartphones, laptops and streaming services. While 28 per cent use WhatsApp and 19 per cent can happily make and receive video calls.
However, 28 per cent said their older relatives have little-to-no understanding of how to use modern technologies, with a further 23 per cent not particularly tech orientated.
The research was commissioned by the mobile phone company Three UK, which is offering over 75s free digital training sessions in its stores across the country on Sunday 14th May.
Spokesperson Craig Miller said: “The research shows how older adults have embraced technology in an increasingly digital world.
“However, it’s not easy for everyone and many people might not have someone close to them who has time to show them how to use new things.
“What the research shows is the capability of older adults to learn how to use anything from a smart speaker to smart doorbell.
“As we prepare to celebrate the Coronation, we have seen how King Charles has taken on a new role, so there’s no reason why others his age can’t adjust to something new, too.”
Staying connected – using modern tech
Of those who are technically proficient, relatives have seen them watch videos on YouTube, send videos via messaging apps and played online games such as crosswords.
And 38 per cent believe their family member goes against the stereotype older people can’t use tech.
While one in six (15 per cent) have gone as far as taking on a form of training, with 45 per cent of those taking a computer class.
However, of all over 75s, 51 per cent are capable of using things like smart speakers and apps.
Respondents polled via OnePoll have attempted to teach their relatives how to access a smartphone or tablet and answer phone and video calls.
More than a third (36 per cent) would like to learn more about using modern technologies in order to stay connected with their families, keep their brain ticking over and to keep up with an ever-changing world.
Yet, one in five respondents don’t believe there’s enough opportunity for older generations to use new tech.
Family members are most commonly relied upon when it comes to education on modern developments, though luckily, 73 per cent reckon they could confidently teach an older person how to use a smartphone.
Three UK, Customers of Three UK can sign up to their free digital training sessions in their nearest store, spokesperson Craig Miller added: “It’s entirely understandable why certain technologies could seem daunting to someone older who’s not spent their whole life in a digital age.
“However, we really want to give those over 75 an opportunity to brush up on their skills – or learn from scratch – how to use things like mobile phones and computers.”
Top 10 tech advances over 75s are comfortable with
5. Desktop computer
6. Video calls
7. DAB Radio
8. Streaming services, e.g., YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Prime, etc.
9. Smart meter
10. Online food shopping