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Study: Nearly half of people over 65 feel uncomfortable using the Internet

"Many people over 65 tell us they feel left behind."

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By Astrid Cooper, 72Point via SWNS

Nearly half of those over the age of 65 are uncomfortable using the internet – and would rather do the weekly food shop, go to the bank and book a vacation with a travel agent in person.

A poll of 1,987 older people in the UK revealed that 45 percent don’t feel completely confident when using the internet.

As a result, 40 percent of those would rather run errands face-to-face than online, as well as browse their local garden center, shop for clothes in store and purchase train tickets at the station.

But this leaves them worried they are missing out on all the internet has to offer and the money it could save them.

It also emerged it’s not just financial concerns, as 42 percent of older people who have reservations about going online feel forgotten in a digital-first world.

The study was commissioned by Vodafone UK Foundation, which has teamed up with the charity, Independent Age, to launch ‘Hi Digital’ a program designed to help the over 65s develop their digital skills, save money and feel more connected.

The research found that 34 percent of over 65s who aren’t completely comfortable in an online world are more likely to feel stressed when services require a digital approach, like booking a doctor’s appointment through a website.

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Of those who believe they’d benefit from learning online skills, 41 percent feel they’ve been held back from doing so because they didn’t know where to look for help.

And, according to the OnePoll study, even if they feel confident using the internet 27 percent still feel they’d gain something from upskilling their digital knowledge.

It also emerged that 54 percent of those who have expressed doubt about fully embracing the digital world said it was due to concerns about scamming and online security.

Others worry about not knowing how to fix something if it goes wrong (49 percent) and finding the pace at which the digital world changes too hard to keep up with (38 percent).

Currently, only 26 percent feel very comfortable claiming benefits digitally, and just 45 percent could confidently book a doctor’s appointment or order a prescription online.

Simon Hewett-Avison, director of services at Independent Age, added: “Being online can come with many benefits, including potential savings which are never more needed than in the current cost-of-living crisis.

"But as technology continues to move at an ever-increasing pace, many people over 65 tell us they feel left behind.

"We’re working to ensure everyone has access to the support they need, in a way that works for them."

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