The Centre for Ageing Better carries out additional activities and projects outside of our main topic areas. These all support us achieving our overall vision.
Inequalities in Later Life
The Centre for Ageing Better has commissioned the University of Newcastle to conduct a scoping review of the research evidence on the scale, nature and influences of inequalities in later life.
This review, which will inform and underpin our future work, will enable us to understand the areas of later life where inequalities are greatest. It will also allow us to help us identify the most promising opportunities to intervene to narrow these inequalities.
Harnessing the benefits of digital
We want more people to use digital technology that helps them enjoy a good later life.
We are focusing on finding new solutions, starting offline rather than online, that help people use digital technology in the ways that they want to. There are already plenty of existing ‘mainstream’ products and services online that people in later life could use to do things that they want or need to do. We are therefore starting from the demand-side, and we are not currently considering developing new digital products or solutions.
Why work on it?
We know that people aged 65 and over are significantly less likely to be online than younger people. According to the latest ONS report on internet use in the UK, approximately 40% of people aged 65 and over have not used the internet in the last 3 months, compared to only 4% of people between 16 and 64.
The internet is an important way – increasingly, the main way – of connecting to people, services and information. We believe that helping people in later life to get online in the ways that they want will help them maintain their independence, social connections, access to financial information and other services. With job searches and the best deals now largely online, staying connected is also important for both earning and saving money. Equally, there are growing risks that people will lose out in terms of access to entitlements (such as pensions or health care) and financial services as these become ‘digital by default’.
Our current focus is on how best to support people in later life to use the internet to access information, advice and services that they want and need. We will work with people in later life – including those who have used the internet in the past but have now stopped – to understand the ways they want to use the internet and the barriers they face, and develop new approaches to helping them.
As we develop our work on each of the other topics, we will continue to explore how new technology can help people enjoy a good later life.