Doing digital in later life: a practical guide

The Greater Manchester Combined Authority and Good Things Foundation have joined forces to produce a brand-new practical guide to support more people to get online and benefit from doing digital in later life.

Research shows that the thought of getting online can be intimidating for people in later life & they may need support and guidance from someone close to them to do so. 93,000 over 75s are digital excluded in Greater Manchester with a third never having used the internet. Research shows that the pandemic hasn’t led to a big rise in over 75s going online.

That is why this new guide has been designed for anyone from relatives and friends to carers and front-line workers to help them get started and support someone they know to do digital in later life. The content has been produced with organisations supporting older people in Greater Manchester and with input from older people. It also recognises the wider digital and technological exclusion many over 75s experience, such as those unable to heat food because their microwave is so complicated, or to use their digital central heating systems so are carrying a portable heater from room to room.

Download doing digital in later life: a practical guide (Adobe PDF, 225KB)

Watch the full doing digital in later life: a practical guide animation (external website)

Download the doing digital in later life: a practical guide communication toolkit

The guide makes clear there’s no one size fits all when it comes to going digital in later life. You don’t need to be a technical whizz to help an older person do things online – being patient and encouraging is what matters most.

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The guide advises that a good starting point is to find out what interests the person and what experience they’ve already had of digital. Older people must feel strongly motivated if they are to give digital a go. It’s important to focus on real-life relevance not formal digital training, helping people do the things they want to do and building confidence. The guide recommends one to one support is best, ideally with the same individual.

This guide has been produced as part of the Greater Manchester digital inclusion ambitions. Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham is committed to tackling the digital divide in for residents across Greater Manchester.

As part of his Mayoral Manifesto commitments, Andy Burnham set out ambitions for Greater Manchester to become one of the first city-regions in the world to equip all under-25s, over-75s and disabled people with the skills, connectivity, and technology to get online. This guide is one of the ways Greater Manchester is working to support more residents over the age of 75s to participate digitally.

Find further resources on the Good Things Foundation website.