Family carers need to be on the internet

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Family carers need to be on the internet

Postby wendy » 19 Nov 2013, 22:20

Official Internet Access Stats Are Grim, But the Real Picture is Grimmer
The recent ONS stats revealing that 14% of British adults - a staggering 7 million people - have never used the internet made for grim reading.

Hard to imagine a life without Facebook, Skype or email, isn't it? Especially when even the tiniest of toddlers can intuitively master apps on their parents' smartphones and tablets. But for technophobic older people, mention URLs, browsers or cursors, and you might as well be speaking a foreign language.

But the sad reality is that digital isolation affects many more than 7 million adults. Two years ago, if you asked my mum (who is in her 70s) if she was online, she would have answered yes - because she had a computer and she'd used the internet. But I can assure you she wasn't because, at that time, she needed me to sit beside her just to make a Skype call.

Having access to the internet and being able to access the internet are two different things.

Many more than 7 million of us aren't getting all the benefits of being online - whether that's social contact, saving money or saving time - because not everyone knows how to use technology properly.

It's a big concern that millions are still either scared to use or not clued up on the benefits of internet and technology in a country where super fast broadband is so high on the government agenda.

The very people who could benefit most from internet access are the least connected. For the elderly, the internet could vastly improve their quality of life if they knew how to order online shopping, access health advice, save money on utility bills and combat loneliness by connecting with others.

My hunch is that if the stats reflected the gravity of the problem we face, then many more entrepreneurs would look at this as a big opportunity and jump in to build innovative solutions. And that'll make the real difference.

Right now, every time the ONS internet access update comes out, I face the challenge of explaining to well-meaning investors why the opportunity for Breezie - a tablet service designed to get older people who've never used the internet online - is not declining.

Actually, getting people online is a moving target because more and more services are getting online too. And the pace at which services are moving online (take Gov.uk as an example) seems to be much faster than the speed at which the digitally isolated Britain is coming online.

Simply put, a majority of the benefits individuals, businesses and governments can get by people being online cannot be realised until 100% of the population are internet users. If the government needs to keep their legacy channels open for even one traditional transaction, we all lose. If business cannot get to 100% paper free, we all lose.

In this regard, I desperately want these stats to become redundant. I'm waiting for a day when the ONS doesn't need to measure how many people are online and instead focus on how they are online.

The stats reveal a gender barrier as well as an age barrier to internet access, with men (88%) more likely to have used the internet than women (84%). Part of the problem is convincing people, and women in particular, that they need internet, as much as making 'alien' technology more familiar.

To sign off on a high note, there is a positive way to look at these stats. For every Briton who is not online, there are several people who can convince them to be online. Imagine sharing your Wi-Fi with an elderly neighbour, or taking your tablet to them and arranging a Skype video chat with their son in Australia, or their grandkids in Hong Kong.

One day, the ONS will announce they are discontinuing their quarterly internet access update and start issuing new stats, perhaps an internet usage update. Until then, we'll continue the fight to get older people using the internet every day.


Follow Jeh Kazimi on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/getbreezie
http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/jeh-kaz ... 96628.html
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Re: Family carers need to be on the internet

Postby Jeanne » 20 Nov 2013, 09:15

I would be lost without the internet these days. x Jeanne
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Re: Family carers need to be on the internet

Postby maureenho » 20 Nov 2013, 10:15

One of the biggest problems is many people have Internet access now but so many don't have a clue how to use it but do nothing about it, like going to Library and take a course of lessons, some are petrified others just do not want to learn.
The one's who do nothing about it are getting left behind and are missing out on so much, anyone can learn something new whatever their age.

It's a big concern that millions are still either scared to use or not clued up on the benefits of internet and technology in a country where super fast broadband is so high on the government agenda.
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Re: Family carers need to be on the internet

Postby annie » 20 Nov 2013, 10:22

You can take a horse to water but cannot make it drink
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Re: Family carers need to be on the internet

Postby JaneJ » 20 Nov 2013, 11:03

I don't know how they can manage without it.

I may not be the most computer literate but if it meant learning or asking for help to improve things for me I would definitely do it.
xx
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Re: Family carers need to be on the internet

Postby daisy » 20 Nov 2013, 12:05

As an older carer (73) I am really glad to have internet.  Years ago I went to the library for a short course entitled "Introduction to internet and email".  It was very basic but I used it as a starting point.  My computer skills are still very basic!

I think it is too easy to say things like "they don't want to learn" or "anyone can learn something new whatever their age" or "you can take a horse to the water but you cannot make it drink".

To be quite honest, I am a little upset that on a carer support website no-one so far seems to have recognised that carers get swallowed up in 24/7 caring role so that it is impossible to go to courses, etc.  I know that nowadays I would not be able to go to the library course! 

Another point I would like to make is - it seems to me that many of you on Chill have informal support with new technology, people who can help you if you have computer problems, or maybe it's simply that  you are all so much younger.

I don't have that kind of support - I would love to treat myself to a nice new mobile phone but do not have the confidence to make the change in case I get in a muddle and can't get it to work!
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Re: Family carers need to be on the internet

Postby maureenho » 20 Nov 2013, 12:43

I had a very intensive 24/7 caring role for many many years to the point of it being a Nursing role, I was at one point caring for 2 people but I used the Internet to learn and I still do, this enabled me to find help and solutions which helped me with my caring role, there are many free on line courses carers can do at their own pace should they wish to.

http://www.gcflearnfree.org/computers

To be quite honest, I am a little upset that on a carer support website no-one so far seems to have recognised that carers get swallowed up in 24/7 caring role so that it is impossible to go to courses, etc.  I know that nowadays I would not be able to go to the library course!
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Re: Family carers need to be on the internet

Postby Misspears » 20 Nov 2013, 15:52

I've got the grandchildren to help me I can see them rolling their eyes at me,when I ask them something,I've learnt a lot since I've been on chill,I didn't know how to copy and paste,till mo put a link on,there is still things I would like to learn

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Re: Family carers need to be on the internet

Postby wendy » 20 Nov 2013, 15:57

Daisy,
First of all I am more or less the same age as you, and everyone will be sick of me repeating that we all learnt to use the internet on Chill.
We helped each other and learnt as we went along.
I am always grateful to good old 'google' and still use it today to learn new things.
As regards me posting this on our forum, I have to try and find different posts which I think will help whoever wants to benefit from them.
On a personal note, I was furious with the article, and wanted to share with everyone on Chill.  I feel so strongly that having the internet is useless unless lessons are provided.
My hope is that the big Internet Providers will step in here to help the family carer.
You may know by now that my ambition is for governements to listen to what carers need and I feel that having a PC or laptop will be a great help to ease the isolation felt by so many.

To be quite honest, I am a little upset that on a carer support website no-one so far seems to have recognised that carers get swallowed up in 24/7 caring role so that it is impossible to go to courses, etc.  I know that nowadays I would not be able to go to the library course! 

Another point I would like to make is - it seems to me that many of you on Chill have informal support with new technology, people who can help you if you have computer problems, or maybe it's simply that  you are all so much younger.
Last edited by wendy on 20 Nov 2013, 17:05, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Family carers need to be on the internet

Postby annie » 20 Nov 2013, 16:19

Daisy, I am 66 and like Wendy, learnt most of my computer skills on chill. I have no access to tech support from family or friends. I have learnt so much from this forum, but have had to work at it & once I learnt a new thing, I had to practice it every day sot hat I would remember what to do, I also used to write instructions out in long hand so that I could go through things blow by  & they are also there for future reference
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Re: Family carers need to be on the internet

Postby maureenho » 20 Nov 2013, 17:42

The very reason we campaign for computers4carers is to give carers the opportunity to connect to the outside world, and with that they need to learn how to use the facilities that are out there to get the benefit from it.

My late mum learned how to use a computer at 82 years old and she used it till she was 89, she did her own online shopping, banking, emails, play games and much more, there was an article about her using computer in Yours mag about 5-6 years ago, I will have to find it.

Misspears if you want to learn something else please feel free to ask when you feel ready and have a little time to spare.

A few months ago I did an online course on how to teach basic computer skills and would be happy to help.
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Re: Family carers need to be on the internet

Postby daisy » 20 Nov 2013, 18:04

Thank you - I agree with what everyone says regarding learning new things on Chill, or any other source for learning,  but the point I was trying to make was that in the first place you need to get on line so that you can get started - if I was at that point right now I would not know how to get started so could not access Chill or any other form of on-line help as I would not be able to attend any kind of course to get started.
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Re: Family carers need to be on the internet

Postby wendy » 20 Nov 2013, 18:13

and that is exactly what I am shouting about on twitter and facebook.
Carers need help, and why cant the Internet providers realize the need for carers and give us some help across the UK.
Nothing at all to do with me, or chill, but they could step in and help carers get training in their own home.
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Re: Family carers need to be on the internet

Postby Honey » 21 Nov 2013, 01:49

I agree with daisy on this subject.
I have very little time to spend on the computer these days due to caring and working.
I am grateful for it for shopping as I cant get out much.
as for learning how to do many things on the computer, I wish I could have time to do this.
unfortunately I don't have or get the time to spend learning how to use the computer better.
hu**** to daisy.
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Re: Family carers need to be on the internet

Postby wendy » 21 Nov 2013, 08:35

Well we may as well close chill down then.  I thought we helped one another.
I thought this was the whole ethos of our community.
Daisy needs help, I am willing to help her, and I thought we would all feel the same way.
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Re: Family carers need to be on the internet

Postby daisy » 21 Nov 2013, 10:59

Wendy - unfortunately you are all misunderstanding my post which was a comment on the article at the beginning of this thread not a comment on Chill.  If you read my post, I am not criticising Chill - the point I was making as a comment on the article was that the only way people can benefit from internet is by getting started in the first place.  Many carers cannot leave their caree to go to library or anywhere else to get the help with starting up.  Of course Chill provides help but no-one can benefit from that help if they cannot get on line in the first place. 
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Re: Family carers need to be on the internet

Postby maureenho » 21 Nov 2013, 11:01

I would like to point out this board is PUBLIC and anyone can read it, the subject is not just for chill and it's members but for the general public to read as well. 

It's not just for CARERS it's for everyone else, it's just highlighting the need and importance of the Internet, the world is changing.
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Re: Family carers need to be on the internet

Postby daisy » 21 Nov 2013, 11:09

I agree Mo - Chill is available to all who can switch on and log into the internet. 
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Re: Family carers need to be on the internet

Postby wendy » 21 Nov 2013, 11:52

Wendy - unfortunately you are all misunderstanding my post which was a comment on the article at the beginning of this thread not a comment on Chill.  If you read my post, I am not criticising Chill - the point I was making as a comment on the article was that the only way people can benefit from internet is by getting started in the first place.  Many carers cannot leave their caree to go to library or anywhere else to get the help with starting up.  Of course Chill provides help but no-one can benefit from that help if they cannot get on line in the first place. 


thanks for explaining Daisy, and you make my job of shouting about this major problem much easier.
I apologise if you thought I had misunderstood.
Family carers need help to learn how to use the internet, and the government seems to have forgotten that many cannot leave their homes.
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Re: Family carers need to be on the internet

Postby blackdog2 » 21 Nov 2013, 12:22

lala@@ lala@@ m1ar xmas19 Sad to relate that I do not come on here as much as I should but I cannot for the life of me understand some of the negativity! I am 79, had no computer training but picked it up as I went, there are many good hints and tips on here, the BBC have a good website. It is definitely easier to have a go yourself if you remember that you cannot lose or foul anything up. I had never had a mobile phone but now I am on my own I have just bought one and at the moment I don't even know how to turn it on but I will learn, I run two websites, I publish at least 12 articles per month, I run 2 Carers Groups and work as a volunteer for Age UK with Dementia sufferers. I have listed this not to blow my trumpet but because there is no need for apathy or negativity, get up and get on with it, there are lots of people willing to help if you ask. I have just lost my wife after being her Carer for 29 years, 24 of which were 24/7, so if I could do it so can you! I have also organised a Carers Rights day event for the Norwich area on the 29th. November at Costessey Community Centre from 10-00 until 14-00 with over 30 stalls for advice and help. So come on all you doubters, to ask for help is common sense, it is not an admission of failure. If you want to do it you will!
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Re: Family carers need to be on the internet

Postby daisy » 21 Nov 2013, 13:21

Thank you Wendy - Daisy xx
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