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The New Dynamics of Ageing Volume 1$
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Alan Walker

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781447314721

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447314721.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM POLICY PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.policypress.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Policy Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PPSO for personal use.date: 25 September 2021

Fit for purpose

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(p.169) Nine Fit for purpose
The New Dynamics of Ageing Volume 1

Leela Damodaran

Wendy Olphert

Jatinder Sandhu

Policy Press

Globally, older people have tended to be relatively slow adopters of ICTs. As services and facilities are increasingly delivered online, concerns about the implications for social inclusion and participation have spawned many initiatives aimed at encouraging older peoples' digital engagement. However little attention has been paid to whether and how their usage can be sustained over time. This chapter describes the research undertaken in the Sus-IT project, which sought to address this gap. The aims were to examine older people’s use of information and communication technologies (ICTs), to identify the factors which can prevent or promote sustained use, and to explore solutions to support sustained use. A participatory, mixed methods approach was adopted, and around 1000 older ICT users were involved in the research. The findings show that while many older people are enthusiastic, competent and confident users of ICTs, they also report a range of challenges in reaching and maintaining this position. These include technological complexity and change, age-related capability changes and a lack of appropriate learning and support mechanisms. Intrinsic motivation and social support are important in enabling older people to overcome these challenges. The important implications of the findings for policy and practice are discussed.

Keywords:   ICT use, older people, digital engagement, learning and support

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