Embracing the Digital World

How Bernicia Living is Laying the Foundations for Digital Inclusion

Embracing the digital world can be particularly transformative for older adults, offering numerous benefits that can profoundly impact their quality of life.

Digital inclusion helps to alleviate issues stemming from isolation by enabling older people to connect with friends and family through video calls, social media, and instant messaging.

As we advance into a society where access to services and information is increasingly online-first, empowering people to navigate the internet is vital.

Online platforms can provide a wealth of resources, from managing healthcare and accessing government services to enjoying entertainment and pursuing lifelong learning.

Moreover, getting online fosters a sense of independence and engagement in the digital age, allowing older people to actively participate in modern life and continue contributing to society.

It’s clear that closing the digital divide for older adults is not only about tech-savviness but also about enriching lives with the connections and conveniences of the 21st century.

While more older people are getting online than ever before, a significant number are still disconnected from this valuable resource.

In fact, Age UK estimates that nearly 6 million people over the age of 65 still don’t know how to access the internet safely – or are not online at all.

This means there’s still work to be done to help people access the web safely, with all of the benefits it can provide.

Bernicia Living is making this a priority in the coming year.

We’re going to look at high speed internet in our communal locations for a start, so that over the next couple of years, all our social spaces benefit from internet access.

Over the next 12 months, IT equipment will be installed in some locations, with an emphasis on collaborating with partner organisations to work with our tenants to help them get safely online.

Breaking down barriers between older people and technology is paramount to levelling the playing field so that our tenants can really enjoy the benefits of the digital age we live in.

This also ties in with our continued drive to ensure we provide a diverse modern service offering for our age-exclusive communities.

The proof will be in the outcomes we achieve, and this will be measured by how many tenants we reach, and the success we have in converting them from non-users to digital champions.

Another exciting year for Bernicia Living is forecast, so stay tuned for more important updates and feedback from our service.

Paul White, Head of Service (Bernicia Living)