Information technology

Silver surfers embracing the Internet

A new report shows older people are going online on a daily basis, aided by new devices and fast broadband.

An overwhelming 72 per cent of those surveyed in the nbnTM, GranTechies Report said they could not imagine their life without the Internet and 93 per cent said they went online every day.

A total of 85 per cent used access to fast broadband for a range of tasks, including using email or Skype to link-in with family and friends, online shopping (59 per cent), and downloading or streaming video content (24 per cent).

Older Australians go digital

Older Australians are embracing digital life with nearly four in five people (80 percent) aged 65 and over online, a new government report reveals.

That figure represents an upward trend, as four years ago only 65 per cent of older Australians were online.

The report Digital lives of older Australians, published by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), explores the extent of online engagement of Australians aged 65 plus.

Scam surveys and fake gift card offers

Consumer watchdog the ACCC is warning people to be on the alert for scams offering fake gift cards or vouchers in return for disclosing credit card and other personal information.

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission deputy chair Delia Rickard said that so far this year, the ACCC's Scamwatch had received 1,175 complaints about fake surveys, emails and social media posts misusing the names and logos of big retailers such as JB Hi-fi and Bunnings, Coles and Woolworths, with $2,600 reported lost.

New 'dementia-friendly' app launched

A new 3D ‘dementia friendly’ app has been launched to help carers in Victoria make their home more accessible for people living with dementia.

Maree McCabe, chief executive of Alzheimer’s Australia Victoria, said most people were not aware that people with dementia may experience spatial and visual challenges as well as the more commonly understood memory issues.

“Changes in the brain can impact on day to day functions and potentially confuse people living with dementia,” McCabe said.

Older people still on wrong side of digital divide

Many seniors are still reluctant to go online or they are unable to access the Internet, according to new research from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

The ABS analysis of data on the household use of technology found 85 per cent of Australians aged 15 and older were internet users and 86 per cent of households had internet access in 2014-15.

This was up from 83 per cent two years previously and from 67 per cent in 2007-08.

WA Seniors Card goes digital

West Australian seniors are being urged to apply online for a WA Seniors Card using a dedicated website launched this week.

Seniors Minister Tony Simpson said the My WA Seniors Card website would allow seniors to apply for the card using a computer, smart phone or tablet.

"During the coming weeks, they will also be able to check their Cost of Living Payments, change their bank and personal details and access the latest information on discounts from more than 500 participating businesses,” Simpson said.

More places for Tech Savvy NSW seniors

More NSW seniors will be able to contact family and friends online and to use social media with the expansion of the Tech Savvy Seniors program.

The state’s Minister for Ageing John Ajaka said an extra 3,500 places each year for the next four years would provide seniors with access to free or low cost technology training.

Ajaka said the expansion would allow the program to be delivered in more languages and reach more people in rural and remote communities. Residents from a number of aged care facilities will also have access to the program onsite.

Grants to help SA seniors remain active

South Australian community groups are being urged to apply for one-off state government grants to help seniors remain actively connected and learn new skills.

Minister for Ageing Zoe Bettison said not-for-profit community organisations could apply for the Positive Ageing Grants which fund projects aimed at supporting and empowering older South Australians.

Grants of between $10,000 and $30,000 were available for projects which promote positive ageing and contribute to the social and economic participation of older people, she said.

Master of Ageing course online

The University of Melbourne is offering on online Master of Ageing course for those in the workforce who want to further their knowledge and skills in this growing and specialised field.

The degree course, which starts in July, could be used in a range of industries, according to Associate Professor Briony Dow, director of health promotion at the National Ageing Research Institute and president of the Australian Association of Gerontology.

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