A Little Help from My Friends: Getting good advice in the Information Age


When the Beatles wrote “With a Little Help from My Friends” in 1967, they weren’t thinking about health and retirement advice, yet family and friends have always been a trusted source of information. Since the sixties, information delivery has been revolutionised by a new entrant, digital technology, which has changed, not only the way we now seek advice from experts, but also our loved ones and the general public. With the amount of information available expanding rapidly, information literacy has become increasingly important.

The purpose of this study is to highlight the ways in which seniors are attempting to locate reliable sources of information. It considered how connected older people are and how this affects their wellbeing. Underlying wellness is a need for reliable health and financial information, both for making health andlifestyle choices, and for planning and decision-making in retirement. These decisions have the potential to enhance mental and emotional wellbeing, and, thus, healthy ageing. While the respondents for this survey were a digitally literate group with an email address and computer access, overall, they have indicated a preference for gathering information and advice from human sources rather than online ones.

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