The Benefits of Getting Online

Published by Kyra Rowe on

We think it’s about time we talk about the endless benefits of getting older adults online because our digital inclusion project has been running for almost three years!

Getting older adults online is not an easy or quick task (to say the least!), but our efforts offering digital support over the phone, running fortnightly digital cafes, and loaning 4G enabled devices to older adults are progressive steps in the right direction.

Let’s take a closer look at the range of benefits you can seek when getting online.

Social benefits
As you are able to navigate the online world, the social benefits are endless because the geographical and practical barriers hindering traditional means of socialisation are eliminated. Whether you socialise on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (or even an online dating site!) you can meet and communicate with people across the world from your fingertips.

Older adults that attend our digital cafes used Facebook to find and message their childhood classmates, where they reminisced about the good old days. From there they have been able to keep up to date with their friends’ day-to-day lives, by viewing their posts, photos, and tweets!

So, even if you can’t meet your granddaughter living in Australia for dinner, or Boris advises us all to stay at home again; by getting online you can stay sociable and connected with your loved ones whenever and wherever they are!

Coronavirus: Eight things that have kept us going in lockdown - BBC News

Practical benefits
TSB has recently announced the upcoming closure of ¼ of their Highstreet branches – if you have not guessed it already, this is due to more people reaping the practical benefits of navigating online services. By getting online you will be able to sort out your finances from the comfort of your home, without having to travel to the bank.

Speaking of travel, getting online means you can download travel apps such as the first bus app to check when your next bus is arriving, or in reality, how long your bus has been delayed by! This means none of your time will ever be spent wasted at the bus stop waiting for a cancelled bus to arrive. So, that’s another practical benefit of getting online, saving time!

And you know what they say, time is money!

First Bus announces app update to live-track bus capacity - SMMT

Benefits of joining YBYs online projects
Not being bias at all (okay… maybe a little bit biased) the most beneficial aspect of getting online is that you can join our online projects! Our GAAO project runs live-streamed Tai Chi, Yoga, Pilates, Strength, and Cardio classes on zoom. Therefore, your physical health and vitality will improve as you log on to each FREE class, all because you got online!

But wait… what if you can’t attend the live classes? Don’t worry because once you are online, you can watch our recorded classes whenever you want on our GAAO YouTube channel!

We also run a Men’s Film and TV Club, who meet every Thursday on zoom to discuss a film or TV show. Therefore, getting online means you can make new friendships with like-minded senior men across Leeds.

And more …
If we have not yet sold you enough on the benefits of getting online, you can:

  • Watch any shows, soaps, and films you have missed on BBC iPlayer, ITV hub or Netflix! 
  • Entertain yourself by playing online games or listening to music! 
  • Use retail therapy as an excuse to online shop until your hearts content! 
  • Book a doctor’s appointment or taxi 24/7! 
  • Use Google maps to find out the location and direction of anything! 
  • Download and store your COVID vaccination passport to get into your favourite bar/club! 

Surely, we have convinced you now….  

So, I’m sure will both agree the benefits of getting online are endless, but unfortunately 75% of seniors did not have access to the internet or the digital knowledge to get online this year. More specifically in Leeds, 13% of older adults are currently offline. 

Therefore, the benefits of getting online detailed above are not equitably accessible to everyone, which unfairly affects the quality of life, mental wellbeing, and physical health of  those offline. 

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Categories: YBY News