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Microsoft and Age Concern help elderly ‘surf’


Microsoft and Age Concern have combined forces to bring the internet to the elderly.

The elderly are not often considered to be potential ‘surfers’, however, thousands of elderly people are often isolated from family, living alone or house bound – the internet offers a potential ‘whole new world’ to them. Using e-mail can help them keep in contact and feel closer with distant family. If they are housebound their outlook into the world is normally limited to television or newspapers, but 'new media' is able to take them to places they have only been able to dream about, it can entertain them, provide them with information, and stimulate their brain and interest in life.

Many elderly people, wistfully, express a yearning to use the internet, but lack the confidence, believing that they are ‘too old’ for modern technology. The fact is, with a little patient tuition, many of them are able to rapidly grasp sufficient computer knowledge to enable them to send e-mails and use the internet.

Microsoft has wisely spotted the potential of a brand new market in the elderly, having combined forces with Age Concern. Age Concern and Microsoft are providing Mobile IT Training Session (MITS) to introduce new technology to older people who would not otherwise have access to it. So far, six projects are under way in Blackburn, Hampshire, North Staffordshire, Okehampton, Hereford & Worcester and Warrington. The project is being run in venues where there is a concentration of older people, such as day centres, residential and care homes.

More information can be found at Microsoft Community or Age Concern


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