This is continued feedback on the CAFE group Introduction survey.   (see previous posts by clicking on ” CAFE Project ” in the Tag Cloud )

tech - computers

tech - ipad

Surprisingly for this age group, 87% of the CAFE group had some computer skills and 41% of them rated their skills as high.  This is much higher than you would expect in the general population of older people.   Many of the group had been using computers at work.  Equally many of them had bought a computer when they retired which now means they may not have the latest and fastest technology.  Only a quarter of them had an iPad or similar tablet devise.

Quotes from the “EXPERTS”  :-


–          Motivation for use – being in touch with relatives

–          Way of preventing isolation if taught how to use correctly

–          Games / live information, i.e. buses

–          Physical benefit of using keyboard rather than pen / voice recognition software

–          Usefulness of email (faster communication) – however it can become a nuisance

–          Some people have no interest in technology – target those who do, but demonstrate to others

–          Technology needs to be designed for older people and not ‘techies’


–          Managed without one, why is there a need to get one now?

–          Key barrier is lack of understanding of how to use

–          Reducing face to face communication / communicating with a screen rather than a ‘real person’

–          Some people are unable to use ICT for long periods of time due to health / mobility problems

–          Expense of broadband – if cheaper more may have it

–          Expense of investing in actual device – tablet or computer – is it worth it?

–          The communicating party must also have computer or tablet and broadband (or access to this)

–          Using technology doesn’t come easily to someone over 70 (like it would to someone aged 25)

–          Fear of using internet to make purchases – some like to see goods before buying

Footnote:-  This means that if we were to use touch screen technology, we would undoubtedly  have to provide the group with up to date computers before they could be persuaded to purchase new technology, even if they could afford it.

tech - google

tech - broadband

Around 80% of the group use Google and have Broadband, and use email a lot or sometimes.  This would indicate a relatively high level of computer knowledge and use compared to the general population of older people.

tech - skype

tech - facetime

Only 40% of the group use Skype and an even smaller percentage (15%) use it a lot.  This is probably not surprising given the fact the majority of people in this group regularly have contact with family and friends.  Skype is likely more often to be used to remain in touch with more remote family and friends.

Quotes from the “EXPERTS” :-

–          Skype is great – seeing someone makes you feel less isolated

Footnote:-   If we see Skype as a key tool in connecting new friends in the City, we would have to find an easy way to do this. Possibly using grand-children or University students to set up the first connections.

tech - internet buying

The vast majority of the group had used the internet to make purchases predominantly books, holidays and other products.

Interestingly grocery shopping was only used by one person, mainly because of concerns about quality and substitution of goods.  Grocery shopping was also a good reason to go out and so having things delivered to their home wasn’t always seen as an advantage by this mobile and active group.  That would no doubt be different for an older and more frail group providing the other issues were overcome.

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2 Responses to CAFE Survey — TECHNOLOGY

  1. APP, I found it so I believe on Google-Wikerpedia. Short hand for application softwear? Am I right is this what you may mean in your blogs? I am old fashioned and wish a gazetter for all acronyms, so I may understand your english as spoke, or in this case written. I am old and not a mind reader, and with age and experience one meets lots of people who have very individual terms of phrase. May I express mine. ? (B—s!) It is an old english term of disgust!!

  2. I believe ‘EUREKA’? with reading and rereading the AFC Blogs and the response To ‘AFC’ Early Observations, and the comment by Margaret? (Is that the lady Correspondents name?), The aims and objectives of what ‘AFC’ is trying to acheive is a level of comfort, confidence and familiararity on how to adopt modern technology for the older generation?
    ‘Skpe’, e shopping, etext and emails communications in general, story telling, reading, cinema, and the general means of every day enjoyment, or providing for ones’s self: How can this be done?
    One essential feature whether one has centres of contact in public libraries, care homes, personal dwelling or day care centres: Then one needs security and trust from and on all parties, as passwords and maybe, personal information, or/and money transactions are exchanged in open conversation.
    The responsibilities lie just as much with the provider as the user when illuminating the life of the elderly, vunerable, and in greater part, the uneducated(Uninitiated) in how to use and tame modern technology.
    The problem is a good one to resolve, and it needs faith in human kindness. Good luck and best wishes with your endevours.

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