In the UK the health and social care sectors face an unprecedented period of change with the focus on self directed support and personal budgets, developing community networks and the imminent NHS reorganisation. These are challenging times for the care sector with substantial budget cuts and increased expectations from service users for more personal and improved care services. There is an urgent need to find new and more effective means of supporting people to live more independently in their communities. more >
To support the launch of our latest provocation paper, 'Can online innovations enhance social care', we are delighted to introduce a new series of blogs from the author, Shirley Ayres. As a qualified social worker and marketer, who has worked within the care sector for over 35 years, she has extensive experience of helping organisations to understand the value of digital engagement. more >
As part of its ongoing open consultation, Nominet Trust brought together a group of experts this past week to think about how technology might be used to realise new opportunities - and address the persistent challenges such as social isolation, access to adequate care and pensioner poverty – facing people in later life. We weren’t looking at how adding digital might make existing services more cost-effective or efficient; nor were we seeking specific solutions. Instead we were hoping to define some areas that would benefit from social innovation with technology.
There are about 9.7 million people, 16% of the entire UK population, aged 65 and over. This figure is set to rise by 2033 to about 16.4 million people, or 23% of the population. And for those interested in longer term predictions, it is projected that by 2083, one in three people in the UK will be over the age of 60.
These descriptions represent a significant number of people and although it is useful to use terms like 'ageing population' or even 'older people' to represent the shift in the demographic make-up of the UK (and indeed the wider world), it belies an incredibly diverse group. The over-55 population can describe a difference of up to 50 years' life experience between those in early older age and those in late old age; it can describe people in good health and poor health; those who are physically or socially isolated or those living with, or supported by families; those who are digitally connected, and those who are digitally excluded. more >
Ofcom reported on the results from two media use surveys on 2 June 2011. (You will, naturally, want to reflect on the fact that this is an auspicious day: the 59th anniversary of the Queen’s coronation.) There were two reports from Ofcom.
Alison Preston (Senior Research Associate) reported on the UK Adults Media Literacy survey which was fielded in Spring and Autumn 2010. The two waves were combined for a sample size of 2,117 adults age 16+. There were three main points to take away from her report.
First, Internet use (called “take-up” in Ofcom jargon) is increasing and has reached 74% of all individuals. This is consistent with the OxIS 2011 survey, which shows 73%. It remains skewed by age and social grade, with younger people and people in higher social grades using the Internet more. This is true of both simple use and amount (hours) of use. more >