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Older Australians’ digital engagement in turbulent times

Older Australians’ digital engagement in turbulent times

15 March 2022
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This report compares the results of two surveys before and after the COVID-19 pandemic, in 2018 and 2021 respectively exploring older Australians’ engagement with digital technologies.

Summary

National Seniors Australia has been interested in the digital engagement of its members since 2017. This is the third report with a specific focus on the digital engagement of older Australians, with prior reports published in 2017 and 2019.

In general, National Seniors has found that many of the organisation's members defy reductive stereotypes of disengaged older people being left behind by new technologies. Previous studies have shown that, while there may be generational preferences for face-to-face rather than online interactions, many older adults use digital technologies frequently and with high levels of ability and comfort. The 2019 report introduced the categorisation of National Seniors' online members as "Senior Surfers", demonstrating diverse levels of engagement with, and attitudes towards, technology among older Australians in their everyday lives.

Since the 2019 report, the lives of older Australians have been severely impacted by the global pandemic arising from the international spread of COVID-19, which began in December 2019 and continues into 2022. Aside from the direct impacts of illness and deaths associated with the virus, older adults have been significantly affected by restrictions put into place by local and federal governments in Australia, as has been reported by National Seniors previously.

Older Australians' digital engagement in turbulent times
Infographic

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Giving older Australians a better future

National Seniors is a not-for-profit membership and advocacy organisation that gives older Australians – working and retired – a strong national voice. We tackle issues such as age discrimination, mature age employment, the Age Pension, social inclusion, cost of living concerns and more.

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