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The Road to Recovery: Bridging the digital divide

Facts and stats on how COVID-19 is changing the landscape of digital inclusion.

There are now more people aged 50 and over who are online than ever before. Over the last several years, the proportion of older people using the internet has risen considerably faster than for the general population.

The COVID-19 pandemic has also spurred many people to use digital services for the first time and to use the internet in different ways. But despite the increase in number of older people being online, there are still around 4 million people aged 55 and over who have never used the internet.

This collection of infographics sets out the picture of who is offline, the sort of benefits they're missing out on, and what must be done to support them.

Lockdown Webinars

During lockdown The Centre for Aging Better have been forced to move many aspects of our lives, from work to our social lives, completely online.

This webinar started the conversation on supporting people to get and stay online, and the measures needed to avoid worsening inequalities between the digitally included and excluded.

Click here to watch the webinars (opens in a new window)


The Psychology of Loneliness: Why it Matters and what we can do?

People describe thoughts and feelings of loneliness with words like anxiety, fear, shame and helplessness. These powerful emotions can influence how we act. They can create a downward spiral where loneliness causes someone to withdraw further from family and friends and so become lonelier. This report looks at how psychological approaches can help tackle loneliness. It is focused on older people but has lessons for all adults. It gathers the current research and evidence available to us about what we can learn from psychology, as well as making policy recommendations for how this learning can be applied and help the millions of lonely people across the UK.

Click here to go to the Campaign to End Loneliness website (opens in a new window)


Rolling out social prescribing – voluntary sector perspective

National Voices has published a new report: Rolling Out Social Prescribing: Understanding the experience of the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector (link opens in a new window)

The report found numerous examples of social prescribing (link to NCVO site opens in a new window) working well, with good integration into primary care networks. However, it did also identify several areas for improvement.

The report highlights the importance of strong relationships between voluntary organisations and primary care teams, the potential impact of taking a greater focus on tackling health inequalities, and the need to provide increased funding to organisations experiencing greater demand for their services through social prescribing. The report also stresses the importance of adequate funding for voluntary organisations overall, 'many of which have long been underfunded'.


Consultation: Raising accessibility standards for new homes

The Government has launched a consultation (link to Government site opens in new window) on options to raise accessibility standards for new homes, noting the importance of suitable homes for older and disabled people.

The consultation closes at 11:45pm on 1st December 2020.

The consultation 'considers how the existing optional accessible and adaptable standard for homes and the wheelchair user standard are used and whether government should mandate a higher standard or reconsider the way the existing optional standards are used'.


More On Social Prescribing

Social prescribing is a means for GPs and other health care professionals to refer patients via a link worker to non-clinical services in the local community. Social prescribing link workers help people to understand the underlying issues affecting their health and wellbeing and work with them to co-produce a personalised care and support plan. This paper details the development of social prescribing policies in England and provides an overview of schemes in the devolved nations. This report includes both benefits and criticisms.

Click here to see the report (pdf download opens in new window)


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