Mobile Internet Use in the Elderly

Monday, 11 July 2016
Location: Hörsaal 42 (Main Building)
Distributed Paper
Alexander SEIFERT, Center for Gerontology (University of Zurich), Switzerland
For the elderly, the internet is potentially an important source of information and communication tool. However, the actual use of the internet and how providers of web content can best attend to the requirements of the elderly remains obscure. In two representative telephone surveys conducted from 2009 to 2015, a total of 2,142 persons aged 65 years and older were interviewed (Switzerland). In a third study (2013) based on focus group interviews (n = 36), views on the requirements for an “age-appropriate” web design were collected. In addition to socio-demographic characteristics, including age, education, and income, it was mainly personal attitudes toward technology, the proximal benefits, and support that promoted the internet use. Based on the results of the third study on age-appropriate web design, it was also shown that the elderly have particular web design requirements and requests. However, an exclusive focus on “websites only for the elderly” should be avoided. Thus, the findings show opportunities for and barriers of internet use in the elderly and provide guidance to overcome the “digital gap” of the generations.