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Age Well with Digital Equity

Digital literacy is beneficial for older people, especially those who live alone, are separated from their children or grand kids, have mobility issues, or prefer to age independently

Statesman News Service | New Delhi |

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day:  When the entire world was forced to isolate during covid 19 pandemic elderly population had a double whammy due to their digital illiteracy. The elderly population not only reeled through the usual isolation they suffer due to their age, Pandemic forced this 9 per cent of the worlds’ total population to cocoon further because of their lack or inadequate digital knowledge. The world realised for the first time during the pandemic how a big population can be subjected to further marginalisation due to ‘Digital Inequity’.

Pandemic reinstated how it is also very important to fill this gap in digital understanding and how it is time we acknowledge the right to ‘Digital equity’.

According to an Agewell Foundation Survey, approximately 85.8% of respondents were found to be digitally and computer illiterate. Out of this, 76.5 per cent were elderly men and 95 per cent were elderly women.

In order to empower the elderly population, it has become more important now to equip them with digital knowledge, hence the theme of this year’s World Elder Abuse Awareness Day-. Digital Equity for All Ages

What is Digital equity

Digital equity is a condition in which all individuals and communities have the information technology capacity needed for full participation in our society, democracy, and economy.

The National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA) defines digital equity as “a condition in which all individuals and communities have the information technology capacity needed for full participation in our society, democracy, and economy.”

Digital equity is necessary for civic and cultural participation, employment, lifelong learning, and access to essential services. The purpose is to raise awareness regarding the inclusion of senior citizens in society. At the same time, we must confront discrimination, prejudice, and stereotyping.

How digital equity is beneficial for the elder

Usage of digital technology to enable equal access to goods and services. There are governmental initiatives that support access, affordability, and availability of digitization across diverse societal groups. Additionally, customised assistance is offered for carrying out ordinary tasks like banking, government services, e-commerce, and tele-health support.

Elderly individuals can gain greatly from the digital world. With different health monitoring and senior assistive devices including alarm clocks and fall prevention aids, this sector is attempting to satisfy the complex needs of ageing.

Why is Digital Equity important?

When services ranging from buying groceries to ordering medicines and booking consultations go completely online, it becomes extremely important for the elderly to understand the basic internet functions.

Digital literacy is beneficial for older people, especially those who live alone, are separated from their children or grand kids, have mobility issues, or prefer to age independently. It not only simplifies, eases, and improves their lives, but it also keeps them in the social mainstream.

According to the Agewell foundation study there is a significant desire among older folks to keep them connected with the new world order, ruled by the internet and information technology. Older people have been particularly vulnerable while employing the technology that has been crucial in combating the pandemic’s negative impacts, from greater mortality rates to more extreme social isolation during lock downs.

 What is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day came into existence in June 2006. Elder abuse is defined by the United Nations as “a single, or repeated act, or lack of appropriate action, occurring within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust which causes harm or distress to an older person.”

It is a social issue that affects the mental well-being of millions of senior citizens across the globe. To spread awareness on the issue, world elder abuse day is observed on June 15.

Both developing and developed nations witness this issue, yet it is often under reported. Only a few wealthy nations have estimations available, ranging from 1% to 10 per cent. Although the magnitude of elder maltreatment is unknown, its social and moral implications are clear. Thus, it necessitates a global multidimensional response focused on preserving the rights of the elderly.