As I sit on the train on my commute into London, I overhear an elderly couple next to me trying to negotiate technology…
All they want is a cup of tea and a snack, and so far it has taken them 30 minutes to try and understand the app, scan a QR code, enter their information (one seems to have dexterity issues).. 40 mins in and they are still trying……
I hear you ask, why can they not walk to the café? They are old, have trouble walking, so the scan and order system is the easiest option, right?
It seems not, and it’s got me thinking – yes, whilst all of the Gen Zers, Millennials and Generation Xers mostly adopt technology as second nature, where does this leave the older generation? Whilst most of us embrace new technologies to deliver the all-important convenience we strive to make our busy lives easier, digital technology is not second nature to all. For some, it can be stressful and make the modern world a difficult place to navigate.
Like many other countries, the UK’s age structure is shifting towards older ages. The Office for National Statistics projects that there will be an additional 7.5 million people aged 65 years and over in the UK in 50 years’ time. That means by 2050 one in four people will be aged 65 years and over — an increase from approximately one in five in 2019.
Yes, there are indeed tech-savvy 65+ year olds, and this will continue to grow, but let’s not leave behind those who need that extra help now – perhaps we need more concerted and thoughtful efforts to help people to be active technology users and ultimately make their lives easier too. As we had reported in August, many tech companies are going above and beyond in making consumer products more accessible through AI technology, which is a fantastic step change, but we just need to make sure basic education tools exist to assist the Baby Boomers and the Silent Generations to make it work – let’s not leave them behind!
We, as researchers all have a responsibility to remain as inclusive as possible to ensure insight is indicative of our population, regardless of age.
At Launchpad, we have access to consumers aged 65+ through our own panel, as well as through our links with charities and local universities, all willing to take part in your next research project! Get in touch to find out more firstname.lastname@example.org