Happy International Day of Older Person’s

As today is the United Nations International Day of Older Persons, we at The Shoreline wish to celebrate and give our recognition to the many projects out there which support the shared mission of supporting and enhancing older persons experiences.

The theme for this year’s International Day of Older Persons is Digital Equity for all Ages and a more auspicious timing couldn’t be had with this theme. With the multitude of lockdowns, both Australia wide and on a regional level, the people struggling most are those that are unable to connect through their regular means of social interaction. With many older people being unable to go to their friend’s place for the cup of tea that they have been having for the last 5 years, or the inability to go out to the golf course and play with a group of friends, the social impact has been untold. The fear that many older people hold around the topic of going out into the public spaces that they used to feel comfortable in is very real. Only recently a personal experience was shared by an elderly person to the team at The Shoreline about the constant fear of getting sick they have when leaving their home, not only for themselves but their family members and friends.

So, let’s rewind this discussion slightly, and talk about the theme of Digital Equity. Officially digital equity is defined by the National Digital Inclusion Alliance 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.”

And for us it takes on another perspective. It includes the safe access to technology that supports the ability to engage with community and essential services, with the inherent risks of technology being reduced. We commonly hear news stories of people that have been a victim of cyber-crime, and this number one risk of using technology is often the main reason older people are averse to using technology. Even when an older person may be able to have a virtual appointment with their GP that day, many will choose to wait another two weeks to see him in person even though they ran out of their script that day, because like the fear surrounding the international pandemic, there is very real fear of using technologies that any person may not understand.

So, what does that mean for the future? The United Nations talks about ensuring policy catches up to the rapid pace of tech’s advancement, and the need for greater focus on the availability, the affordability, and the capacity of technology for older persons. We at The Shoreline understand the benefits that technology has on our daily tasks and recognise the needs of our customers to be capable of having digital connections with their loved ones and others in their personal communities.

We at The Shoreline will continue to strive for accessible technology platforms that will support our customers in accessing health services, up-to-date news and information, video conferencing with those you may not be able to visit, and yes even the ability to do a little bit of online shopping! Whether that means our Wi-Fi connection is of the top-notch quality, or our staff are highly capable in working with you to troubleshoot technical issues, we at The Shoreline envision a future of technology being a part of everyone’s everyday life in a safe and supported manner.

– The Shoreline Team.