Nowadays, smart products are flooding our lives, and food, clothing, housing and transportation can be solved by this. For young people, this is a time-saving and labor-saving thing, but for the elderly who cannot keep up with the “trend of the times”, life becomes very inconvenient. In order to solve this problem, many countries have racked their brains to help the elderly not to be “left behind” by the times.
Singapore: “Digital Ambassador” goes deep into the community
No use of mobile maps, no software to call cars, no mobile payment… The popularity of the Internet, smart phones, and the increase in self-service machines have become digital benefits for young people, but Singapore’s elderly people are facing a “digital survival problem”. In the summer of 2020, a 65-year-old Singaporean man was blocked from the vegetable market because he could not scan the QR code of the visitor registration system with his mobile phone and became a hot news for a while.
Singapore’s ageing population is serious, with 16% of people aged 65 and above. In order to help the elderly master digital skills, the Singapore government established a Digital Transformation Office in 2020 to recruit 1,000 digital ambassadors and go deep into the community to help 100,000 elderly people master digital skills. Up to now, digital ambassadors have entered 112 vegetable markets and 500 coffee shops to promote electronic payments to vendors and elderly customers. Vegetable market vendors are generally older. In order to encourage them to provide electronic payment services, the government will give a monthly subsidy of 300 Singapore dollars (1 Singapore dollar equals 5 yuan).
In order to achieve the goal faster, starting from July 2020, 300 young volunteers from Singapore will join the team of digital ambassadors and go to local family service centers and elderly activity centers to teach the elderly how to use electronic devices and how to prevent online fraud. In addition, the Infocomm Media Development Agency of Singapore has cooperated with local telecommunication agencies to launch the “Elderly Mobile Internet Access Allowance Program”. You can purchase a basic smartphone for only S$20, and you can get at least 5GB of data for a monthly payment of S$5. . Even if the data used exceeds the supporting data, the elderly will not have to pay additional fees, but the speed will be reduced.
With the active promotion of the government, more and more elderly people are benefiting from digital daily life. Some media commented that in order to lead more elderly people into the digital age, in addition to helping and encouraging them to learn, they must also take care of their needs in products and digital services, and make them simple and easy to use.
Russia: Develop a systematic teaching plan
“Young people are the rich, and the elderly are the deprived.” This is the conclusion made by the famous American computer scientist Negroponte on generational differences in the digital age. The survey shows that about 100 million people out of the 146 million people in Russia use the Internet. The main users are the elderly, and 60% of the elderly do not know how to make payments via the Internet or mobile phones. They give up studying because they are afraid of embarrassment, which brings a lot of inconvenience to life.
According to “Russia Today” TV station, during the epidemic, many elderly people were forced to quarantine at home. Because they did not use the Internet, they could not communicate with their children for a long time. Even eating and shopping became problems. In order to solve the urgent needs of the elderly, the Veterans and Retirees Association launched the “Grandpa and Grandma Come Online” project to teach them to learn for free. The training teacher Belyaev said: “At first, we would enter the community to focus on teaching, but later due to the aggravation of the epidemic, we switched to online teaching. At first, some elderly people didn’t even know where the power button was, so we had to Start from scratch. The first stage is to teach the elderly how to open the computer or mobile phone, and then click on the search engine and software; the second stage, to train them how to use the software, establish an account, and add friends; the third stage is to teach how to Online shopping, payment of utility bills, video chat, and appointment of doctors, etc.” The initial stage of the project was carried out in 45 cities in Russia, and it was gradually expanded to the whole country. Up to now, 24,000 elderly people have completed training courses in St. Petersburg alone.
Kulikova, a retired old man from St. Petersburg, used to gather and walk with friends, but after the outbreak, she spent most of her time at home alone. By participating in the project, online social networking has now become a part of her life. Kulikova said: “Learning to surf the Internet is very interesting and has given new colors to my life. Through training, I also learned how to use chat, short video production and other software, so that I can share my home life and insights with everyone.”
Russian psychologist Polyanova said that many elderly people are well-educated. As long as they patiently teach them to operate a few times, they will immediately understand the relevant content and gradually become more comfortable. Moreover, learning to use the Internet can enhance the connection between the elderly and the outside world, and enhance their self-confidence in later life.
Germany: Establishing an online and offline learning platform
According to a recent survey conducted by the German Federal Ministry of Family, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth Affairs, about half of the elderly do not use the Internet. In the new crown pneumonia epidemic, they feel multiple inconveniences, such as not being able to conduct telemedicine, not buying online, or even interacting with their family members. Kubitschek, an information technology expert at the University of Bremen, Germany, said: “Two years ago, the German government realized the inconvenience caused by the popularization of the Internet to the elderly. To solve this problem, it launched an Internet strategy for the elderly. The Internet penetration rate has increased to 80% to 90%.”
The project is mainly divided into 3 parts. First, Germany has trained a group of senior information technology counselors. They come from senior centers, nursing homes, and community colleges. Through theory and practice, they teach the elderly how to use mobile phones and computers to make calls, send text messages, videos, and shop. At the same time, Germany also allocated funds to 30,000 elderly centers and 3,000 nursing homes to purchase computers.
Secondly, various community colleges in Germany provide information technology teaching courses for the elderly, and have also launched a rich form of online question and answer platform, offline online learning “coffee party” and so on. Compared with the courses offered by community colleges, the “coffee club” atmosphere is more relaxed and pleasant, and it is very popular among the elderly. They can learn from the computer and don’t have to worry about learning too slowly and being laughed at by everyone.
Thirdly, many companies and research institutions have developed “one-key-to-talk” for the elderly. For example, Deutsche Telekom took the lead in a project called “Smart Elderly” and brought together 28 companies and research institutions. As long as the elderly turn on the computer or smart TV equipped with the “smart elderly” software, the user name of the elderly will appear on the screen, and then icons such as “communication”, “health” and “ambulance” will appear. If the elderly need to consult on health issues, press “health”; if they suddenly become ill, press the “ambulance” icon.
The old Berliner Mario and his wife said happily: “We can now use smartphones and computers to read news, send and receive emails, order items, and video chat. It feels good to be integrated into modern society, as if we are 10 years younger. .”
United Kingdom: Develop computers for the elderly
Who is the main force in the Internet consumer market? In the UK, residents over the age of 50 are replacing young people aged 18 to 24, becoming the most enthusiastic people about online life. 84% of the elderly use the Internet to send and receive emails, 83% use the Internet to collect data, 45% of the elderly use the Internet to arrange travel and order air tickets, and 35% use Internet banking for financial management. But at the same time, there are more than 6 million elderly people over 65 who have never used the Internet. The reason they gave is that the interfaces of mobile phones and computers are too complicated, making them at a loss. For this reason, many companies have developed electronic products that are more suitable for the elderly.
The British Wessex Computer Company cooperated with the elderly service website to launch a special computer for the elderly. The user interface is very simple. The account and password are not required to log in to the system. The computer will directly display the operation interface and only have 6 function icons for checking email , Website browsing, online chatting, querying user information, and viewing documents and photos. The computer is also pre-installed with 17 video teaching programs, which can help the elderly familiarize themselves with the daily operation of the computer and use the Internet and other functions.
The survey found that elderly people use touch-based tablets more easily than traditional desktop computers. And if the appearance of the device is more beautiful, the font and volume are a little bit bigger, it will be more popular with the elderly. To this end, the British Association of Retired Persons and the technology sector jointly developed a tablet computer for the elderly. The company that produces this product also provides free lifetime technical support, and there are people online service 24 hours a day, and the elderly can consult if they have any questions during the use.