Support for the elderly in going digital

04. 07. 2018.

Adult Hungarian Internet users consider it important that elderly family members should also be comfortable in the digital world. For that purpose, 17% of young people regularly educate senior relatives in using the Internet and digital devices, and another 59% do so occasionally. The success of these efforts is indicated by the fact that one third of all grandparents and great-grandparents who already go online use two browsing-enabled devices; in fact, almost as many use three or more such gadgets. Internet users consider joint learning as the best way for senior persons to acquire digital skills, as it involves more time together, as well as joint entertainment and development. The latest research conducted by eNET – Telekom, titled “Report on the Internet Economy”, focuses on the attitudes of the elderly towards the digital world.

Internet: can’t do without you

Online research conducted by eNET in May 2018 shows that adult Hungarian Internet users could not do without the online world: they consider the net indispensable as an information source (86%), a communication channel (78%), an opportunity to take care of administrative matters (71%), an entertainment platform (65%), and a work and/or learning tool (65%).

But how do the elderly generations get along in the digital world, and to what extent do they utilise the opportunities that it offers? According to nine out of 10 Internet users, senior persons lag behind the youth in this regard.

It’s never too late to enter the digital world. But how?

The survey results indicate that young people are better versed in digital matters. Besides the obvious benefits, this also implies responsibility: 83% of the respondents deem it important that younger family members help the elderly acquire digital skills. Joint learning is seen to have multiple benefits: more time spent together (73%), both persons gaining useful skills (71%), while having fun together (67%).In the respondents’ opinion, the Internet could help senior persons keep in touch with relatives, friends and acquaintances (78%), find information (74%), and take care of administrative matters (68%).

You don’t have to be 20 to go digital

Young Internet users (below 41 years of age) don’t let their senior family members miss out on the opportunities of the digital world: 17% regularly teach older relatives how to use the Internet and digital devices, and 59% do so occasionally. Another 8% say that this is done by someone else in the family.

As much as 47% of the elderly relatives of young respondents use the Internet at home; and the ratio of mobile Internet and interactive TV users is 13% and 12%, respectively. The majority (61%) of grandparents, great-grandparents and other elderly relatives insist on their landline phones, but 70% use a mobile phone (too).

Grandparents and great-grandparents who regularly go online are quite active in terms of device usage as well, with 33% handling one net-connected gadget, 37% two, and 30% as many as three or more devices. Smartphones are the most popular (55%), followed by desktop and laptop computers (54% and 49%, respectively), tablets (27%), and smart TVs (22%).

According to the respondents, their grandparents and great-grandparents who use the net go online for practical activities (43%), and 37% quoted both these and entertainment. As to daily online activities, senior relatives prefer browsing (42%), social media (42%), chatting (35%), and news reading (34%). Besides these, elderly people who are really active digitally play computer games (27%) and make video calls (14%) as well.

In conclusion, members of older generations can often rely on younger relatives if they want to keep up with current technology, and are increasingly active participants in our digital world.

eNET – Telekom

About the survey: eNET interviewed 985 Internet users over 18 years of age in May 2018. The survey was conducted in the online research community The results are representative of the views of Hungarian Internet users aged 18+ in terms of sex, age and region.