We live in aging societies, with low birth rates and a growing life expectancy. As highlighted by Idescat, by 2040, 26% of the population will be older than 65-year-old. This population will represent 2.1 million people, compared to the 1.4 million and 19% in 2021. This unprecedented growth occurs alongside the existence of ageism in many sectors, from the labor market to healthcare.
Mireia Fernández-Ardèvol warns about the digital divide in increasingly technological societies. “40% of households where people over 65 live do not have internet access for digital procedures, and even if they do, it doesn’t necessarily mean they have the skills to use it.” Older individuals are not oblivious to technology, especially smartphones. However, “alternatives must be guaranteed for citizens who either don’t want to use it or lack the necessary skills.”
Resources for advancing digitization have been concentrated on childhood and the productive environment, leaving older people behind. These transformations should ensure a balance between efficiency and resources so that everyone has full competencies, concludes the article. Banking services and virtual medical consultations are two examples. “We must ensure the citizens’ right to choose whether they want to digitize,” claims Fernández-Ardèvol.
Access the full article (in Catalan) by Elena Ferran here.