UK Age Concern is running a month-long campaign to get older people surfing the net and sending e-mail. The aim is to give older people hands-on training and show them how they can use the web to research family history, find out about local events and communicate with friends. Only 15% of Britons aged 65 or over have been online. Older people are reluctant to get to grips with the internet because of the potential cost, their unfamiliarity with computers and sometimes because of hand and vision difficulties.
One man who has already become a web convert is 62-year-old Terry Pearson, a wheelchair-user who is paralysed from the neck down. He usually relies on carers for support for shopping and for getting out and about. Since finding out about the net via Age Concern’s Computer Explorer bus in Staffordshire, Mr Pearson has bought his own PC and goes online from home.