Skip to main content

Article Category

News

Article available in the folowing languages:

Making ageing active

The eInclusion@EU project aims to reach out to those members of society typically most averse to the information society - particularly the elderly. Due to end in December, the project aims to find innovative ways to reach out to those who are excluded and could benefit from ...

The eInclusion@EU project aims to reach out to those members of society typically most averse to the information society - particularly the elderly. Due to end in December, the project aims to find innovative ways to reach out to those who are excluded and could benefit from closer contact with computers as tools. The scheme has a particular focus on non discrimination (e-inclusion) and developing strategies to help those who have difficulty physically accessing services (e-accessibility). Michal Arend is a sociologist from econcept, the Swiss consultancy leading the portion of the project dealing with using information and communication technologies (ICT) to get people into work. 'ICTs have considerable potential for facilitating active ageing in work and employment,' he told IST Results. 'However, the general awareness about pertinent ICTs' potential is still low and many active ageing experts and promoters are unaware or sceptical about the possible contribution of ICTs and other modern technologies.' Despite this, research shows that increased IT skills have a corresponding increase in employability. For those already in work, better IT skills can also make employees more flexible. Across the EU, there is a stark divide between Member States in this context. For example, in Scandinavian countries, especially Finland, 'active ageing' is recognised. At the other end of the spectrum, many of the new Member States have lower life expectancies and high unemployment rates, making active ageing a less of a priority. However, as the working age increases, the impact of ICT on the elderly in work can only increase. Workshops launched in October 2005 in Brussels have started to promote the concepts of e-inclusion and e-accessibility. 'The workshop was just one step in launching a dialogue and bringing together people who could help to develop more comprehensive and better coordinated future research and policy strategies at the European and national level,' says Dr Arend. The project will report at the end of the year, with a set of realistic policy strategies and measures to achieve better uptake of ICT, especially in the elderly.

Countries

Switzerland