9th Conference European Sociological Association

RN01 Ageing in Europe

2009-09-03 09:00:00 2009-09-03 10:30:00 Thursday, 3 September 09:00 - 10:30 Ageing and Technology 1 Building II, C5.08

The usage of ICT by the elderly in Lisbon: Motivations and Attitudes


Europe is experiencing two significant societal trends, ageing and Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) use and impact in all human life activities. In this framework, the European Union i2010 plan intents to promote an inclusive Information Society, developing policies capable of involving and empowering all citizens. One of these areas of eInclusion policy is precisely ageing: ageing well in a European Information Society, taking advantages of ICT tools to improve the elderly' quality of life. However, the elderly are the most info-excluded group, in terms of age range. It's also commonly assumed that they are technophobic. Therefore, we first need to assess the attitudes and motivations of senior people towards ICT, in order to gather enough data to develop suitable policies to bridge the digital divide and to tackle this specific einclusion and well ageing goals.

This paper presents findings from a random stratified sample of 500 individuals over 65 years old, living in Lisbon, Portugal. We conducted a survey and semi-structured interviews to analyze the elderly usage of ICT, namely mobile phones, computers and Internet and their perceptions of it. The majority of the interviewees (72%) owned a mobile telephone, while computers were only used by 13% of the respondents and Internet by 10%. Results and its implications are here discussed.