Doing Digital in Later Life: A practical guide

Our evidence-based practical guide for supporting over 75s to access digital inclusion support.

Working in Partnership with the Greater Manchester Ageing Hub, we produced an evidence-based practical guide for those working to get more older people online. It draws together learnings from Greater Manchester and beyond, providing guidance to help practitioner design support that gives them the best chance of success.

Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, has made a commitment to supporting over 75s participate in the online world. Good Things Foundation conducted a comprehensive evidence review into ‘what works’ when delivering digital inclusion services to over 75s. 

The review sought to consider digital in its broadest sense and explored the barriers to digital access, skills and support over 75s face. We also recognise that many older people struggle with digital devices like central heating systems, smart TVs and mobile phones.  

The resulting guide is designed to provide ‘top tips’ to help people supporting over 75s to access digital inclusion support in a way that is right for them.

Evidence supporting the Blueprint 

The ‘Doing Digital in later life – practical guide’ was informed by evidence from UK and international grey and academic literature, along with data collected from Good Things Foundation and Greater Manchester Combined Authority. 

We’ve put together a review of this evidence so you can see how the Blueprint was formed. The review was framed around understanding the digital engagement and needs of the over 75 population and identifying examples of what works to enable this cohort to digitally engage. 

Accessibility guidelines 

There is much guidance available on designing services with accessibility in mind and inclusive communication. The resources and guidance below are designed as a starting point to help you consider accessibility in your activities.  These tips are good practice when designing accessible communications for all, not just this age group.

  1. Good size font (size 12 preferably 14)
  2. Plenty of white space
  3. Simple language and short sentences
  1. Ask people what their requirements are before the meeting
  2. Allow plenty of time – for preparation and breaks in meetings
  3. Make sure the speaker is easily viewed

For more information you may find the following documents and links below helpful:

Overall guidance on considering accessibility in communications

Making information accessible

Accessible meeting guidance