This panel explores key themes around ageing and the digital life course, with particular attention to new forms of community, ways of keeping in contact, of engaging in work, healthcare, learning and leisure that are evolving rapidly with recent developments in technology and mobile computing.
Since 2009 the UK's Race Online programme has set itself the task of creating a truly networked nation by the end of 2012. Already this figure has reduced to 8.71 million people or approximately 17.5% of the adult population. Of these, 5.7 million are over the age of 65 and it is estimated that moving online just two of the contacts a month this cohort has with government would save around £1 billion. The 4 million older people that do use the internet spend longer online that any other age group - an average of 42 hours per month. Across the entire life-course new forms of community, ways of keeping in contact of engaging in work, healthcare, retail, learning and leisure are evolving rapidly with developments in smart phones, web 2.0, cloud computing, online social networking, mobile broadband, vast gaming universes etc. Content is becoming more visual and interactive and opportunities & forums for social participation are proliferating. This panel will gather papers to explore key themes around ageing and the digital life course such as: • How do we enable and support participation of digitally and socially excluded communities? • Is technology moving healthcare from the hospital to the home? What are the implications? • What new forms of social participation (and sociality) are emerging as a result of modern technologies? • What happens to our data when we die or decide to disconnect from the digital world?