Internet Age Pensioners: which new challenges are they taking on?

Internet Age Pensioners: which new challenges are they taking on?

Forget OAPs, Britain is home to a new group of elderly people – the IAPs. These savvy silver surfers are not only able to use computers, but they’re embracing the freedom being connected to the internet can offer.

According to research by McCarthy & Stone, the older generation are more than happy to catch up with friends of the same age group over Skype, search for cheaper gas and electricity tariffs and even find love online– with 10% using dating sites.

In the past five years, the over 60s have become at one with technology; with 88% now considering themselves to be fairly competent.

In today’s connected world, it’s great to see so many over-60s willing to connect to the internet and tap away on their smartphones.

Doing the shopping

Whether it’s groceries for the cupboards or clothes for the wardrobe, Britain’s IAPs are happy to shop online.

Three-quarters are happy to shop for clothes on the internet and almost half (47%) would rather get their groceries delivered than queue up at their local supermarket.

Staying social

Keeping in touch with loved ones has never been easier, thanks to the internet. Almost 45% of respondents use social media to stay in touch with friends and 35% with family.

Facebook is preferred with more than half of over 60s using it, but just 18% can be found Tweeting.  Either way, getting online can prevent loneliness, with 25% fewer silver surfers feeling lonely than those that aren’t using the internet.

Booking holidays

We know that the older generation love nothing more than relaxing holiday, with the over 65s jetting off for an average 11.14 days a year – more than anyone else.

This group spends £794 on flights and accommodation, but with 81% now booking a holiday and 61% booking flights online, that figure could come down as they find bargain breaks on the internet.

Watching TV

You might expect the concept of iPlayer and ‘on demand’ television being somewhat alien to your grandparents, but a staggering 69% of the over 60s watch catch-up TV online.

Rather than settling down in front of Eastenders with a cuppa, our modern over 60s are far too busy and would rather catch up on their favourite soaps when it suits them.


While everyone was worried about how the older generation would cope when cheques are banished to the history books in 2018 – it seems that many have already adapted to modern payment methods.

In fact, more than three-quarters of IAPs are banking online. Other studies have also shown that silver surfers have quickly adopted online banking in favour of visiting high street branches.

Barclays even has a team of 5,000 people dedicated to teaching people how to make the most of the new technology.

This surge of interest from IAPs is likely to be down to the younger generation, with two-thirds admitting their adult children encouraged them to embrace technology to ‘stay with it’.

This research shows that while a mobility aid, such as a wheel chair lift for the home, might be able to help the older generation keep their freedom and independence around the home, the internet could open up even more possibilities for them.