Awards seek to recognise work of Leitrim's Silver Surfers!

Leitrim Observer Reporter

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Leitrim Observer Reporter

Awards seek to recognise work of Leitrim's Silver Surfers!

99 Year Old David Rowe from Dublin and 100 year old Gordon Lawson from Cork winners at the Age Action Silver Surfer Awards 2018

It’s time to take the plunge by nominating an older person in your world … maybe a friend, family member, or someone you know in the community who has embraced technology. 

The Age Action Silver Surfer Awards, in association with DCU Age Friendly University, honour older people who challenge ageist stereotypes and demonstrate that the internet, social media and new technologies are for all people.

2019 sees the 10th anniversary of the Silver Surfer Awards hosted by Age Action which raises awareness of  the fact that digital exclusion disproportionally impacts on older people. 

Half of Irish people aged between 65 and 74 have never used the internet while internet use among those aged over 75 is negligible. For those older people who do get online it has the potential to change their lives as the Silver Surfer Awards has highlighted. People are discovering new hobbies, accessing services more quickly and keeping in touch with family.

Use of the internet has proven potential to deliver positive social and health related outcomes for older people, not least decreased feelings of loneliness and isolation.

National  Development Manager of the Getting Started programme with Age Action Jennifer Glansford and her team witness both the challenges and the benefits older people experience with technology use.  Jennifer comments, “With technology still remaining a challenge for many older people, it can leave them feeling isolated and not in control of a world that has moved on when in fact it should be the exact opposite.  I’ve seen the benefits first hand with technology becoming a total lifeline for older people, keeping them connected to a whole world at their fingertips.  People can feel frustrated asking for help every time they have to do something online so empowering people to understand that being online can make such a difference is important. This is a literacy issue – digital literacy and being online has become a necessity rather than a luxury.  By investing a little time, a volunteer tutor, family member or friend can teach some simple ways that technology can be used to enhance their quality of life brings huge benefits all round.” 

This year Age Action is looking to present 5  awards to 5 people across Ireland to include:

- New To Technology Award: Someone who has felt the fear and embraced technology

- Hobbies On The Net Award: Someone who has used the internet to pursue their hobby

- Golden IT Award: Someone over the age of 85 who uses technology to enhance and make the most of life

- Community Champion Award: Someone who has used technology to support community

Pop online and nominate an older person you know, or simply nominate yourself on  www.ageaction.ie/silversurfer before Thursday, 25 April 2019.