Seniors’ Digital Literacy To Embrace Modern Technology – OpEd


The Selangor government will launch an Economic Benchmarking Programme with the sole objective of improving services for the state’s aged population, which is critical for increasing the quality, efficiency, and effectiveness of care offered to seniors. Advocacy and promotion; governance and regulation; carers and competent labour force; investment and collaboration; innovation and technology; are the five main pillars upon which the policy is constructed.

As technology advances at a quick pace, it has become an indispensable tool for obtaining important services, maintaining social connections, and engaging in daily activities. Digital literacy among the elderly in Malaysia is a serious concern due to a variety of factors. Social networking is prevalent in Malaysia, engaging 93.3% of all Internet users, but only 3.4% of those aged 60 and above were Internet users in 2020. In the present day, digital literacy has become increasingly important for people of all ages, particularly seniors. Seniors, who may not have had as much exposure to technology as younger generations, must gain digital literacy skills in order to fully engage in today’s digitally driven society.

Access to Health Digital services is one area where elderly benefit significantly from digital literacy. With the rise of telemedicine and online health platforms, people may now speak with doctors, book appointments, and access medical records from the comfort of their own homes. However, without proper digital literacy abilities, elders may struggle to efficiently utilise these platforms, thus impeding access to timely medical care. 

Beyond healthcare, digital literacy is critical for elders to retain social relationships. Social isolation and loneliness are common among elderly people, particularly those who live alone or have limited mobility. Social media, video calling services, and online communities enable seniors to communicate with friends, family, and peers beyond geographical boundaries.

Older persons may have obstacles due to limited access to technology, price concerns, and apprehensions about learning new technologies. As a result, efforts to promote digital literacy among seniors should include initiatives such as providing affordable devices and internet connectivity, tailoring training programmes to their specific needs and preferences, and creating a supportive environment in which seniors feel comfortable exploring and experimenting with digital tools.

By providing older folks with the knowledge and resources they need to navigate the digital landscape, we can help them live healthier, more connected, and satisfying lives in today’s increasingly digital world. Furthermore, eliminating barriers to digital literacy for seniors is not only an issue of social inclusion, but also of fostering equity and improving general well-being for all generations.

Ahmad Nizam Che Kasim

Ahmad Nizam Che Kasim is a lecturer attached to the Faculty of Business and Communication, Universiti Malaysia Perlis.

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