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Communication and Information

Staying connected with events, news and activities with timely, accessible and practical information is a key part of active ageing, especially with the trend of information overload in urbanised cities. Technology can be tapped on to spread information quickly, but also plays a role in social exclusion. Cities must provide access to information to seniors in an accessible format, and bear in mind the wide range of needs and resources older people have.

Appropriate and age-friendly distribution of information

The media are instrumental in communicating information to the wider community. Older people tend to receive information through traditional print and broadcast media, and through direct personal contact such as telephone calls, service centres in community facilities and clinics, etc. Seniors’ access to information must be kept affordable so that cost does not become a prohibitive factor. Governments and organizations must ensure that information on policies and issues affecting the elderly can reach them in a timely, effective and accessible manner, through the communication channels seniors are familiar with. Making information accessible when older people experience vision and hearing loss is also crucial to ensure their full understanding.

The growing conversion of services and documentation to computer technology could be alien to seniors, increasing social exclusion. Older people may also be deterred from picking up computer skills due to the cost of computers and their unfamiliarity with technology. Affordable access to computers for seniors in community facilities can play an important role in building technological literacy in seniors, together with computer training adapted to seniors’ needs and pace of learning.