Actress Sherrie Hewson says digital has helped keep her entertained, challenged and connected during the pandemic

Research shows that British seniors (60+) have become increasingly more digital since the pandemic started with almost half (44%) of those aged 60+ reporting more digital behaviours over the last year. The YouGov study for Readly, the all-you-can-read subscription service, investigated how the pandemic has affected the lifestyle of seniors

Across all ages, digital habits have increased with 49 percent of Brits trying out more new digital services than usual to facilitate their lifestyle and 73 percent of Brits believing that their lifestyle will remain more digital after COVID.

But it is amongst the senior age group that a significant digital shift has become apparent; 77 percent of the 60+ age demographic believe their lifestyle will remain more digital after the pandemic.

With statistics indicating that 3.6 million older people in the UK live alone, digital connectivity means more than ever before. There is a shift in habits as more seniors adopt digital technology or try out new platforms.

Sherrie Hewson, former Coronation Street, Benidorm and Emmerdale actress and Loose Women presenter (aged 71) says, “It is not always easy to keep up with all the digital at my age, but the pandemic has challenged us to dare to try new things. And in some cases, it has been the only option to make everyday life go together. My life has certainly become more digital during the pandemic and I am thankful for it for keeping me entertained, challenged and connected with loved ones. I have opened my eyes to many new apps that both facilitate and guide my everyday life, from reading newspapers and magazines to relaxing, to video conversations with children and grandchildren.”

The top digital apps that seniors have tried for the first time during lockdown includes:

  • Video call apps – 20%
  • Shopping apps – 15%
  • Food ordering apps – 14%
  • Reading apps (magazines, newspapers, books) – 12%
  • Social media apps – 8%
  • Film and series apps – 6%
  • Podcast apps – 3%
  • Gaming apps – 2%

Chris Couchman Head of Content for Readly said, “The pandemic has brought with it curiosity and knowledge about how the digital world can bring us closer to each other, optimise our well-being and make everyday life easier. It is fantastic to see how the older generation is discovering apps to enrich their lifestyle such as reading apps like Readly, a source of everything from entertainment to news. We are also seeing the increase in readership across the gardening, home and DIY genres, which reflects our interests in more activities to do at home.”

“During the last 6 months there has also been a 30 percent increase in engagement with crosswords and sudoku on the platform, which we know is popular among the senior demographic.”

Looking ahead, the survey looked at what activities people are most looking forward to in a post covid society, with 39 percent of seniors aged 60+ most looking forward to travelling, 21 percent looking forward to going out to dinner with family and friends and 13 percent going to events such as museums, theatre and sporting events.

Chris Couchman adds, “Our travel genre on the Readly platform is still widely read worldwide as people look for inspiration for the next chapter and map out their travel goals. 

Readly is offering 2 months free reading for sign ups throughout October and £7.99 per month there after. For more information visit www.readly.com

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