MIL OSI Translation. Region: Germany / Deutschland –
Source: Koerber Foundation The Federal Government’s 8th Age Report on the subject of “Older people and digitization” comprises 160 printed pages. Age expert Cordula Endter manages in the city laboratory online to prepare relevant content for municipalities in 25 minutes.
The research assistant at the Federal Government’s office for age reports, based at the German Center for Aging, is an expert on the topics of mechanization and digitization of age, cultural-scientific technology research and participatory and collaborative research methods EducationEndter focuses on two points in the report as an example. The »digital competence« of the elderly is very dependent on the level of education. The digital divide in relation to age and level of education is enormous. For example, while in 2017 in the age group of 79 to 84-year-olds almost 70 percent of people with a high level of education had access to the Internet, the figure was less than 30 percent for their peers with medium or low level of education. All attempts to promote the digital sovereignty of older people must take this into account. Endter suggests the following measures: the development of skills on the individual level, offers of support, education and advice on the institutional level and secure framework conditions on the social level. Many questions from among the participants follow. Who are suitable intermediaries for individual digital empowerment? Which institutions are suitable for offers for digital advice and education? Endter can imagine many actors: from peer-to-peer learning, because older people like to take advice from their peers, to committed digital ambassadors to familiar facilities in the social space such as district centers or libraries. And she sees municipalities as the central authority to network and thus consolidate mediation offers and advice. Technical assistance in the living area is accepted if the benefits make sense. The second highlight from the 8th age report that Endter throws on the municipalities concerns the subject of living. In the domestic context, many technical assistance options are conceivable and some are already in use – from intelligent home emergency calls to preventive fitness options. When it comes to the topic of care robots at the latest, surveys show that older people only accept such technical developments when a concrete benefit becomes apparent – for example being able to live independently at home and avoid the home. Endter emphasizes: It’s not about relying on digital offers alone. Yes, there must be a basic right to digital access, for example in nursing homes, if the residents so wish, says the researcher. But overall it is important to closely link digital offers with analog ones. In order to promote the potential of digitization for good aging, many professional groups should also be involved, empowered and encouraged – from nursing staff to the skilled trades to the housing industry. The city laboratory participants are also concerned with the question of acceptance: the target group should be included in the development of new technologies. Astrid Henriksen, City of Bremerhaven, asks about the financing of the technology required for home care through long-term care insurance or social assistance. And she points out that not only those in need of care, but also apartment owners and building companies must be open to the use and installation of innovative technology. Debate about age and digitization must continue In Kassel, reports Mayor Ilona Friedrich, the district centers in particular should drive digital development forward. And what is technically possible, the »Mobi-Bus« should also bring into the quarters. This idea of a mobile exhibition of technical assistance systems that people on the bus can get to know, try out and even borrow, comes from Aarhus in Denmark. She got to know Kassel through the Körber Foundation’s “Expedition: Age and City” program in Denmark. In the online city laboratory, it becomes clear that the social debate about “Age and digitization” is still in its infancy. The Stadtlabor Online on this topic is groundbreaking in this respect. Karin Haist, Head of Demographic Future Opportunities Projects at the Körber Foundation, thanks Cordula Endter and announces that the Körber Foundation will continue to deal with the topic in its age and demography area – with specific offers in the house in the park and also at next Körber Demography Symposium. The Stadtlabor Online is a format for regular digital collegial exchange on the topics of the age-friendly city. In a small group, the participants receive thematic and methodical inputs from local practice, science and politics.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and / or sentence structure not be perfect.