Leiedal Mentor - Technology for All
In a world that is constantly changing, particularly in terms of technology, it can be very difficult for older people to keep up.
Within the scope of iAge our Belgian partner Mentor VZW, is focussing on e-inclusion, active participation on the labour market and using ICT supported services for the elderly living at home. Together with Intercommunale Leiedal, they are working on the West Flemish goals for the EU 2020 Digital Agenda. "The
region around Kortrijk (BE) faces specific demographic challenges, but at Leiedal we see ICT and e-government as an enabler for e-inclusion of the elderly", says Wouter Degadt.
Technology changes every day and user-friendliness is not always guaranteed. Mentor VZW is encouraging the use of tablets amongst the iAge target group. "Tablets are less intimidating and the elderly are less inclined to think they are ‘making mistakes'," said Justien Jonckheere at a recent presentation of current project findings. Over the past years tech companies have researched how people use technology and have adapted to this.
Technological design mirrors human behaviour - very young children can learn to use a tablet,
the elderly too!
In an interview at the same event Jean Lambert, Member of the European Parliament for the London Region, added: "We must continue to invest in accessibility. People (the elderly) need to become more confident with the use of new technologies. There is also a certain gap between urban and rural areas regarding accessibility - even in countries with a good digital infrastructure. Europe is aware of the problems but some national governments have a bit of catching up to do!