Essex bids to make older people the "most tech confident"

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image captionEssex County Council is aiming to make older people in the county "the most technology confident in the world"

Older people in Essex could become the most "tech confident in the world", according to the county council.

It commissioned a report setting out a blueprint for using technology in the health and care sectors.

The document, entitled Digital Boomers, found older people were more "tech savvy" than they realised but more could be done to aid their daily living.

Essex County Council said technology "would not replace hands on care".

The council said the report, written by consultancy Rethink Partners, sets out the "massive opportunity for the public sector to help local people use technology to live more independently for longer".

It said it aims to meet the targets set out in the report by 2021.

Independent living

Clare Morris, co-founder of Rethink Partners, said: "Lots of technology already exists to help with daily living.

"This work is about how we get older people and professionals as confident and comfortable with this sort of technology as they already are with smart phones, tablets and Facebook."

The report suggested creating spaces for people to learn about technology, investing in infrastructure such as wi-fi and supporting voluntary organisations.

Inez Wilding, 83, from Kelvedon, said she used technology to stay in touch with family members and friends as well as for practical tasks such as food shopping.

She said: "I think it is really important to be knowledgeable about it and it means I can have my independence."

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