what is digital boomers?

Digital Boomers is a ground-breaking collaboration of health and care partners who support older people and adults with disabilities to use digital to live more independently

Using a theory of change methodology we:

Enable people access to technology to help them live independently at home through developing their skills and confidence with, and led by peers

Leverage the existing tech curiosity of older people to harness the power of tech they are already using (our insight provided myth-busting evidence of how much tech older people are already using!)

Provide safe and friendly ways for people to explore and play with tech before deciding what’s right for them

Inspire people to think about tech differently, increase independence and wellbeing – and moreover, have fun

Support health and care organisations to affect culture change and inspire digital activation

Benefits to public services:

Increases confidence in tech, allowing channel shift of citizens and greater independence

Builds skills, confidence and capability in technology to prevent illness or decline in illness, reducing the need for care packages and pressure on health services

Enables citizens and patients to understand what they can self-purchase to increase their health and wellbeing

We have a range of digital activation programmes for the NHS; Local authorities; commissioners; charities; health & care service providers and tech companies looking to tackle culture change.

Our range of support includes workshops, coaching and training for everyone from board members to frontline staff where we:

Myth bust the digital agenda, making it human and tangible

Interrogate what is digital activation is and how it can increase adoption of technologies to improve health, wellbeing and independence

Develop communities of practice: connecting people and stimulating those communities to “do digital” together

Digital Boomers Insight & Report

In 2018 we published a report which considered how technology can be better used across Essex to promote independent living for older people. We found some perception-busting evidence on how older people in Essex are using tech and considered what we might do to enhance this with regards to health and wellbeing.

Rethink Partners & Healthwatch Essex Insight undertook insight across the county, meeting face to face with citizens and professionals: travelling to 24 of our towns and villages to have 160 face-to-face conversations, 21 in-depth interviews and 10 discussion groups. 

We found, that in Essex:

Older people are more tech savvy than they realise and professionals and family members regularly underestimate this; we are a significant limiting factor through our unsubstantiated but deeply held assumptions

Older people trust their peers to recommend tech and share experiences and are happy to learn from young people – they would also trust professionals to recommend health related tech

Older people want to have fun with tech and don’t want to be targeted as ‘old people’

Older people want to use tech to connect with their loved ones and sometimes have a competitive streak when adopting new knowledge

Not every community has a go-to knowledgeable ‘techie’ person for advice and support, but where they do, it builds confidence and increases take-up

Older people don’t feel they are doing tech ‘right’ and are just getting by – but this isn’t stopping them having a go