Gadgets and Wi-Fi now essential to UK’s switched-on over-50s

Almost 90% of older people in the UK own at least one wireless gadget - like a laptop, tablet or smartphone - which increasingly they use for socialising, shopping and booking holidays online.

Modern gadgets and Wi-Fi are no longer the preserve of the young and hip as the UK's over-50s are quickly becoming as connected as the younger generation, according to new research.

A survey by over-50s company Saga found that 88% of older people now have at least one wireless gizmo - like a laptop, tablet or smartphone - to browse the web, do their shopping and keep in contact with friends and family whenever and wherever Wi-Fi is available.

More than a third of over-50s said they regularly use social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, and a quarter use Skype or a similar video calling app to stay in touch with loved ones.

Roger Ramsden, chief executive of Saga Services, said: "The Saga generations have embraced technology, perhaps because it adds so much benefit to their lives. For many people now, losing their tablet or smartphone cuts them off from their friends and family."

As well as shopping online, finding directions and socialising, more than half of the 10,000 over-50s surveyed said they pay bills on their laptop, while 45% like to plan days out on their tablet and more than a third use their tablet to listen to music.

When connected to the Wi-Fi at home, older people increasingly use technology all over the house - and garden - with the living room and kitchen by far the busiest hives of online activity.

In the bedroom, 19% of over-50s check their smartphone last thing at night, and in the backyard, 36% have taken a break from the weeding to use wireless technology.

Click here for the latest mobile, TV and internet news

Suggested Pages

  • How long does it take to boil water in a Wi-Fi kettle?

  • Manchester unveils bus stops with free Wi-Fi and charging points

  • Wireless internet in the UK to be boosted by white space technology

  • Have you ever tried to nick your neighbours’ Wi-Fi? 1 in 3 Brits has!

  • Half of UK schools’ broadband and Wi-Fi fails to make the grade

  • Brickwork meets social network: Free Wi-Fi arrives at LEGOLAND Windsor

  • Apple unveils first smartwatch Apple Watch at iPhone 6 launch event

  • Motorola releases circular Android Wear smartwatch Moto 360

  • Netflix and Instagram - new kids on the block in the CoolBrands Top 20

  • Apple iPhone 5, 5s and 5c ‘most attractive’ mobile phones to criminals

  • Sony unveils Xperia Z3 smartphones (which let you play PS4 games)

  • Apple iPhone 6 launch: Release date and specs leak ahead of unveiling

Compare broadband, TV & landline deals