The National Foundation for the Elderly (Nationaal Ouderenfonds), VodafoneZiggo and Samsung have welcomed high-tech company ASML as their new collaboration partner to support the digital inclusion of older people. The chip machine manufacturer from Brainport Eindhoven has committed itself to the Welcome Online (Welkom Online) digital educational program, which helps older people in the region become digitally self-reliant.
Launched in 2019, Welcome Online aims to encourage older people to become acquainted with – and take advantage of – the opportunities of the internet. The objective is to enable them to maintain contact with friends and family, while also helping them feel more comfortable and even enjoy participating in our increasingly digital society. During the first lockdown due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in March 2020, the Welcome Online Help Desk was established alongside the educational program, so that older people could be assisted with any digital-related issues they experienced. The Help Desk is staffed by volunteers from the National Foundation for the Elderly and employees of ASML and VodafoneZiggo.
“As a technology company, we form the core of our digitalizing society, but we realize all too well that not everyone feels at home in this digital world,” says Inge Wouters, manager of community engagement education at ASML. “That’s why we believe it’s important to make our contribution, together with ASML employees, to narrowing the digital gap, so that more and more people can benefit from technological progress. We are proud of having entered into this partnership.”
Director of the National Foundation for the Elderly Corina Gielbert: “Not all older people can easily keep up with technological developments and take advantage of the opportunities offered by the internet. Thanks to the contribution made by our new partner ASML, we can combine our energy and strengths to help even more people in 2021 and together ensure that their world remains big.”
Facts and figures on digital inclusion of the elderly in the Netherlands
- 12.7% of the elderly find it very difficult to use digital devices and the Internet.
- 47% were hesitant when first using digital devices.
- 57% feel more or less obligated to use digital devices due to digitization.
- 58.3% of the elderly are very entertained by digital devices during their free time.
- 64.4% feel that digital devices make them more independent.
- 86% find that digital devices make taking care of practical matters faster.
Source: ‘The Elderly in Digital Netherlands’ study (Dutch)