Older people ICT use and social inclusion: lessons learned from Covid-19

Since Covid-19 outbreak in spring 2020, the role of ICT in supporting social interactions has gained importance into public and academic discourses. This phenomenon also forces to reconsider the issue of ICT accessibility for many social categories that appear more at risk of social exclusion than the general population, such as older people [OP]. To that respect, welfare regimes may underestimate the need for structural interventions that enable OP to fully participate in an increasingly digital world. By adopting an active aging framework, this presentation provides an overview of the most recent research evidence on older people’s ICT use and the effects in terms of wellbeing, with a focus on Italy. In discussing the literature, we argue that OP digital inclusion might represent one of the main challenges for the future sustainability of European aging societies, as supported by demographic trends.