IT for Seniors

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IT for Seniors

Helsinki, Finland
Project Stage:
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

The project educates key persons in the 78 associations of the Association of the Swedish-Speaking Pensioners to educate the members how to use IT.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

In Finland as well as globally, many authorities share information on the internet. Daily routines are frequently handled on the website, such as the bank services. Clearly, there has been an increasing demand of information technology knowhow among older people, who often have little or none experience from computer usage from their working life. IT penetration has expanded fast. The pensioners perceive that without computer talents their possibilities of participating as worthy members in various community sectors are reduced. Therefore, the motivation of older people to learn about computer skills is high. Enquiry results from the beginning of the project showed that bank services, possibilities of virtual contacts to family members all over the world (through e-mail, Skype and social media interfaces) as well as vaster utilization of peripheral devices were on top of the wishing list for computer legibility. An association as the Association of the Swedish-Speaking Pensioners in Finland has no possibility of visiting all over its 19 000 members. Therefore, the project focuses on IT instructors and webmasters. The project has got funding for one full-time employed person from RAY, which is an association for SLOT Machines, administers under the Ministry of Social and Health Affairs. This funding procedure is normal in Finland for associations in the social and health sector, in 2012 a total of 779 organisations received funding from RAY approved by the Ministery of Social and Health Affairs and the Ministery of the Exchequer.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Through educating the IT instructors, at least one in each of the 78 associations, the IT legibility increases among the pensioners and the sense of deprived freedom and participation in social debates, loneliness and accessibility as well as lack of alternative solutions for inexpensive service forms decrease among the target group. The persons interested in IT literacy can get education in IT usage and help with solving computer problems. They can then teach their knowledge to the following person. The usage information is free. The project has published two books in IT: one for private persons to understand computers and one for associations to take advantage of IT for older people in sharing information and creating websites as well as in administrative functions for dealing more efficiently with the association's economy and member register systems. Other existing solutions to the problem is that the members of the associations pay for a person from an IT company to show them how to use the IT. All pensioners need information via IT, but everybody cannot afford to pay a person to show them how the computer functions or to get the help for them. Besides, older people often want other older people to help and educate them in computers and IT. Young people are often too fast and older people do not want younger persons to realize that they do not understand something. Although the name of the project is IT for Seniors, in the project there are computers of various manufacturers, and telecommunication companies. There is also education in the usage of mobile phones, iPads and digital cameras.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

The project arranges a seminar for IT instructors and they return home to teach their association's members how to use IT. If the IT instructors have a problem they cannot solve, they can ask the other active persons in the project. The project co-ordinator co-ordinates the project seminars, IT technology, the associations' IT instructors and the substance of the IT taught as well as documents the project. The IT instructor goes to a member in the association. The member has a computer and the IT instructor helps or educates the member with the computer. The IT instructors volunteer and do not get paid for their job. The member can then use the computer for bank services and other virtual services.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

In the Swedish-Speaking Finnish sector all actors know about each other and want to substitute rather than compete with each other, because we all work on volunteer basis and the field because of the huge demand expands. We all need to co-operate because we educate each other as good and reliable actors are needed.
About You
About You
First Name


Last Name


Implementer(s) and cooperation partners

The Association of Swedish-Speaking Pensioners in Finland


Non‐profit/NGO/citizen sector organization

Country where main implementer is located

, Helsinki

How long has the main implementer been operating?

More than 5 years

Please provide a short description of the main implementer.

The Association of the Swedish-Speaking Pensioners in Finland is a non-governmental organisation in the third sector registered in 1972. It has over 19 000 members in Finland, including the Åland Islands. The most important tasks are supporting the 78 member organisations and their members, taking older people's knowledge into account and lobbying for older people's welfare and pensions. The Association of Swedish-Speaking Pensioners in Finland belongs to The Organisation of Pensioners Associations in Finland (EETU), which includes five other organisations covering 300 000 pensioners.

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Cooperation partner

Non-profit/NGO/citizen sector organisation

How does this cooperation partner support the initiative? What competencies and resources does this partner bring to the initiative?
Cooperation partner

Please select

How does this cooperation partner support the initiative? Which competencies and resources does this partner bring to the initiative?
Cooperation partner

Please select

How does this cooperation partner support the initiative? Which competencies and resources does this partner bring to the initiative?
Cooperation partner

Please select

How does this cooperation partner support the initiative? Which competencies and resources does this partner bring to the initiative?
Problem and solution
Which of these fields of Active and Healthy Ageing are addressed by your initiative?

Health literacy and patient empowerment, Personalized health management, Prevention and early diagnosis of functional and cognitive decline, Integrated care for chronic conditions, Assisted daily living, Independent living solutions, Social inclusion (intergenerational practice, work and volunteering), Age friendly buildings, environments, and communities.

If none of the above, answer here:
Please describe if and how your stakeholders (cooperation partners, funders, users, etc.) have been participating in defining the problem and developing the solution.

The following stakeholders have been involved:
Funder: RAY, the Association of Slot Machines, administer under the Finnish Ministery of Social and Health Affairs

Co-operation partners:
IT3, a project helping third sectors organisations' members with solving IT problems (Finnish Swedish Youth Organisation).
The Central Union for the Welfare of the Aged, who also has an equivalent project for seniors for older people in Finnish called Käkäte-project (, User Centered Technology for Elderly People and Care Givers, to 2014
The Swedish Study Centre (SSC) and the Finnish Adult Education Organization and InkluderaFlera.
The Organisation of Pensioners Associations in Finland (EETU), which consists of Eläkeliitto, Eläkeläiset, The Central Association of Finnish Pensioners (EKL) (Eläkkeensaajien keskusliitto), Kansallinen Senioriliitto, The Union of the Christian Pensioners (Kristillinen Eläkeliitto).
The City of Helsinki has a project with IT for older citizens
The Ministry of Social and Health Affairs together with the Ministry of Employment and the Economy has a project called Palveluvaaka II (Service Scale II)
Åbo Akademi University

Has your solution been tested in trials, experimentations, or pilot projects? If yes, please describe the process and outcome.

RAY, the Association of Slot Automats, has granted funding for the project IT for Seniors for the years 2010-2011, and renewed the funding 2012-2014 for the same project.

How long has your solution been in operation?

for 1‐5 years

Please select the relationship between your solution and related solutions currently established in our society. Is your solution…

independent (your solution is approaching a problem that has not been approached before)

What barriers might hinder the success of your initiative? How do you plan to overcome them?

If the funding stops, it will be difficult to continue with the project.
We apply for funding for the project.

Organization and funding
Regularly paid employees

One: Mona Lehtonen





External advisers and experts


Others (please specify)


What are the specific professional backgrounds and competencies your team brings to the initiative?

Knowledge about Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in the First, Second and Third sector, field experience about ICT and seniors, data programming, senior participation, distribution of communication and information to seniors, how to keep up good physical and psychological condition throughout ageing.

Please describe your management or coordination structure in the initiative.

From highest down:
The Annual Meeting of the Association of the Swedish-Speaking Pensioners in Finland
The President and the Council of the Swedish-Speaking Pensioners in Finland
The Chair and the Steering Board of the project IT for Seniors
The Managing Director
The Co-ordinator of the project IT for Seniors
IT instructors, webmasters, volunteers

Please provide the total yearly budget in Euro that your initiative spends on implementing the solution.

90 000

National public funding

100 %

European Union public funding


Economic return from own products/services


Foundations and philanthropy capital


Single donations from private individuals


Donations from private companies


Crowdfunding platforms


Participation fees


Other (please specify)


Target group, scale and impact
Which target group(s) do you want to reach with your solution?

All computer illiterate Swedish-Speaking Senior Finns

Please estimate the number of persons within your target group (users, clients, etc.) that you currently reach directly with your solution.

20 000 persons

In which local/regional/national area(s) is the solution currently implemented?

Along the Finnish coastline, which is the Swedish-Speaking area, from Kotka to Kokkola, including Tampere and the Åland Islands

What is the impact on your target group (users, clients) you want to generate?

1. Vaster possibilities of participation in societal debates
2. Usage of banking and other commercial services
3. Social interaction with family members, friends and acquaintances globally

What is the wider impact on society you want to generate?

A more positive attitude towards older people and that senior people's knowledge and opinions are heard and taken into account i society.

What are the impacts on your target group you already achieved?

Many more computer literate persons and more efficient distribution of information and interaction about for instance act and other initiatives.

How has the impact of your initiative been assessed?

Experience-based self-assessment (you assessed the impacts based on your experiences with the target group), Feedback-based self-assessment (you assessed the impacts based on feedback from the target group without using specific methods), Self-evaluation (you used qualitative and/or quantitative methods to assess impacts), External evaluation of impacts based on qualitative methods (interviews, focus groups, etc.), External evaluation of impacts based on quantitative methods (quantitative measurement of impact indicators).

Public information and strategy
What information on your initiative is publicly available?

Mission and strategy, Information on team members, Financial report, Activity report, Working method and 'theory of change'.

Please indicate webpage or contact for obtaining the respective information.
What are your milestones for further developing, implementing, and establishing your initiative in the next three years? Please describe 1-3 milestones.

1. Expanding networking of IT instructors
2. More IT instructors
3. More seniors interested in IT