Taking the ‘confusing’ out of computing in later life

Top Tips for ‘i-Connecting’

Bonnie Day knows that the technology surrounding computers can be very off putting for older people. Terms such as PC’s, ipads, getting online, surfing the net and ipods almost sound like a different world to a generation who did not grow up with it. And yet being able to use a computer could bring real benefits to a generation who sometimes experience isolation, loneliness and a general feeling of uselessness. Here are some of the questions we have been asked by older people and Bonnie Day’s responses.

What do I want a computer for, what does a computer do?

A computer can do many things that you will probably never need, but what could change your life for the better is using a computer to connect to the internet.

What can the internet do for me?

  • You can keep in touch with relatives and friends
  • You can see and talk to your relatives and friends
  • You can have your food delivered to your door
  • You can buy clothes and gifts
  • You can find out information e.g. bus timetable, shop opening hours
  • You can store photos and make your own albums
  • You can play games
  • You can spend an afternoon looking around the world
  • You can do personal banking
  • You can build your family tree
  • You can collect recipes
  • You can read a book
  • You can find a favourite poem
  • You can listen to that special piece of music

Is the internet safe?

A trusted friend or relative will be able to advise you about safety. You can protect your computer with anti- virus software – you will be helped to do this when you get started. Be careful with the information about yourself that you give out. Only trust known names and sources. Keep your passwords safe. Do not open or answer mail from strangers or someone you don’t know. Do not answer emails unless you are expecting them. Be sensible

Do I buy a computer or an iPad?

Try both with friends or family and choose which one suits you best A computer has a mouse which may be difficult to control. An iPad can be controlled by touch.

How do I get the internet?

Connecting to the internet with Broadband is a usual solution, but is still not available in all areas. Broadband is provided by phone or cable companies Contact the provider of your choice and they will provide you with the equipment (hardware) to connect.

Bonnie Day encourages the use of IT in Care homes to supplement and extend their activity themes and to enhance and enrich the lives of residents.