This Living Connected program has four basic steps:
- Prioritising needs and reviewing capability
- Getting setup with the right technology
- Having some initial lessons
- On-going assistance
These steps can happen at home or at group Drop-in sessions in whatever way is most suitable. The program is personalised, integrated and continuing with a focus on what the client most wants to do.
Step 1 The Initial Meeting
An initial one-on-one meeting with the client finds out what is important to them that they are finding harder to do as they get older. Is there something that could be done on a computer that would make a big difference to their wellbeing and quality of life? It could be anything from doing their own banking and shopping; joining distant family gatherings by Skype, searching the World Wide Web, creating a family tree, writing a book, playing games, watching old movies. You don’t have to be a computer whiz to learn to do any of these if you have motivation, time and patience. It can be so rewarding and such fun.
We would then suggest ways a computer could help them. We could set something up on a laptop or tablet to demonstrate what is possible. If they agree we could leave this with them for a week or so for then to try with a temporary Internet connection if needed. When they are ready, we work together with them to figure out what they already know about computers and what would work best for them in their particular situation.
Step 2 Getting set up.
If the client already has a computer and Internet connection that is suitable and OK with them we could skip this step .Otherwise we help them acquire a device that suits them and they can afford – anything from a free reconditioned laptop to high-range state of the art. We will also determine if they want the Internet and give them advice and assistance on what is best. We will also discuss with them where they can use their chosen device safely and comfortably. We will ensure that security and privacy issues are covered.
Step 3 Some Initial Lessons
With most beginners it is essential to learn on the device that they will continue to use. We have professional staff trained in the special needs of older computer users who can help the client to learn just the basics they need so they can do the one thing they want to do.
Step 4 Ongoing Assistance.
We will ensure that every client has someone (a buddy) whom they approve to call for assistance when they get stuck or want to learn something new. This could be one of our trained casual staff, a neighbour or family member, a volunteer or someone who provides some other home service. This “buddy” does not have to be on call 24/7 or be a computer expert; just someone who can pop in when it suits, who knows enough to help a beginner and recognises if it is a problem where more expert help is needed, in which case they refer back to us.