OLDER residents can now surf the World Wide Web in style after we installed nearly £20,000 of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) equipment at our sheltered schemes.
Supporting our ‘Digital by Default’ programme – which aims to develop older residents IT skills so they can access all the same services that are available to tenants – our ICT team spent a day replacing and installing up to two brand new Hewlett Packard personal computers and printers at each of our 24 sheltered schemes.
Following the success of Silver Surfer events, which sees sheltered scheme residents being taught on an individual basis how to use the internet, all of the computers have had webcams and Skype installed; allowing people to keep in touch with their friends and family in an easy and cost-effective way – wherever they are living in the world.
High-visibility keyboards and wide screen monitors have also been installed so that the facilities are accessible to as many residents as possible.
Sandy James, Older Persons’ Services manager, said: “Due to the success of our Silver Surfer events, which aim to help older people understand ICT systems in a fun, easy and relaxed manner, many of our residents have become very confident using, not only computers, but new technology and gadgets in general.
“Residents now use computers on an almost daily basis as they can keep in touch with relatives - as many of them live thousands of miles away - or to simply shop or pay their rent and bills online which continues to give them a sense of independence.”
Sheltered scheme resident and CHP ‘Digital Champion’, Bill McKay, 85, said: “I use the internet almost daily as I like e-mailing friends and family and I’ve also got used to using Skype. Because of Silver Surfer events I now have the confidence to use the internet which I would not have had before.”