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Advice on getting a someone new to computers onto Gransnet

(12 Posts)
Ogma Thu 13-Sep-12 16:34:57

Hi All,
Just joined today looking for advice and support.
Although a Grandad myself, I am here for my mother. (officially 79 although she will only ever answer '21 and a bit')

She wants to learn how to use the basics of computers to socialise and talk to people. Mostly to be able to talk to relative abroad, but I am hoping she will also be able to take an active part in forums such as Gransnet. Her computer skills at the moment are limited to using the cashpoint.

Her physical mobilty is greatly limited. This is a huge factor in looking at the computer to talk and also limits the options available.

Can anyone offer any advice on how this has been approached successfully?


Greatnan Thu 13-Sep-12 16:40:42

Welcome, Ogma.
Trial and error on a laptop is the only way I know to master use of it.
You may find you have to show her the basics of logging on and moving around the site several times.
Mobility should not be a problem if you can put the laptop on a tray which sh can put on her knee. She will only need one hand unless she touch types.
It will make a huge difference to her life if she can join this, or any other, forums for a chat
I am trying to get my sister, who is 75, to get a laptop. She had a few lessons at the local library but she couldn't remember how to switch on the laptop! She hasn't mastered her answering machine yet, after several demonstrations, or how to use the record facility on her new TV. I can only visit her occasionally as I live in France, but I am not going to give up.

annodomini Thu 13-Sep-12 17:07:16

She could use the computer to learn to use it, if you see what I mean. The BBC has a course which should help her to get accustomed to the machine. My uncle learned about many functions of the computer in his 80s. It's never too late.

Nelliemoser Thu 13-Sep-12 17:25:27

Does your local library or such facility operate a computer buddy service? These are usually other silver surfering volunteers who can use internet and computers etc and want to help others be able to.

bikergran Thu 13-Sep-12 22:09:00

also there are settings on the computer/laptop that make it easier to read/use larger fonts/ screen brighness etc...

annodomini Thu 13-Sep-12 22:34:22

If there's an AgeUK course available in her area and if she can go to their premises, she might enjoy learning to use the computer in the company of other novices:

Ogma Fri 14-Sep-12 10:52:57

Thank you for the replies, all good stuff.

Bit more info
Annodomini - AgeUK - waiting for a call back, very hopeful that they will be able to help. [thumbup] Also, hoping to speak to them about other stuff. She bakes outstanding cakes and would love to get back into baking but needs someone wither her. I will look into the bbc info.

Bikergran, yes, the laptop is set up to make it easier for her to use it.

Nelliemoser - Library is an option, although we would need someone to go with her. AND she would insist on this being a handsome young man.

Greatnan - Hit the nail on the head. She needs repition. Embarassingly, I am (or more accurately, was) an IT trainer. I could write her a great course but need someone to deliver it and keep helping her. I am stuck miles away with a few mobilty issues of my own.

Thank you all, I will hope to get her on here someday.


Movedalot Fri 14-Sep-12 13:41:20

Perhaps one of us could help her. I would be happy to help if she lives within 10 mile sof me.

One thing which you probably know well as a trainer but which is so often forgotten: she won't learn to do it if someone shows her. They need to tell her what to do and watch that she does it correctly and once she has mastered the very basics ask her questions so she can work it out herself. I know this seems obvious but I so often see people saying 'do it like this' but we learn by doing ourselves.

I hope you manage to sort it out. I know a 95 year old who has learnt to skype.

glassortwo Fri 14-Sep-12 14:22:49

Hi Ogma if you could let us know what area your Mum is in, I am sure you will find one us will be within driving distance of her and may possibly be able to help.

Ogma Mon 17-Sep-12 08:08:16

Hi Again,
Mum is in Sutton Coldfield, Birmimgham.

Movedalot. exactly. If I show her once and there is nobody to ask, she will end up thinking it is too difficult and give up. I'd like to have some help in place before starting her off.

Awaiting a phone call from AgeUK today which may solve everything, smile


glassortwo Mon 17-Sep-12 14:04:56

Ogma I am in the North so too far to offer help, hope you manage to get something in place.

Movedalot Mon 17-Sep-12 14:07:21

Sorry I am too far away.