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What are the benefits of getting online?

(7 Posts)
Tara4800 Thu 19-Apr-12 16:01:43

Hi all,

Recently we recently bought my grandmother a computer. As a lot of the family live quite far away and she loves keeping in touch, we thought it'd be great to set her up on Skype and communicate with her kids and grandchildren via email instead of her waiting for phone calls.
My grandfather passed away last year so she's in the house on her own and rarely has visitors other than family members that come to see her. I really think it would benefit her to get online and have more active interaction in her life, especially as she does complain of being alone sometimes, but she hasn't kept up with her computer classes and seems very disinterested in integrating the computer into her life.
She's 82 and I think if she could see other words of encouragement other than my own, it might let her see that the computer is a good thing and getting online is easier than she expects! If there is anyone who could share why they started up online, their reasons for doing so or the benefits they feel it gives to their quality of life I would be so grateful, so I can show her and she can see what she's missing out on!

Many Thanks,


glassortwo Thu 19-Apr-12 16:07:55

Tara she could come and join us all here at Gransnet, there is always someone to chat to all times of the day and night so she need never be lonely. flowers

shysal Thu 19-Apr-12 16:29:11

I felt like a second class citizen before I bought my laptop 12 years ago! Everywhere you look or on every radio programme you are advised to visit the website for more information. I was missing out on so much, and it is a good link to the outside world for those of us who live alone, especially through GN of course!
Trying something new can be a bit daunting, especially for the elderley, but I managed with no tuition, although my knowledge is limited. There are several helpful books available including some for 'silver surfers'.
Good luck tara, hope you manage to help your grandmother to visit a whole new world. flowers

sunflowersuffolk Thu 19-Apr-12 17:09:30

My Dad aged 86 was thinking about getting a computer as he felt left out, with all the references on radio programmes etc about getting more information online. He was apprehensive about it, as if something went wrong, he'd need help sorting it out, and we lived 60 miles away, so he never did get one.

A friends' Dad has recently got one, and has some problems navigating round it at times, so they have set up a way of controlling the dads' computer from their house (don't know the exact details) so if ever he gets in a pickle, they can usually sort it from their house. I could find out more if you wanted.

Maybe if she can chat to family on your computer/laptop a few times, it would encourage her, and see pics on facebook of what the family are all up to. As well as GN there is Sagazone which might interest her. Also maybe she would start researching her family tree.

If you've never used a computer I'm sure its very daunting, but there is so much for the housebound/lonely if you can start using one. Good luck .

yogagran Sat 21-Apr-12 23:15:19

The subject of remote access to a computer was discussed some weeks ago on another thread, you may come across it buried somewhere if you need to find it but I think that this may be a way around helping a person who is lacking in computer knowledge

FlicketyB Sun 22-Apr-12 08:35:56

Would she benefit from being able to order groceries online? Would that be another use that might interest her.

Perhaps she is afraid of the computer or is perhaps having difficulty remembering or even understanding what she is taught. It is possible that she might be beginning to have memory problems so she forgets what to do as fast as she is told it. If she is depressed or still grieving for her husband she may also suffer memory problems

You may need to stand back and look at your grandmother dispassionately. How has she mastered other technology, like television remotes, setting a video/DVD player, programming a washing machine for different wash patterns etc. It may be that she always left things like that to her husband and quite simply she simply cannot cope, and will never be able to cope with something, like a computer, which is so alien to her every experience.

I have several uncles in their late 80s who are whizzes on the computer but when I tried to encourage both my father and another uncle to embrace technology I was totally unsuccessful. My uncle could never even master double clicking on the mouse.

Greatnan Sun 22-Apr-12 09:24:59

I would love to get my 75-year old sister on-line - her son has given her an old laptop. However, she still cannot work out how to set her TV to record, or how to pick up voice messages from her phone. She went to a computer class for older people at the local library, but she never got beyond learning how to log on. It made her feel stupid so she gave up. (She gave up typing classes when she was 16).
Her sons or I make her flight reservations and I help her to deal with all her financial affairs (I made Barclays repay her PPI long before any publicity about it). She wouldn't want to do her grocery shop on-line, as she enjoys her daily excursion to Morrisons on the little free bus with one or more of her elderly neighbours.
She sometimes asks me to look something up on Google for her, but I can't honestly think of any way in which her life would be better if she could use her computer. She doesn't have a great thirst for knowledge and is very happy with her books, TV, magazines and The Daily Mirror.
We are not much alike, but we love each other very much!