Sunday, August 14, 2011

Grammy Joins the 21st Century

Our mother has stubbornly resisted all of my & my sister's attempts at encouraging her to become more active in the community. Knowing that social isolation is a prime contributor to depression among our elders (don't tell her I called her the e-word!), I decided to buy Mom a new notebook computer when out doing intellikid's back-to-school shopping the other week, in hopes that having a virtual connection to her friends and family would make moot any insecurities that her mobility issues and hearing difficulties present when navigating real-world interactions.

Mom has a 20-year-old Compaq PC that is fine for playing solitaire, composing irate letters to her insurance company, and creating greeting cards - but configuring it to work with our high-speed internet was out of the question. Now I'm learning that configuring my Mom to work with the internet is more daunting than I first thought, too! I didn't take into consideration that when I'd tell mom to "right-click" she would move her hands to the keyboard to type (write)  the word "click."

We got all that straightened out now, and after e-mail 101 was finished, Mom sent off two brief messages to friends of hers. She also saved a photo from an e-mail to her pictures folder, and perhaps most remarkable of all, neither one of us swore during the entire lesson!

It'll take some time to explore all these new communication possibilities together, but I'm really looking forward to the day when Mom can have a video "conference" with baby Madison, her new great-granddaughter, who's now some 600 miles away in Orlando.

I'm not looking forward to the day when Mom discovers where the Fox News web site is, though....*sigh*


  1. If this is a Windows machine, put the Fox site in the Hosts file with a address and she'll never find it ;-)

    My dad had a computer before any of us kids did, although his first one was a Commodore Vic 20.

  2. What Doug said. Although as former programmer I know nothing about networks whatsoever - ask me one on Unix instead... Actually, don't.

    You could also try setting up a parental control content filter to limit her access to age appropriate content. Though at some stage you'll probably need to sit her down and explain the hazards of viewing such questionable and inappropriate content.

  3. Doug, luckily at this point Mom's not interested in looking at the Web.

    Mick, I've already tried to talk to her about the dangers of incessant news-watching on TV, but to little avail. *sigh* Parents...

  4. Cheers all around and more power to Grammy! It can be shocking out there, though. I dread when the Spambots find her.


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