Our client, Rose, explains how the one-to-one support to use a PC has been about much more than just the technology.
Islington Carers Hub client, Rose, has been learning how to get more out of her laptop with digital support arranged by our parent organisation, Age UK Islington. She wanted to be able to write letters on her computer and also to send and receive emails from her phone, so that she could better deal with her household admin.
Rose has been a carer for some years – first for her father and then for her mother. When her father died, this coincided with her mother retiring and her mother found it very difficult to deal with the bereavement. At the time, Rose was just completing her studies so that she could get a job. She had dealt with her dyslexia and, having completed her training, she secured a part-time office job. However, she gave up her job to start caring for her mother who was in and out of hospital. She is still caring for her mother 10 years on. They have a good routine and her mother has recently been showing her sewing-machining and embroidery.
One day during the Covid lockdown, Rose was sitting at home and received a Wellbeing Call from Islington Carers Hub. She and her mother were doing ok, but she mentioned that she’d like to explore how to use her phone and laptop better. Activities Co-ordinator, Carmen, contacted her to understand what she wanted to achieve and linked her into one-to-one digital support with a volunteer through Age UK Islington’s Tech Break and then with Healthwatch. Carmen has also helped Rose herself.
For the weekly Tech Break and the Healthwatch groups, Rose was sent a Zoom link to join the group. From the group, she was then linked to a one-to-one meeting with a volunteer. She’d hold her phone up to the screen so that the volunteer could see what she wanted to achieve, or share the screen on her computer, so that the volunteer could explain what she needed to do. Through the regular sessions, she has had help using Word to write documents and can now access her emails from her phone. She has also successfully been able to hook up her printer to her laptop.
“The lessons have been wonderful, intuitive and I’ve learnt quite a lot on my PC and on my phone. Email has made all the difference to me. It’s given me lots of confidence. I can now write letters on my PC and share attachments and photos.”
Rose enjoys “getting out to do shopping” and finds “walking in the fresh air beneficial.” She likes being able to join the Zoom groups to help her with using her digital devices. She feels that she is “in safe quarters and can concentrate better because she is relaxed and comfortable at home.”
“The volunteers are very understanding, very patient, kind and relaxed. They’re very good people and I love being in their company. Their help comes from the heart and you can feel it.”
To get support to use your PC, laptop, mobile or tablet, give Age UK Islington a call on 020 7281 6018 and you too can start on your own digital journey!