Senior-Friendly Computers Helping LIFE Program Participants Stay Connected

Published: Thursday, July 14, 2016

Thanks to a grant from the Ira R. Wood and Frances Wood Charitable Trust, LIFE Program participants are staying connected to their families, their community and the world around them.

The $4,000 grant was used to purchase a Telikin Elite II computer for each of the LIFE Centers (Armstrong, Beaver, Butler and Lawrence Counties).

“Many LIFE participants have never had the opportunity to experience how a computer can help them communicate with friends and family via email or video chat, or to experience the joy of sharing photos of their children and grandchildren,” said Jennifer McIntire, director of development community services, Lutheran SeniorLife Foundation.

The Telikin is specifically designed for seniors and easy to navigate by simply touching the screen.

“Most of our participants have little experience with computers,” said Marla Frailey, director, LIFE Butler County.

“Some are now using it independently for email, web browsing, games and photo viewing. We have one individual who has had a stroke and is able to use the touch screen to play games and contact his family who live out of the area,” she added.

At LIFE Lawrence County, one participant expressed a desire to learn more while he is at the center, in addition to the scheduled activities. He was introduced to the Telikin and now uses it to search the internet information and videos about topics that interest him.

Sharon Whalen, technology associate for Lutheran SeniorLife said the Telikin computers are ideal for seniors who are wary of technology, thanks to the ease of operation.

“In the Abundant Life Center at Passavant Community, we have them in the business center, personal care and the skilled nursing households. We have volunteers that help residents use them for a variety of reasons – some enjoy games, others prefer to research information, several watch You Tube clips of favorite entertainers. There are also residents who use it independently and are able to check their email and Skype with family members. The computers have helped residents to stay connected to loved ones and life beyond their community,” Whalen said.

McIntire added that the computers provide opportunities for new learning for group activities as well when connected to a television. “As a group, seniors can literally take a walk down memory lane, participate in sing-a-longs, play games or virtually visit special places around the world!”

  LIFE Lawrence County participants enjoy using their new Telikin computer for games, email and web browsing.

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