Humans Helping : LUSENET : TB2K spinoff uncensored : One Thread

Need some advice, never mind you smart asses. I have posted this question before, can't locate the thread. I have been led to a Nursing Home full of old timers who have nothing left, save for the ice cream treat. Met one 80 yr old, who sits in his wheel chair day after day, he says he is waiting for death. No one visits him except for the Jahova (misp) Witnessed. I would like to send him messages via internet email. So he might have a sparkened interest at something. My problem: I am on the User end, if it doesn't connect, doesn't work, I am at a loss. And I can not bring myself to offer hope for someone, when I do not know all the answers to make it happen. Need some help here. Thank You.

-- Human (, July 20, 2000


would like to help but I do not fully understand your question. try again.

-- FutureShock (gray@matter.think), July 20, 2000.

Hi Human--

What a nice idea you have had. I'm sure there are many people here who would be happy to help you solve the problem. Would you explain each step you have taken to send the email and what happened when you did each step?

-- Pam (, July 20, 2000.

Human, you might try sending postcards or letters. You know, snail mail. Better yet, visit in person. Find out what the old bag used to enjoy. Gather up some appropriate reading material. Read to the old fart.

It is easy to forget how important touch is for each of us. Hold the wrinkled prune's hand. Ask the codger to relate stories from his youth. What was it like the day XYZ occurred? Pick key moments in history and ask him his recollections. Geezers love to speak on the good old days, even when they were not so good.

Good luck to you. You will reap many rewards for reaching out in this way.

[To the seniors of the offense intended...we are all ageless when it comes right down to the fine print.]

-- Bingo1 (, July 21, 2000.

I'm unaware of nursing homes that have E-mail accounts for the patients. Assisted living facilities don't typically have them either. I took some pictures of my mom and her friend, scanned them and sent the images to mom's friend's E-mail address [in New Jersey.] His response went to my account, and I hand-delivered it to his mom.

I agree with Bingo. These folks want companionship. If you want to help, volunteer at the facility.

-- Anita (, July 21, 2000.

Yeppers!!! Go there directly, take the time....I used to go each week, lots of folks there just want a smile. It was so rewarding to just sit and listen to their words of wisdom and how it used to be.

I would sit patiently and smile. I took my son and he would play the piano and sing, do what you can, even 'if' you cant get there, send a one line postcard.

To the rest----who'd of 'thunk' sumer did such things? :-)


-- consumer (, July 21, 2000.

I think we're missing the boat here. If nursing homes and assisted living centers don't have email, THEN THEY SHOULD. Thousands are spent on activities. Why not a computer? It won't be long before many of the people now using email regularly are in nursing homes. Should they be cut off from the world even further?

This could be like a mentoring program. Take 5 min and say hello to an older person. "Email Friends" Think of it, if just one person does it, we have a start but if two people do it we have a trend, and if three people do it, think of it, THREE people...we have a MOVEMENT.

-- Pam (, July 21, 2000.

Pam, it WOULD be nice, in a perfect world. many seniors cant really comprehend email at all. :-)

Although we may be missing the boat, do you believe that computers are the 'in' way to keep folks 'in touch'? Sure it is nice IF one has NO time at all and many elderly feel all alone as is.

So something 'is' better than nothing, I guess? Am I making sense?

I guess until you really see their faces as they WAIT to see who is there and the complete JOY if you bring a smaller child, email just dont cut that. Although already cut off and all alone, which is lesser of two evils?

Sheesh, hope I am making sense. I see your point Pam, know that, but I have been there and realize a touch, a smile is SO MUCH more.

OTOH, email is good :-0

---sumer @ work

-- consumer (, July 21, 2000.

Hi Consumer--

Yep, I can see ALL the drawbacks. I took care of my Mother at home through dementia for years. I also remember her playing Super Tetris and having a ball. When I do visit nursing homes I just want to take everyone home love them up and make them better.

Sure there are people who will not be able to enjoy email. There are people who could. Think of family pictures and a daily hello. Much better than an empty day.

What about corporate sponsorship? If Apple put computers in schools why not recycle older computers to nursing homes?

-- Pam (, July 21, 2000.

Now THERE is a very good solution, but most likely Not gonna happen, so many good solutions, I believe they would go to public schools first, no?

Right you are, about visiting, I did meet plenty I wanted to take home had to remember although not present, they Do have families, somewhere.

----sumer @ work, slow day hey hey

-- consumer (, July 21, 2000.

Rather than sending them e-mail, which can be a little impersonal, why not go for the personal touch? Why not go to the home and read to them occasionally? If you do any crafts, such as knit or crochet, you might try making blankets and slippers for them (my fiancee does that- she makes blankets as a stress relief and then donates them). If you have any involvement with any community groups, you could bring them by for a visit on occasion. If you have a mellow dog or cat, you could try asking the administration if you could bring him or her by every do often. I've done this before and it is very rewarding, most folks in nursing homes don't see many fluffy animals.

You don't need to offer hope or all the answers to these people. Companionship and interaction in and of themselves can be very good.

Good luck!

-- Tarzan the Ape Man (, July 21, 2000.

I just received an e-mail in regards to my usage of certain negative phrases above - "old bag", "old fart", "geezers", "wrinkled prune".

I have outraged this person and probably a few others. I must tell you I was attempting to be playful, not abusive. Nonetheless, damage has been done and for that I am very sorry.

I was raised with my grandfather living in our house. Jack founded the local Senior Citizens Club and was President for almost two decades. He represented NJ Seniors in Washington D.C. for many, many years. He was the man Seniors looked to when something needed to be organized. Intelligent, forceful and not afraid to fail.

As a child I frequented the Seniors Club because it sat less than 100 feet from the bar in which my father lost his soul time and time again. I'd sneak off to the Club when my old man (there I go again) became too boisterous to tolerate, too drunk to notice my absence, too lost to care.

The seniors were always happy to see me, to wipe the tears off my face, yank on my ears and cheeks. I learned to shoot pool there and also watched card games for hours at a time. The banter, the needles, the barbs - what fun to just sit quietly and listen to the wisdom tinged with bitterness. The interplay was phenomenal to behold. And my grandfather was revered, he commanded whichever room he was in at the time.

I was proud of him. Still am proud of him. So in his memory, again, I offer my sincerest apology for my insensitivity.

-- Bingo1 (, July 21, 2000.


I for one was not offended, in fact, didnt even notice.

No need to apologize to me, but was 'sweet' of you to do so.

Thanks for 'sharing' your experience as well.....

BTW, the BEST movie out was Grumpy Old Men :-) and still in shock over death of Lead Man.....

-- consumer (, July 21, 2000.

I think this is a fantastic idea. I would love to correspond with a few people who could use a hello, good wishes, and a shoulder now and then. Perhaps some could volunteer to give classes or demos to the folks on how to use e-mail and the internet. If they have access, then they could utilize a free hotmail or other e-mail account. I'm sure there would be many people or companies who would donate new or used equipment for this purpose. How about running an ad in a local newspaper. I've seen sections such as these.

-- cin (cin@cin.cin), July 22, 2000.

p.s. Imagine the wisdom and insight there is to be gained from talking to someone who has lived through so much =)

-- cin (cin@cin.cin), July 22, 2000.

Wow!, I didn't expect such a response! What kind words. To those who believe (and so do I) that an in person visit is much more rewarding, this isn't possible when a one man band tries to make a difference on limited time. Besides Tarzan, I can't crochet. I have already thought of the cards. That can be one highlight of the day in the a.m. But after 4:00 p.m., the only highlight is dinner. I have seen it. Pam, maybe you are right, I am trying to set up something if and when I have to go to one on those homes. Reap What Ye Sow? This is a hard task for me. I have been given the desire and the knowledge that some internet is free. Try .(maybe banners from hell). My original question was, if /when I go there and try to start an email box, if I need help, is anybody willing to help? Call me stupido.

-- Humans Helping (, July 22, 2000.

Bingo, you sure had plently of Angels around you.... Awesome. isn't it, in retrospect?.

-- Humans Helping (, July 22, 2000.

Hi Human--

I'm off to church with a post it note stuck to purse to ask my friend, the activities director of Stone Manor, about computer availability. I don't see why the home's main computer could not be used at first. People may have to receive their emails printed out and distributed but we'll see....... It may take some time and then again, I might come back with a list of names. Small towns, where everyone knows everyone, often have little red tape.

Others here know much more than I do about free internet access.

-- Pam (, July 23, 2000.

You know, Humans, I always thought I was alone during that long stretch in the desert. Perhaps I should revisit some of those events and conditions and make a re-evaluation. Angels, huh. You may be correct. Thank you.

-- Bingo1 (, July 23, 2000.

Thank you for your responses. I found out the Nursing home does not have internet capability (1) because of the cost, (2) because they are afraid of the X rated sites. I think I have the solution, there are the KMart, Blue Light which promises free internet, and one other "Free Internet". My own Internet is protected from the scum. I did not deliberately choose it, it just happened this way (puter stupid), but I am grateful for it. Maybe someone reading this can tell us how , step by step, to ward off the offensive stuff. Don't want it in my face. I have to say, me and my friends have something to offer the old timers, but it is on an infrequent basis. Without disclosing, what we do, we try to give them a glimpse into their hey day. And it ain't bobbing for apples.

-- Humans Helping (, July 23, 2000.

Humans, it is really a great idea. It's easy to underestimate how many elderly people really *can* adapt to and enjoy technology. I gave an outgrown computer (an old P166Mhz) to an 83-year-old man. His son helped him get on the internet and taught him how to surf the 'net and use search engines. It's like the guy has a new lease on life...he just loves it! He enjoys finding websites and user's groups about his interests and hobbies. He participates in bulletin board there's some extra companionship! He even set up his own forum for his family members scattered all across the country. They stay in touch with him now (even the grandchildren) more than they ever did by phone or regular mail.

-- (I'm a@little.teapot), July 24, 2000.

What is the problem with the X-rated sites anyway. Aren't they old enough to choose for themselves? sheesh

-- cin (cin@cin.cin), July 24, 2000.

Hi Human,

From firsthand experience, I can tell you what's worked wonderfully for my dad.

He absolutely LOVES being read to. And I read to him about twice a week. But the thing that really makes this work wonderfully is that I pick out books that I've loved, assuming that he'll at least like them (this has worked very well so far). And since I love the book, it not only makes it that much easier to read to him, but it's a whale of a lot of fun for me. And since I've read the book, I know the characters, making this even more enjoyable -- it's challenging and immensely satisfying to try and interpret them.

I mean, I really get into it -- almost carried away, at times -- and sometimes it easily runs into three or four hours before I know it (he always wants me to keep going, anyway). I'll try to do different voices for the different characters, different expressions, emotions, etc., add sound effects, even walk back and forth -- you know -- almost turning it into a kind of play. I swear, I'm even thinking of, at some point, finding stuff at garage sales and other places so that I can do costume changes!

My dad's fortunate, in that he lives at his home (advanced Parkinsonism) with aides taking care of him, but I'm sure a lower-key version of this could be done at a nursing home. On the other hand, maybe you could arrange for a whole group of them to listen to (and watch) your "play"!

So, if there's any way you could give this the personal touch (even if it's something other than reading) -- go for it; that aspect is so important to them.

-- eve (, July 24, 2000.

Just to clarify my post above so that y'all don't think I've finally gone off the deep end...

Any "costume changes" I'd consider would obviously have to be selective and/or use things that could be put on and removed very quickly -- maybe even just a cheap wig, pair of glasses, etc.

And of course, all the scenes that feature identical twins who are dressed alike and involved in a long conversation would naturally be a breeze to get through in this way. All you'd have to worry about are the other situations.

-- eve (, July 24, 2000.

Bingo, it is evident that you come from a Third World. We don't lie down, and we don't go easy. My Story.......

-- Dumbing down (of, July 25, 2000.

There is a missing link here. No wonder you read this confusion. One text was taken out, to confuse the issue. You only have my word.

-- Dumbing down (, July 27, 2000.

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