Surf's up as octogenarians go online for the first time

The Oxford Times: Home administrator, Teresa Day with Sylvia Robinson, 89, Olive Norton, 89 and Joan Walden, 85 Home administrator, Teresa Day with Sylvia Robinson, 89, Olive Norton, 89 and Joan Walden, 85

RESIDENTS at an East Oxford care home will soon surf the internet for the first time.

St John’s Home in St Mary’s Road has bought a £600 Samsung touch screen computer for communal use thanks to donations.

The home, which is a charity, raised £936 from its annual fundraising barbecue in July and was able to buy the PC by using other donations too.

Home administrator Teresa Day said: “They will start to learn things, such as how to use Skype, which will be fantastic because some of them have relatives abroad.

“It will also encourage them to be as independent as possible. I think they are all very curious about it.”

Some residents have computers in their rooms, but this will be the first time one has been available for communal use.

She added: “We also have monthly meetings for the residents to voice what they think and they often ask things like how the chef finds new recipes. The answer is usually that he finds new recipes via the internet. It will be nice for them to browse and research things.”

Joan Walden, 85, a resident for two years, said: “This feels like I’m in my second childhood. To be able to use the internet and send emails to family and friends is a great idea.”

Sylvia Robinson, 89, originally from Nottinghamshire, said: “I think it has given us a wonderful opportunity to learn a new skill and to keep in touch with others.”

Training will begin on Wednesday. Other activities include a weekly knitting club, choir and Scrabble.

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