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IT provision for the Elderly

By friendsote ·
Hi all..I work for an Elderly charity with residential homes. We are looking at ways of enabling our residents to surf the Internet or send emails and I wondered if anyone has tried to implement this in similar circumstances. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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Not so different from other implementations

by dfirefire In reply to IT provision for the Elde ...

This should be easy. Get your hands on second hand computers that can run the OS you prefer. Install a network, either wired or wireless. Connect everything. Get ready to face a lot of problems that make IT such a rewarding business such as network downtime, viruses, spyware, spam...

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Watch out, you're about to step into a minefield.....!

by gadgetgirl In reply to IT provision for the Elde ...

- and I'm sorry in advance, but I'm not kidding.

I work in the mental health section of the NHS in the UK, so patient access comes under my security remit. It is an absolute minefield.

Questions first:

Where are you getting the pc's from? Are they new or second user?

Will you be able to specify a "standard build"?

Will access be from a shared area? Or will this be limited to one or two rooms where the residents have requested access?

Does the home(s) have a policy on their use? (will you have to write one?)

Who will be "managing" the pc? i.e. ensuring updates are done, AV is current, firewalls in place, spyware and adware checks done etc

Are you going to allow users to use online banking? make credit card purchases?

How "au fait" are the users? Will they need training? Do they know the "do's and don'ts" of computing? Do they need just the basic training, or will they want to use other programs (e.g. photoshop etc. for family pics)?

Depending on the answers, there are lots of directions in which I can set you to thinking, and I also have no objection to you using the paperwork I've written up. But there are so many tricky bits to this, it's unbelievable.

Do me a favour, and don't say yes or no to this project until you've found out at least some of the answers to the questions above!

(and got some armour plating ordered!)

Best of luck


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Thank you!

by friendsote In reply to Watch out, you're about t ...

Thank you for your summary of some of the issues surrounding this area. It is a minefield and one, quite truthfully I just don't want to get involved with. I will def keep it separate from our work network as previously advised also by dmambo.

I will have to deal with the policy etc but right now we are looking at ideas and how this would work. Really strange that I have been asked to look at this issue for up to 20yrs down the line.

I will not be able to employ any more staff to deal with this. There is a lot to think about here!

These are all valid points and thank you very much everyone for the info and points to think about.

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Keep it off the "work" network

by DMambo In reply to IT provision for the Elde ...

Since you're only looking for e-mail and internet access, I would have a cable modem installed at the location, and use it for access by the clients. Set up a wireless network just for them, pay $10 per month for web hosting somewhere and give the users an e-mail address at the web host.

This will keep users off the "real" network, provide the firewall, virus protection, parental controls, etc that ISP's now include, and give you fast access to the Internet. Not a bad deal for maybe $60 per month plus the cost of some used PC's. Chances are, you can find donated PC's that you can prep.

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Use Hotmail

by bschaettle In reply to IT provision for the Elde ...

To keep costs down and simplify implementation, the residents should be set up with Hotmail accounts. This way, you only need a browser session for them to get to their email.

Here are some issues to think about:

>>Have you thought about how you're going to deal with educating them about SPAM? What happens when one of them shares their bank account information with some nice Nigerian person who really, really needs their help?

>>Will you need to hire additional staff to monitor their PC use and be standing by when they have questions?

>>What will you do when they forget their email account name and/or password?

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by pbeerman In reply to IT provision for the Elde ...

I worked on a project for a grad class that was centered on this. Let me know if you are interested and I will send you a link to it.

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I am interested!

by friendsote In reply to Lesson

pbeerman - Thank you for your response - I would appreciate reading your project - at this stage we are just brainstorming.. so any ideas would be helpful

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