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Suggestions for Nursing Home environment

By pamcse ·
Usable, 'old' Pentium 3 machines can be recycled by placing them in a non-critical business environment. I plan to donate two Windows 2k computers to a local nursing home. My intent is to provide yet another way for home residents to stay in touch with friends and relatives, as well as giving them something to do. These computers would be restricted to Internet browsing, email, and simple games (Free Cell, e.g.) only!

However, a nursing home environment requires special considerations: people with physical limitations, virtually zero knowledge of computers, etc. What configuration/setup would you recommend to:
1. Restrict residents to ONLY their email?
2. Prevent inadvertent or intentional mis-use?
3. Prevent browsing to undesireable URLs?
4. Accommodate physical limitations -- sight, hearing, limited use of hands, etc.?

What I don't want to bring them is the frustration associated with poor computer setup and operation. What can I do to lock the machines down to protect privacy and restrict the use of the computers to stated purposes?

I bow to the collective wisdom of the TechRepublic membership.

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Firstly you do not want to limit their fun

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Suggestions for Nursing H ...

I go to a couple of nursing homes and do repair work for nix when I'm needed as I really think that I should be putting something back into the community but if you think just because they are a bit on the old side and are not interested in a lot of things man are you in for a surprise. Most of the people in these places where I go to don't require much in the way of any special things maybe the most that would be necessary is to make the screen resolutions as large as possible and show the nursing staff how to bring up the Magnified Windows Option but otherwise let them at at it as they please.

What I'm constantly amazed about is just how many "Porn: sites that these people can find and always insist on showing me when I'm there. They at least are enjoying this and I'm the last one to stop it as I just do not have the right in most cases the women are worse than the men but I'll leave that alone for you to find out all by yourself.

What I would suggest is Windows 98SE and what else you think they will need but at least some form of Office is necessary but otherwise let them at it. Sure at first they may get a bit confused by all that is required but once one of them gets the hang of what to do then all of them will be in on the game. About the only thing that I would recommend is a "Splash Proof" keyboard and optical mouse otherwise there isn't much that is required.


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Where are they now

by JimHM In reply to Suggestions for Nursing H ...

First - because they are old or in a nursing home doesn't mean they left their brians in a hat bag at their house.

As to your question:

1) unlimited internet access - let those that wish to learn - learn.
2) Unrestricted email - (teach them about spoofing and phishing and other email scams)
3) Lock down the PC and Internet/Netscape settings from being modified.
4) Set up some classes to teach the internet and browsers and email. These places are always looking for things to keep the patients minds active. The body maybe weak but the mind is strong.

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Never too old to have fun ....

by jardinier In reply to Suggestions for Nursing H ...

A couple of years ago I purchased a bulk lot of computers and paraphernalia which was no longer of use to a particular computer shop. I could not store it at home, so I asked a lady for whom I used to do gardening work, if I could store it in her shed. She was quite agreeable.

Most of the stuff has now been sorted through and either stripped for parts or tossed out. However I did leave one computer set up on a desk.

I called in one day to find that the lady was learning to play Windows Solitaire. She got a real kick out of it.

In time I will attach a printer and encourage her to learn basic word-processing. But words cannot describe the feeling of accomplishment she enjoys when she gets a game of Solitaire right out.

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