"We have maintained a silence closely resembling stupidity" - Neil Roberts

Until we have legislation adopted into law to ensure fiduciary accountability and transparency in public affairs we will continue to have human rights breached because the existing crown immunity and lack of any independent oversight invites corruption to flourish.


"Question authority, and think for yourself" - Timothy Leary


"We have maintained a silence closely resembling stupidity" - Neil Roberts


"Information is the currency of democracy" - Thomas Jefferson


‎"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever does." - Margaret Mead

"The truth is like a lion, you don't have to defend it. Let it loose, it will defend itself."

"I = m c 2 [squared] where "I" am information" - Timothy Leary

"Ring the bells that still can ring, forget your perfect offering, there's a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in." Leonard Cohen

"The internet is a TV that watches you"

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Let's get more computers in rest homes and hospices:

Recently a very dear friend of mine was admitted to a local rest home for respite care.  She's younger than me and has an inoperable brain tumour.  Her courage and cheerfulness in the face of what she is going through is a real inspiration to me, when I find myself getting depressed about what I'm going through I think of her and feel ashamed of myself.  Spending time with her and the some of the other residents, I became aware that more rest homes need computers and internet access.

Rest homes spend a considerable amount of money on Diversional Therapists, and the residents have things like indoor bowls on Mondays, singing on Tuesday, crafts on Wednesday, and all sorts of other things to do, but many don't look like they are enjoying themselves all that much (although to be fair, many do).  There are still a lot of people sitting around bored.

I took my laptop there one day and showed a few of the residents how easy it is to open a Facebook account, type in the names of old friends, children and grandchildren on the other side of the world, long lost relatives, etc, and instantly be connected with those people, share photographs, chat online, etc.  Also showed them how you can type pretty much anything into Google, whatever their interests are, and instantly, in the blink of an eye, a whole world is opened up, right in front of their eyes.  The boredom was gone, and I realised how important it is to get computers into rest homes and someone to help the residents access the internet (a diversional therapist), many of their visitors could assist with this and I bet it would attract more visitors and the visits would be more meaningful.  When we mentioned getting a computer into the home to the staff, they were all as keen as mustard on the idea, and many had the skills to help residents access the net, and were really keen to do so because they agree that it's a great idea that would be really valued by the residents and their families.  Speaking with the families of some of the residents, I found they were also keen, and willing and able to help their relatives get the hang of it.  Most of them have a computer at home and know how to use it and can see the value of our idea.  Management were not so keen.

My friend and I, and other members of Friends of Caring Communities (the FOCCers), decided to commit ourselves to getting the computer ourselves and donating it to the rest home.  We thought about raising funds to buy one, but decided a better idea would be to ask if anyone has an old computer they don't want any more.  Many people upgrade and don't need their old computer anymore, and we don't need a really flash one, anything that can connect to the net will do.

This is an appeal for a computer.  If anyone can help, please email me at kateraue@gmail.com.  Your donation will be greatly appreciated, and I encourage others to do the same in their communities.  There's a perception about the residents of rest homes being "past it" and not interested in computers, I think with the right support, they'd get a  lot out of it.

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