IT for the elderly - councillor Janet Clowes - wainhomes housing shavington

Teaching IT skills to elderly residents in Crewe and Nantwich could help transform their lives and save the council significant amounts of cash, writes Stephen Topping.

That is the view of Wybunbury Cllr Janet Clowes, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for adult social care and integration.

She told the borough’s health and wellbeing board that supporting pensioners with the use of technology is “something we have to do”.

She spoke about an Audlem woman in her 90s, who had been considering moving into residential care before attending an “iTea and Chat” session – where Cheshire East officers provide skills to elderly residents

Cllr Clowes said: “She could not manage to get the bus to Nantwich and bring back her shopping everyday, but by having an iPad she learned how to order her shopping.

“Once she got used to the tablet she started exploring.

“She looked at the website for the WI where she was a member, and left a little comment about a flower display.

“People thought she was dead and that was why she had not come.

“When they realised she was still alive they arranged to pick her up so she could go to meetings again.”

The Conservative member for Wybunbury added that the pensioner was also taught how to keep in touch with her family in Canada online, and benefited from social interaction with the delivery driver who brings her shopping.

“The cost of training and a tablet must be £1,000,” Cllr Clowes added.

“If she had gone into long-term care, the cost to us and the health service could have been phenomenal.”

The health and wellbeing board endorsed a new “connected communities” digital inclusion strategy to support elderly residents with IT over the next two years.

One Comment

  1. Janet Clowes says:

    A shame that the valuable work of the Connected Communities Digital Inclusion Strategy Team presented at Tuesday’s Health & Well-being Board has been effectively ignored in this article. To properly understand the importance of the strategy for ALL residents who may want to access digital services and skills but are currently EXCLUDED from doing so, the full paper can be accessed through this link:

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