Highlands Computer Volunteers

KEEPING AGING MINDS ACTIVE!

Highlands Computer Volunteers was established to provide computer services to elderly residents of the Southern Highlands. We currently provide assistance to residents of HarbisonCare retirement villages at Burradoo and Moss Vale, and the aged care facilities at Bowral House, Bowral and The Abbey, Mittagong.

Highlands Computer Volunteers are associated with the Southern Highlands Computer Users Group and use the SHCUG training facility at HarbisonCare Burradoo for some of our “self-help” resident activities.

Background

Highlands Computer Volunteers was established in 2000, when it was perceived that there was a dearth of activities providing mental stimulus to aged care residents, particularly those who are seriously incapacitated and confined to a nursing home or hostel.

The group has installed computers in these aged care facilities specifically for the use of residents. Most of the machines are donated recycled computers, but three computers have been purchased with Community Development Support Expenditure (CDSE) and other government grants. A kiosk with two computers has been installed under the Australian Government’s Broadband for Seniors programme at Harbison Moss Vale.

We have no regular source of funding, relying on support from SHCUG, Government,RSL and Local Council grants for the purchase of equipment, and donations.

Activities

We provide regular weekly sessions at each location. Volunteers assist with sending and receiving emails, often typing from hand written or dictated messages. Volunteers may also help residents to use the mouse, play computer games, or to find their way around the internet.

In addition to the desktop computers, two laptops and a Kindle eBook reader are available for use by the residents.

Facilities

  • HarbisonCare, Burradoo
    Four computers, two with internet access; laptop with internet access; SHCUG training facility. Four volunteers.
  • HarbisonCare, Moss Vale
    Four computers, currently no internet access but this is planned for the near future. Two volunteers.
  • Bowral House, Bowral
    Three computers, all with internet access. Three volunteers.
  • The Abbey, Mittagong
    Four computers, two with internet access. Two volunteers.

Volunteers Needed

Additional volunteers are always needed to meet growing demand and to provide better support to existing “clients”, most of whom are new to computers. Volunteers do not need to be computer experts—if you know how to send an email, and play the odd computer game, that is all we need. Few residents are confident enough to use the computers without our supervision.

Why not give these elderly people a helping hand?

For more details give Ron Butler a call on (02) 4862 2352.