A while ago, I had a thought. Yup, it hurt, but I thought I would share the journey that thought has taken me on. The thought was that people in Adult Care Centers want to be in contact with “family” and that they have stories to tell. Please remember that I do family research, which is what caused the thought.
Both of my parents were in one such center once we determined that they could no longer live in their house. My mother could no longer hear anything, but we were able to get her on email. I live about 90 minutes from her, so I was not able to really teach her how to use this “new fangled thing”.
I live in a town with two Adult Care Centers associated with my church and I know people who live in both. Many Sunday’s I go to one of them, to help out the local clergy person. My clergy person friend, said that they had residents who wanted to learn “computers”. Wow, that’s a very broad topic, but since I had retired, remembered the issues with my mom, I said “sure”.
So, a group of about 6 residents started to learn “computers”. Most of them had computers with access to the internet, but like my mother, didn’t have a lot of help learning how to use them. Our journey started.
I started up front, letting them know, that I thought that there are family, “out there” who wanted to hear their Story. They also know that I do family research, I wasn’t going to teach genealogy, but computers. They are learning how to use computers, how to search, how to use social media.
After we talked about searching, both on the computer and “on line”, I asked each one to tell me what they might want to search for. “An IRS Form”, a place, pictures on my computer were the first searches they wanted. Introduced Google search and found the first two items, and showed them how to find ALL of the images on the computer.
Being a user of Google, and Google+, I showed them how I use Google+, which then offered an opening into Social Media. We talked about SKYPE, as a couple of folk had “tired it”, then I offered Hangouts. I demonstrated Hangouts On Air, with DearMRYTLE. I turned around and saw the expression on their faces, which indicated that a Hangout might be an easier way to communicate with family. I shared one of the comments from the DearMYRTLE (Google+) Community about having a family gathering at Easter, on a Google+ Hangout.
How can you talk about Social Media, without talking about Facebook? So we found a couple of their family on Facebook.
One of the future topics, that THEY want, is genealogy and THEY want to share their story with family.
As this project is moving along, I get an email from the other Adult Care Center. THEY want to start a Genealogy Club, and would I help. Our first gathering was this past Thursday, with 22 people showing up. Newbie’s, DAR Members, and folks with lot’s of experience. The activities director and I were overruled about having a monthly meeting, and will meet 2 days a month. They want to get started and/or knocking down some brick walls. The really nice thing is that they have a computer lab, that is under construction, but have computers available while the construction is taking place.
Why am I sharing this on my blog?
I am certain that there are other places “out there” that want OUR help. Both groups “get” that folks want to hear their stories, but are looking for a way to do that. All it takes is a volunteer to come in and share their experience.
What I have learned, is that I TOO can, have, and will learn from them, while I attempt to share my experience.