Grandpa helps seniors communicate by e-mail and Internet

More and more seniors want to use e-mail and the Internet, but most are still afraid of the computer. That’s where Jim Hart, author of Grandpa and the Computer steps in. He wrote a computer how-to book at the age of 82 to help other seniors – the very first computer book, created and published through the Internet, by a senior for seniors.

“In times like these, when staying connected is of utmost importance for peace of mind, e-mail is an ideal solution for senior citizens to keep in touch with their families. It is less expensive and less intrusive than phone calls and the Internet is virtually indestructible. According to America Online, computer-savvy older North Americans have been using the Internet to search for medical and health information, check their investments, and keep in touch with e-mail. At the same time, about 50 million out of 65 million seniors do not have a computer yet, reports the AARP. They need help in acquiring basic skills in a really easy way. This has not been available up till now,” said June Marshall of NewMedia Publishing, which is just releasing the title through Ingram Book Group.

In his book, Jim Hart, tells how learning to use the computer saved his life after his beloved wife of 60 years passed away. His granddaughter Tammy saw her Grandpa wasting away in his grief and said, “Grandpa, I’m going to get you a computer.”

He asked her, “What is a computer? I’ve heard of some kind of contraption, so if you want to get me one, I won’t turn it down, but who’s going to run it?”

That was the beginning of the adventure of Grandpa and the Computer. Jim sat down with the “contraption” and taught himself how to use it. “To all you grandpas and grandmas out there, why should we let all the young people take all this fun away from us? We can do anything they can,” Hart said.

As he learned, the world of the Internet and e-mail opened up before him and his loneliness vanished. He began to correspond with pen pals, family, and friends. He and his granddaughter, Tammy, could stay in touch every day.

Best of all, he decided to reach out to other seniors, and anyone else afraid of what he called, “this monster called the computer.” He wrote a fun and easy teaching manual that covers the basics about using the Internet and e-mail. “Grandpas, and grandmas don’t need to be afraid of this monster. We just need to get one, conquer it, and have a barrel of fun,” he said.

The book serves his purpose admirably, by removing the intimidating aspects of computers and showing how they can open a new world to anyone at any age, by:

– putting the reader at ease right away;

– making it fun to learn to use e-mail and the Internet;

– encouraging others to become technology literate at any age;

– explaining basic concepts in a truly understandable way;

– providing a section for recording problems and solutions;

– taking the fear and guesswork out of buying and owning a PC; and

– saving money on phone bills, through the use of e-mail.

Jim Hart has healed his sense of loss by being able to keep in touch with family and friends through the computer. He realized that he could help others find the happiness he found through this marvellous machine, which is quite simple to use, once it is broken down in easy steps.

“Just because I’m 82 years old doesn’t mean I’m ready for the rocking chair yet,” Hart said. “I’m going to prove to the world that you don’t have to be smart, just don’t be afraid to try. My granddaughter gave this to me and if she wanted me to keep happy and cheerful, I wasn’t about to let her down.”