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12 May 2017
Stephen Adams, a regular at City & Hackney Carers’ Centre IT drop-in sessions, explains how you can get help with using mobile phones, computers, email and other useful technology
My name is Stephen Adams. I help out at City & Hackney Carers’ Centre now and then. I’m a carer for my wife who has dementia – that’s why she is here with me. She cannot stay at home without me. I come here and it’s some respite for me, getting out and helping others.
I know how to use computers, so I can show people how to get onto the internet, find websites and how to use email – anything they would like to learn about. People bring their own computers, so they can become familiar with their own equipment, although the group can supply you with a laptop or tablet if you don’t have one.
A couple of weeks ago, we had a lady who came in because her telephone didn’t work. I found out it was just a £3 job to fix the issue for her. This is a place where you meet people who need help.
I had a guy who just wanted to send letters with photos to his daughter but he didn’t know how. So we showed him how to do it on Word, to write a letter and put in the photos, all electronically. He printed out the letter and sent it to his daughter. He really enjoyed himself.
These days, companies and the government are closing down a lot of services. They want everyone to do everything through their websites: paying bills, applying for help or for health services, and checking your bank account.
Now that is very difficult for someone like my wife, who has dementia. A lot of older people have physical disabilities or health issues and can’t leave their homes without support. Or they just don’t understand the internet and need help. That’s where these sorts of groups can really help.
We want to find more of the carers – people looking after their relatives or friends. Hackney Council says there are 18,000 unpaid carers in the borough, but only around 3,000 get support. Well, where are the other 15,000?
We need to have groups like this so carers know they are not alone. Carers need to meet each other and support each other. We are all isolated, we all have to deal with the NHS and the social care system. We are all going through the same thing. We need each other.
Over 50s IT drop-in – A Connect Hackney project
Trained volunteers answer your IT questions and can help you use a computer, tablet or phone
When: Every Wednesday, from 10am to 1pm
Where: Whitmore Community Centre, 2 Phillipp Street, London N1 5NU (near the canal bridge on Kingsland Road)
Overground stations: Haggerston (6 minute walk) and Hoxton (8 minute walk)
Buses: 67, 149, 242, 243
If you are a carer: You can bring the person you care for, a friend or support worker with you.
For more details: phone the carers’ centre on 020 8533 0951
Stephen and his wife