You know and I know that all older adults do not love and relate to their computers. And their computers are not loveable. I will spare you a rant this time and not count the ways. For those who are uncomfortable with their computers, there are a host of imperfect alternatives to 'help.' Their adult children can patronize them, they could attend a training class at their local college or senior center, or they could try an online support service like CrossLoop, not focused on older adults), they can call the company that sold them the product. They could buy the GO Computer for $879 and receive telephone support for $19.95/month. If you already have a computer and need help, now there is another option -- the FloH Club -- started by 75-year-old Florence Henderson, best known as the TV mom on the Brady Bunch. Check out Ms Henderson describing it in this Video from the Today Show.
Using her own experience with technology demystification, on September 23, she launched a tech support fee-based service - not a charitable foundation - to help people with their computers. Plans are $249.99 for the year or $24.99/month for 6 months to do the following (as stated on the site):
- "Use e-mail, instant messaging, videoconferencing with Skype, or Facebook
- Set up a device such as a printer, scanner, digital camera, or MP3 player to work with your computer
- Tune up your system so it performs at its best
- Set up a home network
- Purchase airline tickets, gifts, books, or prescriptions safely over the Internet
- Check financial news and stock performance online"
Best Buy's Geek Squad is a costly visit -- and worse, someone is in your house, which may not be so appealing. They also do what CrossLoop does and access it remotely -- not very conversational for folks who may be intimidated by the computer and the real nightmare, the software.
So let's give a cheer for an entrepreneur at 75 starting a business to help people get comfortable with their computers! We want her to succeed!
Thoughts and experiences welcome!