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Keep promises to senior citizens

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22.FEB.08

Editor: About two months after the Senior Centre at Buccament (funded by the NIS) opened, my wife and I became members, signing up at the NIS desk at the Financial Centre, prompted by the declared computer access and exercise equipment touted in all the articles about the opening.{{more}}

A few days later, I visited the centre and discovered that although there was a computer, as well as a printer/scanner physically present, no one had bothered to connect it. There was no exercise equipment or any books in the library, which was also puffed in the propaganda for the centre, only empty shelves, silently soliciting member contributions. The lady in charge asked if I could set up the computer, printer and scanner, which I did, to the best of my ability. I set up the system, thus providing access to all the elderly who wished to use it.

The problem was that, although the installed computer programs could allow them to use databases and spread sheets, they could not email children, friends, or relatives, since there was no Internet access provided.

Most elderly people want to use a computer to communicate with children, relatives or friends; they are not interested in data base management or spreadsheets. They want to connect with friends and relatives. If they cannot do this, the computer is simply a door stop: a useless brick. It is an excellent machine for which the government (or Taiwanese) spent some considerable sum of money, but it is useless to the senior citizens for whom it was intended.

I have not returned since.

I inquired of NIS last week as to whether or not Internet access had been provided and was told that there were no funds available.

I have no idea if the Black Point Senior Centre has a similar problem, but would be interested in knowing.

In the meantime, the NIS should both remove the computer and printer/scanner and put it to better use elsewhere, or find the funds to connect to the Internet. This is really a useless and stupid waste of the taxpayers’ (or contributors’) money, not to mention a deprivation of services to the elderly.

Connect it or remove it. I have no comment on the lack of exercise equipment or books in the library. Promises not kept?

HJA

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