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Computer crusaders navigate new territory

Created date

November 20th, 2012

Because it was close to her family and offered more than 100 activities and amenities, three years ago, Gladys Weeden moved from Atlanta, Ga., to Ann's Choice, Erickson Living s community in Bucks County, Pa. But I might as well have moved to Europe for all I knew of the area, she says. Even though Ann s Choice is conveniently located near shopping malls, instead of navigating unfamiliar roads to shop, Gladys unpacked her computer.

Shopping from home

To shop for home furnishings, she went online and discovered Amazon.com and eBay.com. Gladys also researched, comparison-shopped, and ordered her Christmas gifts at Amazon. She sold unneeded items on eBay. I don t believe everything I read online, she says, but I d be lost without my computer. But Gladys didn t start out a computer guru. She took classes from the community s computer club and got additional help from Resident Computer Services Technician Dave Rector. Rector even taught her Microsoft Excel, the software she uses to log membership for the campus breakfast club she belongs to. At Ann s Choice, I ve moved from minimal computer knowledge and frightened, to just the opposite, she says. It s made such a difference in my life.

Sharing skills

Now a computer crusader, Gladys volunteered with fellow computer club members at the community s annual Tech Expo this past spring. More than 200 residents took advantage of the expo s hands-on activities that ranged from basic computer operation to real-time video chats via Skype and FaceTime. Club member Dick Blackburn helped attendees use Google. Dick goes online often and makes regular visits to the Ann s Choice resident activity website, an information-rich site developed and maintained by residents to serve their 2,200 campus neighbors. Dick also surfs the Web to research big-ticket items and topics of interest, to read newspapers, do email, and track his banking. He plans the Blackburns vacations and maps their travel routes too. I research destinations, accommodations, even the cheapest place to buy gasoline, he says. Come vacation time, We just lock the door and tell the front desk we re leaving, says Dick. We don t worry about the grass growing, snow piling up, security, or anything else. That s because the general services department expertly shoulders those responsibilities. Life is absolutely more carefree here, Dick says. His wife Eileen seconds that, adding, And of the communities we visited, Ann s Choice had the best swimming pool. Dick treasures most the community s full-service, on-site medical center and its continuing care neighborhood. Because his mother received excellent care in a North Carolina retirement community, We knew the importance of those services, he says.

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