With access to the internet the most vulnerable., lonely and isolated members of society and reconnect with our community. Medical and health services can include direct access to doctors, nurses and chemists using video telephoning, email and chat rooms. Networks can be created to inform and assist those vulnerable in the own homes. Vulnerable members of the society can establish contact on a daily basis with friends and relatives to ensure their health and well being is being discretely monitored. Otherwise, healthcare professionals, companions or the projects service staff can also establish daily, or even more frequent, contact during a health or well being crisis. For example in cold or isolating weather conditions (snow etc), or when the person is recovering from any acute health or welfare situation.
Society and the new social networking
Our society is built upon communication and interaction with our fellow members of that society. In addition to just our local community the whole world has now become a potential social community for those connected to the web through online video & telephone communication, email, social web sites, chat rooms and even online gaming. Those who work, have a close family, have an active local leisure social life and use all the methods of Internet social interaction are having the best of all worlds. Many of us now even meet our partners on line. However, vast swathes of the elderly, disabled and disadvantaged are not even part of the usual, local, social interaction of work, family and leisure and studies show can be suffering intense loneliness and isolation. To add to this they are denied Internet access and are in turn denied the extended social opportunities most of us are now taking for granted.
Currently, those on fixed or low incomes and with no Internet access can be the most financially disadvantaged members of our society. Many service and utility providers now offer reduced prices, greater services and additional benefits to those who can pay and interact with them through the Internet. Purchasing of services and items via the web, particularly after using comparison sites, can save purchasers significant amounts of money. Online voucher systems, buying groups, advice through community forums, chat rooms and advice web sites can again save significant sums. None of this is available to the the majority of elderly, disabled and disadvantaged who have no easy access to the web.
Entertainment & Leisure
With on line entertainment from music, film , TV and gaming for many life can be enjoyed more. Instant access to a favourite classic movie or a radio station of favourite music styles would add to life enjoyment. Books can be enjoyed again with audio and video options. But also a book could be read again with the ability to have unlimited text sizes, truly a large print book with real large print or even a book that can be read to you. Write your memoirs and letters by talking at a computer you hold in your hands, finally science fiction has met science fact. Try new cooking recipes, trace your family tree or start a new hobby, the Internet is a virtually unlimited source for information, ideas and inspiration.
However, the project is far more than just getting the elderly, disabled or disadvantaged on line. It address the fundamental reasons why computers are not used much by this target section of our community.