A lot of seniors aren’t comfortable with their computers. They’d love to get email and photos from their families but struggle with the mouse and keyboard. They see the grandkids whizzing around on the screen and think it’s too late for them to learn the trick. Well, it’s never too late to learn something new. I often tell seniors in our computer classes to think back to when they were learning to write and had to figure out how to grip a pencil. Were they writing in cursive right off the bat? They just need to practice. A DeKalb County Public Library card gets you 2 hours of time on a library computer and our page for New Computer Users is a good place to start. From there I usually recommend the Palm Beach County Library System’s Mousercise. This website guides a beginning mouser all around the screen, then through the dreaded double-click, scroll bars, radio buttons and drop-down menus. The exercises aren’t timed and there are no ads or confusing links.
When Mousercise gets dull, what to do next? Any familiar game like Solitaire is a good choice. There are lots of places to play online and many computers have a version already installed. Knowing how to play the game makes it easier for seniors to understand where to move the cursor. WebSudoku offers several skill levels and a timer if you want to increase the challenge. A woman in one of our computer classes enjoyed playing Wheel of Fortune online. Other good choices for a beginning mouser: Bookworm, an addictive word search game with no timer so you don’t have to rush and Thisissand, an unusual website that lets you make sand art (click the gray box to get started). Once a senior gets used to the mouse, there’s no stopping them online. Next click, email or maybe – Facebook?