Chuck Furgason is a valued volunteer in our AgeWell West Roxbury In-Home Computer Training Program, teaching weekly computer lessons to seniors in their homes!
“I do this because it makes me feel good,” Chuck explains. He is never bored because his work keeps him informed of latest technology, “In the beginning I was unsure how I would approach the client, but [I] learned that each client has specific needs and [then I] apply it from that angle. No two clients have the same ability. I go into a client’s house with an open mind and ear.”
Upon retirement, Chuck was looking for ways he could get involved in the community. Meg Licht, Ethos’ Volunteer Services Manager, worked with Chuck to orient him to Ethos’ volunteer programs and was able to get him started volunteering quickly. “I was put in touch with Meg Licht and she asked me to come in to her office for an interview. I guess I must have been the slightest bit nervous, but she made things easy.”
Chuck has the following advice for volunteers who may be hesitant to work with seniors: do not feel intimated. “It is rewarding to me to get a warm hand shake a smile from the client,” Chuck notes fondly. “It is a reward to receive a thank you and a smile from a senior while knowing that they appreciate the time you spent with them.” Chuck feels that his most memorable experiences have also been his most challenging; working through language barriers, vision impairment, and with varying cognition levels and physical abilities tests Chuck and improves his skills as a friend and computer coach.
Mary Lou and Dale are two clients of Chuck’s clients in the in-home computer training program. Since starting their lessons with Chuck, these two ladies have learned how to send and receive emails, use Skype to video chat, share pictures, and download new programs. “We couldn’t have done this without Chuck,” Mary Lou and Dale say, “He’s wonderful, he’s patient… Chuck is great.”
Changes in technology can be challenging for seniors, but Chuck is confident that he can coach his students to navigate their technology successfully. Ethos wholeheartedly thanks Chuck for his hard work and dedication as a volunteer – he is making it possible for seniors to live at home with dignity and independence.
Use your technological skills to help your elderly neighbors! To get involved, contact Meg Licht, Volunteer Services Program Manager, at email@example.com or 617-522-6700 Ext 323.