Help Seniors Use Technology During CoronaVirus | Meet Florence

Florence spent a successful career as an attorney specializing in family law and is now an active senior adult living in Houston, Texas.  She was first directed to BridgingApps at Easter Seals Greater Houston in late May of 2019 by her son, Dan, who lives in New York.  He was looking for someone to help Florence, who had just gotten an iPad Pro, learn how to use her new device, and he discovered technology services at BridgingApps via an Internet search.

Florence, nicknamed “Fagie,” was happy to have her new device, but wanted first and foremost to know if it could perform all of the tasks that her desktop computer had been doing for many years.  The team at BridgingApps assured her that her iPad Pro was capable of word processing, composing emails to keep in touch with friends and family, and so much more.  Like every visitor to BridgingApps, time was spent listening to Florence’s goals, assessing her skills and providing support when needed.

While working with Florence, the BridgingApps team learned that they were working with somewhat of a Houston celebrity who has no plans to just sit around and enjoy retirement. She continues being as active as possible and wanted to know that her iPad was going to be able to keep up with her needs.  Through her work as an attorney in Houston, Florence had a huge part in improving the family court system and there is even a book, The Women of CourtWatch, that was written about her and the political action committee she began in 1993.   

Now, six months after her first visit to the Assistive Technology lab, Fagie has become a beloved regular at BridgingApps.  She is becoming a master of her tasks on her iPad Pro.  She has practiced composing and sending emails with Gmail, as well as learning about other Google apps such as Chrome and Pages, taking and sending pictures and videos, and even how to video chat using Zoom. 

Learning about video chatting came about because of the birth of Florence’s newest great grandson in Israel.  His Bris (Brit Milah), a ceremony recognized by Jewish families for over three thousand years, will be performed soon in Israel.  Fagie will not be physically present, as travel at the age of ninety is not her preference. Luckily, however she will be able to participate in the ceremony with the help of technology.  Her family has set up a Zoom meeting for Florence and others to participate remotely.  During her most recent visit to the BridgingApps lab, our team guided Fagie in setting up her Zoom account, practicing videochatting so that she will be able to join the video conference independently for this special event. 

With the shared goal of linking seniors and people with disabilities to technologies that enhance their lives, BridgingApps appreciates the commitment and support of the CTA Foundation to help them reach their goals by using technology. Finding ways to keep people connected with their loved ones, especially when travel is a barrier, is a critical factor in helping to reduce social isolation.  The digital trainers at BridgingApps are so honored to be a part of Fagie’s digital journey as she learns more about technology as well as her upcoming virtual journey to Israel!

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