Older Adults Technology Services (OATS) is a non-profit organization that provides computer training designed specifically for elders. OATS partners with Jewish Home to give our clients valuable computer skills.

Elders learning computer skills

Participants begin by learning the basics, including using a mouse. As they progress, they learn to write emails to family and friends, and to “surf the net,” which lets them access the Medicare and other health-related websites.

One client explains, “You have opened a new door that I thought would never happen to someone like me because I couldn’t afford it. I am very grateful . . . .”

At Our Day Centers
Ms. T, an immigrant who moved to the United States, is an active Day Center client who has participated in the OATS program. Of her ten children, only one currently lives in the U.S. Ms. T can now keep in touch with her far-flung children and grandchildren in a quick and cost-effective manner. She frequently helps other clients who need extra time and assistance to learn the new concepts and terminology.

Ms. R’s proudest moments come when she is able to use the skills she has learned to help her family. She is the primary caretaker for her husband and an adult son who suffers from a chronic disease. Ms. R says her computer skills have brought her closer to her son; they now share a common interest.

Our Russian and Spanish speaking clients especially appreciate gaining access to translation websites after taking the class, and also enjoy communicating with friends and family via email.

Home Care
The OATS team trains our home care volunteers to help clients use computers at home.

Ms. S is a client with partial blindness. Although she had a home computer for years, she did not use it because of her limited vision. Through the OATS program, Ms. S was able to get her computer and printer connected. She can now play and listen to music on her computer (which has enlarged icons), practice her typing skills on her large-print keyboard, and play and write music with her Yamaha keyboard.

OATS is featured in the New York Times. You can read the entire piece online here. (Registration with the New York Times may be required to view this article. Registration is free.)

The OATS program at Jewish Home is made possible by the generous support of The Henry Nias Foundation and UJA-Federation of New York.