Michael, and Judy Harriman, 81 and 85 respectively, “wouldn’t manage without” Oliver Porter’s IT drop-in classes at the Wadswick Green village, admitting that they “depend” on him as technology evolves and changes.
The couple, who have been living at the Rangeford Village in Wiltshire for four and a half years met “well over 50 years ago”, but say that “since then, everything has definitely changed. With our advanced age, technology today is just a different language. We have great difficulty understanding it, but Ollie has been totally invaluable to helping us understand.”
The pair say that he has helped them with a plethora of needs, from understanding online banking to using their mobile phone and laptops in order to do their tasks and communicate. Michael added: “When people like us move into the village, they typically get smart TVs and sound systems and without his help, it would be impossible to use them. And so, Ollie sometimes helps us with our TV too!”
In fact, the 81 and 85-year-old were the reason that Oliver Porter started his IT drop-in classes at the village, with the pair revealing that he was, “a concierge at the village first but because of his young age, he was underage for driving. However, he had previously helped us out computer wise and we saw that he had a good knack for it. He was already knowledgeable, and since then, he has pretty quickly grown in popularity at the village.”
Discussing what Oliver does when he goes to Wadswick Green, Michael said: “Ollie arrives to the village at 10am on a Friday and stays until 12, meaning that anyone can come to him for advice in the Pavilion. But usually, he stays until 8pm – hopping from one flat from one to another and solving a no end of different problems.
“Ollie’s knowledge and skills have been totally valuable to us and all of the residents. and we all appreciate and benefit from his help.”
Judy continued to say: “Having Ollie here is a necessity, so many of us depend on him, we simply wouldn’t manage without him!”
Explaining that she has noticed that with “this fast-moving world” and newer technology, more and more residents have been utilising Oliver’s assistance.
She added: “Without Ollie, the IT world would be extremely difficult. And he’s very patient with us, and that’s such a blessing.”
Michael and Judy have revealed that technology also helps them feel young, with Judy revealing that they have found nostalgia through YouTube. She explained: “We have found lovely things that we remember on YouTube and it is a great comfort to us. For example, we watch the walks we used to do while we lived in London, or videos of Italy – which is where we used to holiday.
“And we also use our sound system a lot and play all the music that we used to listen to at the theatre and the cabaret shows that we’d go to.”
Oliver said: “I am always extremely excited when a resident comes down and has a bright smile on their face, telling me that I managed to fix this all by myself’ or ‘I was able to follow the document that you wrote me.
“Working at Wadswick Green with the residents has become a second home to me, and they are all so kind and caring, I always look forward to coming in to work on a Friday!”
The fact that all Rangeford Villages homes are fitted with integrated technology makes it easier for the residents to stay connected with one another and their families. All properties are fitted with TIS Sentinel SmartLink tablets, allowing residents to do many things from controlling who they let into their home, to calling the concierge, operational and care teams, to getting updates on village life. It also allows them access to village health and wellness apps, keeping in touch with other residents, family, and friends and to keep up to date with the latest news and trends.