Baofei Miao arrived in the Bay Area 30 years ago from China with her husband and their children. She worked with the Chinese postal service and in the telecommunications industry before moving to California. After their arrival here, she worked on an assembly line in a factory, retiring about 16 years ago to her dream job of providing childcare to her grandchildren. Baofei has been an active Sequoia Living member for many years, regularly attending a variety of exercise classes prior to the pandemic. Sequoia Living first alerted her to CTN’s Home Connect program.
Baofei had taken computer classes at the library several years ago and has an iPad and a smartphone, both of which are obsolete hand-me-downs. Some of the apps on these devices no longer work and cannot be updated. This situation is common with many older adults who receive devices when younger-generation family members upgrade. While the gifts are well-meaning and appreciated, older adults are likely to receive dated, unfamiliar devices that have been configured with the preferences of their previous users. Additionally, they may receive incomplete and inconsistent “instructions.” All of these are barriers to learning and using these devices successfully.
The Lenovo tablet Baofei received from CTN is her very first “brand-new” device and is a precious gift to her. She plans on taking very good care of it and using it for a long time. She learned to use Zoom from her staff instructor, Annie Tan, and now joins online exercise sessions every Tuesday offered by Sequoia Living. She also joins online religious services and enjoys virtual games such as Bingo or Riddles. She frequently watches news and health-related programming on YouTube and values the time she can spend with old friends and the opportunity to meet new ones online while isolated at home.
Baofei described herself as someone who is eager to learn and likes to stay active. We at CTN appreciate our older adult learners who are not afraid to open a virtual window into their life, allowing our volunteers and staff instructors to visit them in their homes and help return some normalcy to their lives.