Tablet provides a lifeline following cancer diagnosis

Man using laptopShaun Gavan, 58, from Elstree and Borehamwood, received a tablet via Clarion Housing in Hertfordshire. He is a tenant of the Housing Association.

AbilityNet has previously worked with United Way UK on other technology-related projects and so it brought AbilityNet on board to help install software and check the devices to ensure they were set up to a good level, ready for use by the recipients. 

“One of the volunteers, Megan, was helping me with my flat, and she said, ‘Do you need to get online?’ She connected me with the tablet and got me training with AbilityNet. Online is seen as the fourth or the fifth utility now, isn't it?”

Managing medical appointments

In 2018, Shaun received a bowel cancer diagnosis and later one of lung cancer. The tablet helps him manage his medical appointments. “Most medical stuff is done online now,” he said. “I get a notification; I go online and into my own patient portal.” 

The provided SIM card means Shaun can be online at the hospital and take the tablet with him. "I can take it in with a charger, and I have a nice case, so it doesn't get damaged. So I can still do all my emails when I go to the hospital. I can make sure money's transferred.”

The ability to bank online is, said Shaun, an “essential,” especially as he’s sometimes unable to get out of the house due to his health.

Shaun is confident using technology but says he found training about digital security invaluable. “You are very open on the internet to all sorts of scams, aren't you? And pilfering. So, looking at security and how to get online initially was helpful. I learned a lot that I didn't know about security and keeping my passwords safe,” he said. 

AbilityNet in partnership with BT Group logoAbilityNet's Digital Skills project with BT Group is supporting people 65+ with getting online and using technology, such as:

- learning how to use email
- make video calls
- how to avoid online scams
- use online banking and book medical appointments

Sign up for Free BT Digital Skills sessions for people over 65 in your area. (Available to people in and around London, Manchester, Birmingham, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Cardiff.)

Digital entertainment

Man looking at computer with woman helpingShaun’s passion is music, and he’s a huge fan of and a subscriber to YouTube.

“I write music, I play guitar, I'm a producer of records, and I love poetry. YouTube is one of my favourite things.

"For an older man like me, I can go back to the '70s and the '80s and pick up the punk bands I used to go and see in the local bars, you know what I mean? And I can see videos of them, and I'm like, wow, and I was there that night. I can remember the good old days. YouTube, for me, is brilliant."

Meanwhile, his son is moving to Canada. The tablet Shaun has received will enable them to keep in touch. They have also been exploring flights online together and planning Shaun’s first visit. 

Do you need help running accessible meetings and events in Zoom, Teams and more?

AbilityNet has a training course available as an on-demand recording, in person online event, or you can book a group session for your organisation.


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