When Revere’s Ty Smith learned how to use a computer at the Revere Senior Center, the first thing she did was look up information about her new doctor – and it was quite a litigious experience.
“I’ll never forget my first time when I got a new doctor and I was able to look up on the Internet how many times he had been sued,” said Smith with a hearty laugh at a recent ceremony at the Senior Center. “Seriously, anyone who doesn’t take advantage of [these computers and classes] is really losing out.”
Smith and several others at the Senior Center gathered last week to celebrate the gifting of five new computers to the Center as part of Mass General’s ARCH program.
The ARCH (Access to Resources for Community Health) program seeks to make computer access and Internet access more readily available to seniors in the area so that they can access health information and treatment information.
Already, several seniors at the Rossetti-Cowan center have signed up to use the new computers, or to take classes on the new computers with instructor Lois Diamond.
Last week, just before the ceremony started, Mike Prizio and Lucia Carfagnini were hard at work in the new computer room on the second floor.
Carfagnini – who is fighting breast cancer – was busy looking up information about her most recent treatments.
It was not light lifting, and she said she was glad to have access to the information at the Center.
“We learned when they had the old computers,” she said. “This is very nice. It’s very informative. I’m hoping to get one at home, but I haven’t got to it yet. Actually, I’m a breast cancer patient for the last five years and I’m looking up information about that.”
ARCH worker Ming Sun said that information, especially by computer, is powerful for seniors.
“We all know knowledge is power and knowledge can help us take better care of ourselves,” she said.
The computers are available most days for those attending the Center.