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  • Nancy Spear

"She was frustrated and her coughing got worse."

Someone once asked what makes me different from anyone else who does what I do. My answer was, "I'm patient." But something happened a few months ago that illustrates the difference perfectly. I was sitting with a client showing her how to reply to an email on her iPad. She started coughing. I suggested she take a drink of water, which was right beside her. I continued the lesson and asked her to tap the reply arrow. She tapped the trash icon instead and coughed. I showed the reply arrow again. She then tapped the folder icon and realized her mistake. She coughed again, twice. She was frustrated and her coughing got worse. I put one hand gently on her arm while my other hand folded the cover over the screen. I asked, "So, how was your grandson's graduation?”

She looked at me, surprised, and then said, “Oh, it was lovely. It was a beautiful day (cough, cough). My daughter-in-law arranged for us to have seats right up front (cough). It was wonderful seeing my grandson with all his friends. They were hugging and giving high fives….” She went on and on yet the coughing stopped as she told me what a nice lunch they had and all the people she met.

After a few minutes, I opened the iPad cover. I asked, “How about we email your daughter-in-law and tell her how much you enjoyed the day?” She smiled, nodded, and started the email. It was not only a successful intervention for the tickle in her throat, she was equally tickled to get a thoughtful response from her daughter-in-law.

How does that make me different from anyone else who does what I do? First, I’m not in a hurry; I had time for her to take a drink of water and listen to her story. Second, I see most of my clients weekly and we get to know each other; that’s how I knew her grandson had just graduated. Third, I actually did want to know about the graduation and I cared enough to ask, wait, and listen.

If you know someone who needs a little extra TLC learning how to use their tech device, call me. I’m patient, plus I do like a good grandchild story.

Nancy Spear

Nancy's Tech Help for Older Adults

310-365-9951 • •

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