The dilemma is awesome. But it has to be faced. Should you allow your loved one to battle on, endure the indignity of being obviously technologically impaired, and await the inevitable – involuntary commitment to an Assisted Computing Facility? Or should you break the news gently and hope the family member volunteers to leave for a new home?
It’s a decision that can split a family, as it did with the Boitanos of Clifton, New Jersey.
“Dad always had a hard time, like with pasting parts of a Word document into a spreadsheet, but what got to me were the emails from Mom,” said Carolyn Boitano, 28. “They were always under his address. I kept telling her she should get her own account, but she always told me Dad said it was unnecessary.”
Carolyn started dropping hints, leaving brochures from a couple of ACFs so her father and mother would see them, but it didn’t work. Frustrated, she decided to confront her father to tell him he should go to Silicon Pines. The news shocked her parents, as Carolyn remembers vividly. “My father just screamed at me. ‘It’s not me who should be committed, it’s your mother!’ But I told him he was the one who couldn’t figure out how to set up a separate email account.”
Carolyn’s appeal once again failed. However, Mr. Boitano, 47, could not ignore his youngest child, 22-year-old Ricky.
“I’M GOING TO KILL YOU”
“I knew Carolyn wasn’t getting anywhere, but it was frustrating for me too,” said Ricky. “So finally I just told Dad what I felt: that I was going to have him committed to Silicon Pines, or I was going to kill him.”
NO NEED TO KILL HIM
Ricky’s emotional plea opened his father’s eyes and made Mr. Boitano realize he was unable to deal with life’s day-to-day technology needs. To everyone’s relief, he declared himself Technologically Impaired and moved in to Silicon Pines, where his wife and children email him almost every day.
“I won’t lie. When my kids first approached me about coming to Silicon Pines, I was angry,” said Mr. Boitano. “I knew I wasn’t exactly a whiz, but I didn’t figure I should have to move out of my house.”
“But that’s what’s so great about Silicon Pines,” he continued. “I don’t have to figure out anything anymore. Now, if I come to a site that says I need to download Flash, I don’t call someone for help or give up and go to another site. At the Pines, an LTP (Licensed Techcare Professional) is always there looking over my shoulder. And they don’t show me how to do it, they just do it.”
“I wasn’t sure this was the place for me, but I have to admit, I’m glad I’m in here!”
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