Spouse Computer Training

Don Trauger – Kennett

When one spouse passes on, the lack of computer training for the surviving spouse may become an important issue.
It’s sad when I hear about a resident’s passing. There’s so much to handle regarding settling affairs as well as
dealing with one’s personal grief. One of the concerns that arise is that one of the couple is often the computer
user in the household and the other is not or rarely uses the computer. This situation has proven to be troublesome
in many instances and has added to the burden of the survivor. Certainly I have not been exposed to every scenario
in this unfortunate situation but I have heard and seen enough to put my thoughts into an article.

I have seen situations where the survivor doesn’t even know how to turn on the computer. Yes, the family can intervene
and help but they aren’t always going to be around when you need them. My advice is to spend some training time with
your spouse and make sure he/she understands what to do when you are not there.

Assuming the trainee knows little about computers; start with the basics of turning the computer on and off. Other
than the telephone and regular mail, Email is almost as important. Make sure the person knows how to log onto and use
the Email account. Is online banking part of the daily routine? Again make sure the person involved knows how to
log in and access the necessary records. I’m sure there are other computer programs that can be discussed but at least
concern yourself with the essentials. If the training goes well explain computer maintenance and your security programs.
Our Hershey’s Mill website, www.hersheysmill.org Tech Tips section can be of help.

This is very important. Maintain a separate list of all log-in, user name, and password information in an accessible
location. Don’t store it on the computer. This includes the computer log-on itself, email, banking, any program that
requires a password, and a router (if you have one). In case of a password failure, knowing the answer to the fallback
or secret question can be of help. An example would be “your Mother’s maiden name”. Banks in particular have a timeout
feature. Knowing your password is not enough. Make sure you provide answers for your secret questions.

I’ve only touched on some of the more important things to remember. I’m sure you can think of other things that should
be discussed. The point is don’t ignore this training as it will only add to the grief of the survivor. After the
training session, put it down in writing. You can incorporate your password information from your separate list but
keep both in case one gets lost. Later, have your spouse follow through on their own with your written directions to
see if they can be understood and followed.

I hope this article will spur you to put something together that will help your spouse or family use the information
when you are no longer around.

Help with computer problems and questions can be found when you attend our PC Club meetings. We meet the 2nd Tuesday
of every month at 7:00 PM in the Ardmore room of the Community Center.