Helping my 94 year old friend setup his new learning tools

Photo by JD Mason on Unsplash


What keeps Bob going every day

Bob turned 94 in January 2019.  Bob’s obsessed with two things golf and bowling. What keeps Bob going every day, his obsession for getting better at bowling and golf. Bob forgets that he’s 94 and cannot do either like when he was 74. Bob will make every attempt to improve that’s just what he wants to do.

Bob lives in the same home he did when his wife was alive.  He’s made a few changes over the year after his wife passed.  He has added blue highlights here and there throughout his home both inside and out.  After he’s made changes he asks my opinion, “what do you think” and my answer every time is “Do you like it?”, he says “Yes, and I’ll say “then that what counts, and we move one in conversation.


About Bob

Bob met Ruth on the golf course in 1971. Someone introduced them and setup the first meeting on the golf course.  Bob’s was excited that the first date with Ruth was on the golf course.  He soon discovered that Ruth was better golfer, but that did not bother him. Bob was comfortable in his own skin.

They were both comfortable with their relationship and soon married. Ruth had three children, one still at home at the time they married. The other two were grown, out and about with their own lives.

Bob had  three children from his first marriage. After the divorce the children decided against contact with Bob, and for many years that was the case. Later in his life they reached out, but did not continue much contact. Ruth’s three children are close to Bob with the youngest one being the closest.


Meeting Bob

I first met Bob at a golf fund raiser.  I was there by myself and so was he. They teamed us up and put both of us in the same golf cart.


Maybe a Laptop could be helpful

After the initial introduction to Bob, I learn about his wife who had a stroke several years and was having issues speaking.  After some discussion I suggested maybe a laptop could help since she had typed before.  Bob agreed, and I soon secured a recycled laptop for Ruth to try. Her coordination was good, but she could type anything that was readable.


Prepared Meals

Bob would cook from time to time and would usually go out for to-go meals from many of the local restaurants.

My lovely wife enjoys preparing meals. She always makes way more than for two people and we most of the time had leftovers for the next day.

After checking with my wife, I offered to bring meals from time to time, if that was OK, and Bob said yes.  Soon my wife made meals for four several times a week and I’d drop off the prepared meals. The meals were full course, the same meal we eat, packed up and delivered the next day. Other times it was large jars of soup. We enjoyed soup during the winter months and Bob and Ruth loved soup too.


Ruth Passing

When Ruth passed away in 2014 at 87. They were a great example of a solid, loving marriage to their friends and family. Bob misses Ruth every day, and shares memories from time to time with me. At the time of Ruth’s passing, Bob and Ruth were married 43 years.

After Ruth’s passing we seemed to increase meal delivery.  It got to the point several time Bob would say “no more until next week.”  Bob would take one meal and make it int two or three sometimes.  A large jar of soup he might make into 4 meals.  I would deliver the meals, place them in the refrigerator, and know how much food he had on hand. This way I could respond to my wife on the portion of food created, and she would ask “should I include Bob?”


Everything and anything related to Technology

Soon Bob would have a list of items to discuss, most related to technology. At first it was an issue with his cable box, then TV, next computer, or internet. I would either know how to fix, Google it for the fix, or last resort call the company support number.

He would read the newspaper technology talk section and asked questions like “do I need to upgrade my router?”, or “should I change something to the new something?” I would talk it through with him asking questions, giving him my opinion, and letting him decide.


Bob asked me for advice on any topic

It did not take long the topics would be almost anything.

I agreed to help Bob and told him the story about my grandmother.  My grandmother lived in an ocean community because she loves to have the ocean close by her.  She lived in a small two-bedroom house by herself until she was 93. That’s the way she wanted it.  She had a local man who agreed to help her even though he knew she had little to no money to pay him. He helped with odds and ends as he need help. I would help him with the notion I was repaying what that man did for my grandmother and paying it forward to a time where I might need help.


Upgrade to Smart Phone Technology

Bob had a cell phone when I met him, it was a flip phone.  One day when I showed and Bob was so excited to show me his new Samsung S6 Smartphone. He asked for help him put my number in his contact and want to name me tech guy, so I did.  Bob one day after reading one advertisement about the Jitterbug Smart2 he wanted one and had ordered one. I helped him port his number to the new device and within two weeks back into a new Samsung J3 2018 because he soon discovered its battery has a longer batter.

Bob also learned that his Smartphone could connect to Bluetooth in the car.  He assured me that he did not use his phone while driving. He thought it was cool, when connected with bluetooth in the car that it showed the calling number when there was an inbound call.



Ruth had a vehicle that sat in the garage for over a year and Bob decided it was time to sell it. He checked with the bank on the value and want me to help him sell it.  I found that the car was worth several thousand more than the banks suggest value.  He said he would give me a percentage if I wanted to help him sell it. I said “sure”. I took pictures and listed it online for $2,000 more than to bank and it sold within 10 days.  The new owner flew into town, paid cash for the car and drove home the next day.

Happy with the way the car sale went, he also had a handicap van than he wanted to sell. I called the place where he purchased the van and asked if they wanted to purchase the van; they did and within several days they paid him and a car carrier picked it up the van.


Using Technology to help improve a golfer and bowler

Several weeks ago he asked if I’d setup a new TV so he could watch YouTube videos to improve his golf and bowling. So he said got time now, “yes” I said,  let’s go, off we were to get a new smart tv at the local Walmart.

Sometimes it takes three tries.  First setup was the Smart TV YouTube App, not user friendly for a 94 to spell for a search with a left, right, and select button. Second where he used the smartphone watch YouTube and screen cast to the TV, better but phone’s small screen was challenging. Third and a final was a 10 inch tablet using screen cast. Easy search, easy to type the search. Third times a charm.


Breakfast and Lunch visits

Last year Bob invited me to breakfast and lunch several times.  We began going one to two time per month.  We were at a restaurant known for a great breakfast chicken fried steak, After that we began hunting  around town for a restaurant with the best one. He really like the first place and has gone back several times to order Togo morning meals.  Makes two meals out of the meal.


Bob has given me an example of what life can be when I’m older.

Hanging out with Bob has showed me what life can be when I get older. Bob still drives his car both locally and out of town. He drives regularly to 80 mile destinations out of town. Has a 2-day trip planned, with a second driver joining the longer trip. His quest to improve his golf swing, and bowling score are an example of always looking for a way to improve on our life. He’s healthy and does his yearly health check.


Bob cared for Ruth a little over three year’s day in and day out prior to her passing, an example a commitment to your spouse.


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