Cyber-Seniors Take Their Place in the Online Community

"I guess it was about a little over a year-and-a-half-ago that I thought it would be a good idea if we'd have a computer club, 'cause I needed help, and I thought,  knew there were some members in the chateau, that had computers and could help me," so says Dillman Putz, 89 year old resident of Chateau Girardeau.
     ...And so began the Chateau Computer Club - complete with the Surfing Seniors monthly newsletter. Chateau Girardeau is home to more than 200 seniors offering a broad spectrum of living options, almost 60 of them are members of the computer club.    But wait a minute...aren't computers supposed to be the province of the young? "Not anymore it isn't," says Dillman emphatically, "I think the seniors take more interest than the young people do".
      Putz says the residents here primarily want to know how to send and receive e-mail, and how to use the word-processor, and if they can't or don't want to, Dillman does it for them. 
       "Dillman had the idea of providing e-mail for the residents here, that was his idea, and he has done probably over a-hundred e-mail messages for different ones, so uh, they really do.   He'll write the e-mail, and recieve it, and take it to their room," says Harold Moxley, a friend of Putz', and another founding member in the Computer Club. Now, more of the computer club members are branching out into browsing.  Dillman claims it's good for the mind.  "If they're bored, they can come down here, and get on that, they learn and do anything, it's not only educational and entertaining, but I think it's good for the mind, and we have proven that with some of the members, myself as an example," says Putz.