Maris Grove’s ‘resident’ computer expert
Wayne Beal is the go-to tech troubleshooter for his neighborsBy Jacqueline Kimball
Wayne Beal spent most of his life in Delaware and then lived in Greenville, S.C., for several years before moving this January to Maris Grove, Erickson Living’s community in Delaware County, Pa.
He chose Maris Grove for its financial setup: most of his entrance deposit would pass to his estate as a legacy or would be refunded if he moved.
Equally important, Maris Grove is near his daughter and three-year-old granddaughter in Downingtown.
A helping hand
Wayne’s passion is computers. Decades ago, he taught himself to build and repair them. He later worked in a computer shop. At Maris Grove, he belongs to the computer club and co-teaches its Computer 101 class.
“I think computers are a challenge for your brain because they change so much,” he says. “There’s a new operating system, a new chip, and new memory all the time. So there’s a lot you have to keep up on.”
Through word of mouth, his Maris Grove neighbors know he’s the person to call when they encounter a glitch with their computer hardware. He fields calls throughout the day from folks at their wits’ end.
For Wayne, the calls are an opportunity to help. “It’s also a great way to meet people,” he says.
He’s most adept on PCs and PC clones. And as Johanne Peters can attest, Wayne excels at virus removal.
A computer owner since last October, Johanne has a laptop with Windows 7. She’s taken the Computer 101 class, attended some club meetings, and has a friend who’s computer-savvy. But her laptop still frustrates her.
“More than once, I’ve come extremely close to putting it in the trash,” she says.
When it contracted a music-playing virus this summer, Johanne called Wayne. He successfully removed the virus.
As a thank you, Johanne and her husband took Wayne out for a steak dinner, and Johanne made a donation to the community’s resident care fund. Such a donation, to either the care fund or Maris Grove’s scholarship fund for its student servers, is the only payment Wayne requests. Maris Grove is a not-for-profit community dedicated to supporting residents who experience an unforeseen change in their financial situation for reasons beyond their control. The Home for Life Commitment provides several options for residents to protect their future. It’s all in the Residence and Care Agreement.
Wayne plies his computer skills at the wraparound granite kitchen counter of his “bachelor pad” apartment home. The one-bedroom floor plan fits his budget and provides more than ample living space.
Beyond computers, he sets aside time for bocce, bowling, table shuffleboard, and the campus fitness center. When his granddaughter visits, they head to Maris Grove’s aquatics center and its all-season swimming pool.
His living is easy. Wayne’s doctor’s office is on-site at Maris Grove’s medical center and most of his specialists are just a mile away. When he visited his son in Georgia last month, he simply locked his door and left. “I didn’t have to worry about anything.”
When residents have questions about the latest computer technology, Maris Grove’s computer club finds the answers.
Its monthly meetings are open to all residents and feature presentations on topics ranging from new devices to the latest Internet scam.
Through a trail-blazing collaboration with Maris Grove’s in-house TV station, the club videotapes its monthly presentations to air on the station’s Through the Lens program. DVDs of the presentations are also available for residents to borrow or purchase.
One of this year’s presentations, by IT Site Manager Mike Hill, focused on the Telikin touch screen computer, popularly known as the “WOW!” And two residents who own the computers brought them along for show and tell.
The super-simple Telikin computer is designed specifically for folks who grew up before the computer age.
Hill’s presentation created such a buzz that club member and WOW! owner Sue Smuck arranged for a Telikin representative to give a campus-wide presentation in Maris Grove’s Cardinal Theater this summer.
And because Maris Grove’s IT department installed a Telikin computer in the campus computer lab, residents can now test drive one for themselves. Training is also available for a nominal fee.