Name: Chris Rucinski
Lives in: Somerville
Occupation: Software Litigation Expert Witness
SCES Volunteer since: 2021
How Chris helps: As a volunteer Technology Coach, Chris helps SCES clients get started with common smartphone and tablet applications.
“I thought it was going to be pretty cookie cutter, but each case has been unique,” said Rucinski. “I had one client who has vision challenges, so we adjusted his device to make the text larger. I also helped him learn to use Uber to get to doctor’s appointments.”
“Another client needed help enlarging the text on their phone and learning how to respond to texts, which was important because their doctor’s office would text and they needed to respond,” he added.
The technology coaches often do a one-hour home visit with the client, followed by two follow-up calls, but each case is different.
“I focus on the easiest ways to improve people’s lives through technology, with the limited time we have,” said Rucinski.
While the time is limited, Rucinski said building a rapport is an important part of the work.
“The first meeting I try to take very slow,” he said. “I think an easy way to make it frustrating and not productive is to go too fast. It’s much better to guide people through the steps instead of doing it for them.”
How Chris connected with SCES: “I was reaching out to places last spring, offering to help older adults get connected with the COVID vaccine,” said Rucinski. “SCES didn’t need help with that, but it did lead to a discussion about the Technology Coaches program. It appealed to me because understanding technology and explaining it well are important parts of my job.”
“It’s a nice way to help people,” he added. “It’s very individualized, and that’s fulfilling on a personal level.”
Technology Coaches is a free program that is available to SCES clients aged 60 and up. To learn more, contact the SCES Aging Information Center at 617-628-2601 or firstname.lastname@example.org.