‘You’re never too old’ - 96-year-old learns to use mobile phone to connect with loved ones

Peggy Burton, 96, has learnt how to use a mobile phone, with the help of her daughter, Sylvia Moore,

Peggy Burton, 96, has learnt how to use a mobile phone, with the help of her daughter, Sylvia Moore, while being in lockdown at Lincoln House nursing home in Swanton Morley. Picture: CASTLEMEADOW - Credit: Archant

When Peggy Burton was told she would have to spend lockdown in a nursing home, she was determined not to let it stop her from enjoying life.

Peggy Burton, 96, has learnt how to use a mobile phone, with the help of her daughter, Sylvia Moore,

Peggy Burton, 96, has learnt how to use a mobile phone, with the help of her daughter, Sylvia Moore, while being in lockdown at Lincoln House nursing home in Swanton Morley. Picture: SYLVIA MOORE - Credit: Archant

And so the 96-year-old - armed with a mobile phone, a fishing net, and a three inch gap in her bedroom window - decided to spend her precious and limited visiting times being taught how to make and receive calls.

Mrs Burton first arrived at Lincoln House nursing home in Swanton Morley, near Dereham, back in June this year.

Following a two-week stay at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, she was diagnosed with an untreatable infection which meant she had to leave her house in Shipdham where she had been living semi-independently.

Her daughter, Sylvia Moore, 69, described her mum as “strong-minded” and explained how she had been doing her own cooking and cleaning at home before the move.

Peggy Burton, 96, has learnt how to use a mobile phone, with the help of her daughter, Sylvia Moore,

Peggy Burton, 96, has learnt how to use a mobile phone, with the help of her daughter, Sylvia Moore, while being in lockdown at Lincoln House nursing home in Swanton Morley. Picture: CASTLEMEADOW - Credit: Archant


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She said: “Unfortunately, as a result of the infection, she is now bed bound but she remains cheerful and has such an active mind. She loves reading too.

“She became very distraught in July when we were no longer able to visit her. She felt so isolated. That’s when I decided to buy her a mobile phone.”

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When visits at the home became reinstated for a short time, Mrs Moore, who also lives in Swanton Morley, took the opportunity to teach her mum how to use the device.

“She is so motivated to live every single day,” she added.

“In order to teach her how to use the phone we would pass it between us, keeping sanitised and safe, using a fishing net through a small gap in the window.

“This has been quite a challenge as her sight and hearing are failing and giving her instructions through a small window gap was not easy.

“She was determined not to be beaten and although she does not always get it right, she is now able to remain in touch with her beloved family and friends on a daily basis - which at the age of 96 proves you are never too old to learn.”

Mrs Burton now speaks to her two daughters daily, and her grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and friends.

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