Distance makes the heart grow fonder. It’s an old saying that applies perfectly to a lot of families. It’s not unusual for adult children to live far away from parents. And that space allows for a lot of independence for both parties. But as parents age, that distance can become a huge problem for families.
There is a growing problem of seniors with adult children or friends becoming ‘unbefriended’, completely isolated from their community and other social interactions.
So it was interesting to read of automated calling programs that check in with seniors daily. The technology is old but the application is relatively new. And because of the boomer bulge in senior ranks, it’s growing in use and importance.
While many seniors living in larger cities may find it easier to maintain social connections as they age, life in smaller towns and rural communities can be a different story. So this marketing technology tool has become repurposed to assist in keeping track of seniors.
The system works like this. A senior gets a call each day asking them to press a specific number on the keypad to confirm they’re fine. If the call isn’t answered, the system will attempt again. After a few non-responses, police will call the senior’s emergency contact and if necessary have an officer go to their home to check on them.
In the article I read, Winter Park Police Officer Randall Morrissey spoke to the positive response their program has received.
“A lot of the seniors who sign up are concerned that they could pass and not be discovered for days,” Morrissey says. “With this program, it’s comforting for them to know they could be found.”
In our estate work and will preparation for clients, we work to ensure a smooth transition plan through all life’s changes. Social isolation can slip through the cracks of even the best life plans. It’s good to see communities finding ways to use existing technology to make sure our seniors are always connected to the services they need.
To talk estate plans, wills and powers of attorney, please contact us anytime.