Ken and Kathryn List have launched a Wheaton-based business that uses web and telephony technology so family members, churches or other organizations can look in on aging relatives.
Daily Care Call launched in February to provide automated messaging service with a twist, Ken List said.
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"Our service will call seniors on behalf of their loved ones, their church, or their health service provider with a personal greeting and a daily message. We also provide medication reminders, as well as wellness calls that verify that the senior is all right, and notifies via text, email or phone if a shut-in does not respond," he said. The couple believe that if the senior hears the voice of a loved one, or someone else they know from a church or other organization, with a greeting or medication reminder, it will become more personal.
The idea for automated Daily Care Call started with Kathryn's concern for a 94-year old friend who lives by herself. While her friend's children kept in contact with the elderly woman, there was the concern that any day something serious could happen and go unnoticed for days, Ken List said.
"Together we conceived the idea of using the telephone, a device that all aging seniors are familiar with, to daily place calls to the loved one," he said. "By the loved one pressing a key on the phone to acknowledge the call, the service would know that the person was all right and able to use the phone. We didn't want this to be impersonal, however, as some other monitoring systems can be. So, we created the ability for loved ones to record personal greetings, and for the service to also play a 'message of the day' to inspire or engage the senior. Pressing '1' on the phone to hear the daily message also indicates to the service that the senior is all right."]
If there is no response, the subscriber would be notified.
Three packages include: patient medication reminders with three calls daily; or a well-being check with one call daily; or an inspirational, religious or humorous message with one call daily. Each package costs $20 per month, or $200 per year when signing up for an annual subscription.
The senior or other shut-in can receive the calls on their mobile phone or landline, List said.
The company also offers a program for groups. For nonprofits, the company will donate a portion of the subscription costs to the subscribing group. Also, for example, if a church uses the service for their shut-ins, and one of their members also would like to use it for their own aging parent, the company will donate a portion of that individual subscription to the individual's church organization, he said. Over the years, Kathryn has been a volunteer at a number of different social welfare organizations and Ken has been a software product manager.
"It is (our) goal to be able to return a portion of the proceeds of this business to charitable organizations," he said.
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