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updated: 3/14/2014 9:39 AM

Wheaton couple offers phone message service with twist

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  • Kathryn and Ken List have launched a Wheaton-based business that helps people check on others through phone calls and text message alerts.

      Kathryn and Ken List have launched a Wheaton-based business that helps people check on others through phone calls and text message alerts.

  • This is a screen shot of what the Daily Care Call alert looks like on a smartphone.

      This is a screen shot of what the Daily Care Call alert looks like on a smartphone.
    COURTESY OF DAILY CARE CALL

  • Here's what the Daily Care Call looks like when signing up on the web.

      Here's what the Daily Care Call looks like when signing up on the web.
    COURTESY OF DAILY CARE CALL

 
 

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.

"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.

Surfing: AT&T is offering a new 2GB Mobile Share Value plan starting at $65 a month, which is $15 off the current 2GB plan for one smartphone with no annual service contract. It includes domestic unlimited talk and text, as well as unlimited international messaging from the United States to select countries on the 4G LTE network. AT&T customers with a compatible device also may sign up for 50GB of cloud storage at no additional charge.

T-Mobile US Inc. said it's offering customers more 4G LTE data and unlimited international texting at no extra charge. The new plan changes include double the amount of 4G LTE data for basic $50 Simple Choice plans, and more data for power users as well as unlimited international texting to and from virtually anywhere. More free international roaming countries where Simple Choice customers have unlimited data and texting and flat-rate calls up to 122 countries is part of the plan. All existing Simple Choice customers will automatically receive these benefits without having to change their current services or plans.

•Motorola Mobility introduced its College Collection for Moto X. Users can utilize Moto Maker to customize their phone with school colors, then top it off with a clear case with the team logo. Students and educators can get $60 off Moto X without a contract using their .edu email address.

• Follow Anna Marie Kukec on LinkedIn and Facebook and as AMKukec on Twitter. Write to her at akukec@dailyherald.com.

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