"An App That Helps You Care for Your Family, Wherever They Are Many people of my generation are torn between responsibilities of caring for our own children and looking after our elderly parents too. Many of us also live hectic lifestyles and are struggling to fit all our responsibilities and in to our daily schedules." "With a family of your own, it can be difficult to commit to proper time to physically care for elderly relatives which might leave us full or guilt and make us worry more about their well-being. Sometimes, the distance is the problem and we can’t physically be there all the time if you live far away from each other." My father was ill for many years at the end of his life and he passed away in 2008 after many stays in hospital and I wish the technology I’m about to tell you about was available then. My father-in-law is in much better health than my own father was, but he’s still not the healthiest and has had a few falls recently – one of which made him break his leg in the garden! Technology is amazing and it’s wonderful when people come up with brilliant ideas that improve our lives using technology. One new invention is the famil.care app with the goal to shape the future of family care and the quality of life through responsible use of technology. It’s a technology platform that enables family members to look out for each other wherever they are in the world. There are options for managing both senior and junior members of your family both in everyday life and in case of an emergency using the app on both your phones. You also get an emergency button that your elderly relative carries with them always. This button is a discreet device (as small as a £2 coin) that detects falls and has an SOS alarm to alert you if you are needed. You can wear the button as a pendant or attach it to a belt for example. It can even be used in the shower! This technology gives your relative independence and freedom and makes them feel secure that they’ll be able to reach you when they need you in an emergency. It also gives you peace of mind and stops you feeling helpless as you stay connected to each other. You can choose to have the technology alert multiple family members too which is great. Other useful features of famil.care include that you can immediately connect to your loved one’s phone to listen and speak in event of emergency via the microphone on their device and receive accurate GPS location if there’s a problem. You can also remotely manage contacts and calendar and send personal voice reminders – ideal for medication of medical appointments. You can even see when the battery is running low on your family member’s phone and remind them to plug it in to be charged. The whole system has been specifically designed for people who are not confident with technology. My father-in-law is definitely one of them! The senior interface is simplified to make it easy for an elderly user and they can phone anyone they want with just one click. The app launches automatically when they turn their phone on too so they don’t even have to locate the app to open it. The name for this technology is perfect – famil.care really helps you care for your family, wherever they are.
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"Caring for an elderly who is living remote!? famil.care app may help you to keep them closer virtually." Looking after an elderly might be very challenging! Earlier on this blog, I have discussed about how extremely challenging it is to look after my Dad who loves to be independent but it’s just not that easy for me to let him do what he likes to do on this own and he doesn’t like it at all! There were some discussions about Malnutrition on Elderly on that blog post. It’s just not about Nutrition, but also about how to avoid interfering in their personal but also keep a secret eye on them! This gets worse when they don’t live closer to you and would be a worst experience if they live much further away from you (eg: if they are on holidays.. you can’t stop them from enjoying their own time). This secret mission of keeping you closer to your elderly (virtually) while physically maintaining a distance, is possible with the help of new “famil.care” app. How does the app work? Although everything is controlled by a single app, there are two different variations of the app that would be installed on your phone and the person you care for. famil.care nexus – This is the FREE APP that would be installed in your phone. This app works both on iPhone and Android. Search as ” on iPhone or Android phones. famil.care senior – This is a PAID APP and has different subscription levels. With every subscription, you get an emergency button. The famil.care app is for both juniors and Seniors, so there are two different editions of the emergency button: a pearl-white one dedicated to our senior relatives, and a mint green one for our children. famil.care Senior emergency button The Senior emergency button has two different emergency features: the fall detection and the SOS alarm. Thanks to the integrated accelerometer, famil.care automatically detects the fall and alerts you right away. To know more about how the emergency button works please refer this link. The senior emergency button is as small as a coin and very light in weight so your loved one can wear it as a pendant or hook it to their belt or wear it like a watch. The functionality of emergency button can be controlled in the app. SOS button – Two most common fears amongst the elderly are a sudden fall (77%) or sudden illness (66%) In such emergency, famil.Care automatically send you an alert by using the emergency button and also shares the GPS location and connects you to your relative via microphone for instant communication. If the SOS button and your loved one’s mobile phone disconnect, famil.care senior immediately alerts both you and your senior relative. This allows you to take action to ensure it’s reconnected. Research showed that being automatically alerted in case of a fall (53%) and emergency button alert (57%) were most appealing features of famil.care; followed by being able to know where a loved one is at any time (47%) Easy to use – You can remotely configure basic things in your loved ones phone like updating their address book, managing their diary etc. This is very useful feature when they find it too hard to use the smartphone. Personal Reminders: You can configure personal voice reminders for appointment and taking medicine. You even get alerted when the phone battery is running low, famil.care senior automatically alerts both your senior relative and you. Autoconnect via Loud speaker/ microphone – When your loved one does not answer your phone, it automatically connects them to you via speaker phone and let you talk to them directly even when not connected through network. – This is something I love as Dad doesn’t pick up his phone even when he keeps it under his pillow (I have told him many time not to do but that’s how they are, isn’t it!) famil.care Senior also integrates with all home sensors (e.g. fire and smoke alarms, heart monitors, security systems etc.) and alerts you of any alarms activated. – I haven’t tested this yet. What I liked about famil.care app Easy to setup Gives you peace of mind while giving enough freedom and independence to your loved ones. Big icons makes it easy for the senior to use it comfortably. Things I would like to see being improved: Unfortunately, as it is new app there are many things I am still testing with Dad as I do not want to Panic him a lot at one go. However, here are the few observations I made while testing and would love to see them improved. Although it is mentioned that it works everywhere around the world, as of now it supports only four locations. +33, +39, +44 and +49. Dad travels to India once in a year to be with my relatives and unless this is been improvised, I would find it hard to reach him. While registering online, I noticed that, although I entered the UK postcode, it was missing in the delivery address and the emergency button is still not delivered. (I am still trying to resolve this with customer support) My registered e-mail disappeared from the system all of a sudden and I am not able to update any of my details including giving the post code to help with delivery. The Senior app is not supported on blackberry – I have given my old blackberry and although he is not active user of that blackberry smartphone, I found it incompatible with the blackberry when I tested. However considering how new the app is, I hope these all will be rectified soon and I am hoping to do more testing and see how helpful it would be in real life. There is also famil.care Junior product to look after the younger members of your family too.
Caring for elderly loved ones with famil.care app
Those of you who have been following my blog will know that the issue of how we look after our elderly loved ones is a big issue with me. My mum suffers from progressive ankylosing spondilitis, lives alone and has already had falls which have set her back hugely. We try to keep tabs on her as much as we can but sometimes the craziness of our hectic modern day take over….and that really gets me. So when I heard about famil.care app, a simple solution to keep you connected to your elderly loved one and alert you to any emergencies I was intrigued. So how does it work? You download the famil.care nexus app (for free) on your smartphone and famil.care senior app (paid – see more on pricing below) on your loved one’s mobile – the app immediately pairs and work 24/7. I have to admit I was worried about the idea of my mum using technology in this way but the famil.care senior app is specifically designed for tech-shy people used to traditional mobile phones. It has a simplified interface, and your loved one can phone whoever they want with just one click. In addition, famil.care senior launches automatically when turning on the mobile phone without having to look for the app and open it. You can watch this video for a more detailed explanation "famil.care Senior emergency button The famil.care senior emergency button is a tiny and discreet device that helps you to promptly intervene 24/7 in case your senior has an emergency." The famil.care emergency button has two different emergency features: the fall detection and the SOS alarm. Thanks to the integrated accelerometer, famil.care automatically detects the fall and alerts you right away. The button is paired with your loved one’s mobile phone through a Bluetooth Low Energy technology which guarantees a high performance and a longer battery life. In addition, the famil.care emergency button works everywhere – both inside and outside – and it is 100% waterproof so it can even be worn whilst showering or bathing. In an emergency, famil.Care automatically sends you an alert by using the emergency button and shares the GPS location and connects you to your relative via microphone for instant communication. If for some reason the button and your elderly relative’s mobile disconnect both you and your elderly relative are alerted immediately. So overall, this looks like an easy-to-set up way of keeping in communication and looking out for the safety and wellbeing of elderly relatives when you can’t be there. For me, this is a huge benefit, particularly as I worry so much about what my mum would do in the event of another fall.
Famil.care: An App to Help with Independence?
Is you elderly family taken care of?
A question that crops up now and again is – Is your elderly family taken care of? I understand it can be hard taking care of your family, especially when you have children, work and other commitments. The worry is always there ‘What if something goes wrong?’