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New App For Communicating With Elderly Parent's Caregivers

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For the adult children of elderly parents, perhaps the most pressing question on the mind, day in and day out, is, “Are Mom and Dad OK?”

It’s a question that more and more American adults are asking themselves. People 65 or older will make up 20 percent or more of the population of the United States by 2050. That’s double what it was in the 1950s, when most of the Baby Boomers, who are now reaching peak retirement, were born.


The How Mom’s app, our volunteer testers overwhelmingly told us, gave them peace of mind about their loved ones’ status and allowed them to stay better informed about their aging parents’ health, even at a distance.


At the same time, traditional societal supports for seniors have crumbled. Our commuter-based communities, and even our cities, have become insular. Neighbors are less likely to know one another or look out for one another’s welfare. Families are less centralized than they’ve ever been before.

As a result, the country’s population is graying, rapidly. Many of our parents are aging in place without close support or, in many cases, without any nearby relatives to ask for help when they need it most.

But the realization of that reality is breeding innovation. And innovation is begetting solutions. One of those solutions has been devised and launched, right here in Cincinnati.

That solution is the free How’s Mom app, which Episcopal Retirement Services (ERS) assisted in developing and improving prior to its release.

 

A customizable application to keep Mom safe

How’s Mom “is designed to provide peace of mind for families, and to give them a daily touch point to relieve anxiety regarding the care of a parent or loved one,” ERS President and CEO Laura Lamb said.

“This is where today’s communications are headed. People would like to know, at any time of the morning, noon or night, how their loved ones are doing,” she said. “There is an app for that.”

hows-mom-1.jpgHow’s Mom was first deployed earlier this year. It was made available for beta testing to family members and caregivers of ERS residents who are receiving daily healthcare services, such as skilled nursing care and assisted living.

We quickly learned just how valuable a tool the app can be.

Family caregivers told us that they loved the How’s Mom’s smooth interface and intuitive functionality. And they came to rely on the daily wellness alerts the app will push to any connected computer, tablet, mobile device, or smartphone.

When an elder care provider — such as a nurse at the doctor’s office, a personal care assistant at a retirement community, or an in-home aide — has new information about a senior’s wellness or well-being, he or she can add updates directly to the app. Loved ones also connected in the application can see, in real time, how their older relative is doing.

How’s Mom is also customizable. Family members can choose what information they want to know right away, how and how often they want to receive push notifications about their older loved one’s status, and more.

A son living in San Francisco, for example, might be concerned whether his elderly mother is eating well while she undergoes chemotherapy for breast cancer at a hospital in Dayton.

A daughter who works a 9-to-5 job might wonder whether her older father, who lives at memory care home, has taken his medication on schedule that afternoon and if he is getting along with other residents.

The app even features a pictorial timeline of a senior’s wellness, so that relatives can track health trends and take action if they notice a change in vitals, behavior, or medication compliance.

Such critical information can be digitally shared, so that adult children or grandchildren are never left wondering how their aging loved ones are doing.

 

The perfect solution for family caregivers who need reassurance

The How Mom’s app, our volunteer testers overwhelmingly told us, gave them peace of mind about their loved ones’ status and allowed them to stay better informed about their aging parents’ health, even at a distance.

It’s available as a free download on Apple’s iTunes. Download it today, and get the reassurance your family deserves about your older parent’s wellbeing. Family members of ERS residents, please contact Judi Dean, RN, Director of Nursing, at 513-533-5021 for more information about receiving wellness updates for your senior.

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Bryan Reynolds
By
July 19, 2017
Bryan Reynolds is the Vice President of Marketing and Public Relations for Episcopal Retirement Services (ERS). Bryan is responsible for developing and implementing ERS' digital marketing strategy, and overseeing the website, social media outlets, audio and video content and online advertising. After originally attending The Ohio State University, he graduated from the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati, where he earned a Bachelor of fine arts focused on electronic media. Bryan loves to share his passion for technology by assisting older adults with their computer and mobile devices. He has taught several classes within ERS communities as well as at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute run by the University of Cincinnati. He also participates on the Technology Team at ERS to help provide direction. Bryan and his wife Krista currently reside in Lebanon, Ohio with their 5 children.

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