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How do you Check in on your aging family and friends?

I have a single parent, living alone, who I could easily go a week without checking in on. To take care of my anxiety around whether or not she's okay, and avoid calling every single day to check in, I'm setting up a service that will send her a text once a day to make sure she's okay. If she doesn't reply, I'll get a notification, and then give her a call to make sure all is well.

Do you have a single, aging parent who you'd like to worry less about? Is this something you'd like to be able to use? My parent is totally comfortable texting, so this wouldn't necessarily work for every aging person (like those who don't have cell phones)! She's in her early 70s, so she's been using a cell phone for a long time.

My hope is that it'll take some stress of me, and not require us to talk every day, even if we have nothing to talk about!

What do you think? What would you like to see from a service like this?

Answers

You make it sound like calling every day is a bad thing. I cared for a woman who's daughter called at least once every night, and it absolutely made a difference. It doesn't have to be a long call, just a "how are you feeling today?" If you're worried about forgetting to check in on her, set an alarm on your phone. If you schedule your calls with mom, she's more likely to expect the call and answer.

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Gail in Peoria, AZ
Aug. 18, 2017

The texting program may be good for providing a quick wellness check, but you can't replace the value of making an actual phone call. An actual phone call says so much about how much we care for a person. Texting can be helpful and even fun at times, but voice to voice via a phone call; or even a face to face visit can be more personal.

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when my mother was living, my sibling and I spent different days and nights with her.

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I understand you're stressed and have life obligations. However, my parents are mid 70s and I love being able to talk to them everyday. My mom doesn't adapt well to change, doesn't like texting so we rotate shifts checking in and escorting her on errands/medical issues. I think any service assisting the aged is a godsend, but it can never replace the love of family. I'm not judging, just saying that since I've worked a PSYCE unit, I get the patience, empathy and compassion. We all get there one day, remember your parent needs love and support. Hope I'm being helpful, have a good day.

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You mom need someone to be with her bec.shes scared for everything.She needs someone to comfort her,a person who is very patient and loving person.

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It's better to set up a services to have someone physically check on her to make sure everything is okay. I do that for 3 families. Sometimes they might not be feeling well but because they don't want let anyone in the family they'll still I'm okay.

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Hi there- You have a parent in her 70s that responds to texts?? That is excellent! Everything you are stating as a concern is actually the last bit of independence she has in her life, and they are your concerns-not her's. Here is what I've found: lots of times there are children like us that worry A LOT about our folks, then we tend to smother our parents like they did to us! We need to listen to our folks like they did us, and acknowledge their concerns, fears, etc. If they don't need assistance, don't make them go! It will be a resentment in the long run I promise.....Keep them as independent as long as you can and good luck to them!

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Diana in Elkview, WV
Aug. 1, 2017

if it works for your family, then it is a good thing

my mother wasn't able to answer the phone , and she tried to get out of the house several times, that's the reason for all of us staying with her.

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I know that as a single parent myself with grown children it is always a joy to hear from my children I would love to hear from them more,but I know that they have families of their own. I know that you care and I am sure you worry about her. And that you too are very busy ,saying that I you have put great consideration into this company. If you feel good about it then go with it. BUT remember our parents will not always be here. Just to hear our child's voice can make our day so much better. My relationship with my mom is not how I would love it to be so I miss out. But I hope you have a better one with yours.Love the time you have together now and worry less,you are doing all you can. Good luck and keep your chin up. Hope this helps.

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I make a point to call every day to my mom, or to send her a quick text as well. Even though she isn't "old enough", I have asked her to get life alert, as she lives alone and it worries me. I love the idea of sending a text to just check up and see.

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I feel that most people would ignore texts from people, agencies or companies they don't know. So I don't think it's a good idea, personally.

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I would go and check on her I would also get a Lifeline system that she could press if needed just in case she fell and couldn't get to a phone.

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Loretta in Atco, NJ
Aug. 17, 2017

call the care giver at your family home or call the agency to find out

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why not just check in more often? or have someone nearby maybe someone from a church congregation that you trust check in?

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Stephen in Krum, TX
April 10, 2018

Both my parents are in their 80's, I do a check in mid-morning every day. Most calls are only 5 minutes or so as a quick check on how they (and I) slept, the weather (of course) and any plans for the day. After that it's a mutual "I love you" and on with the day. It's such an ingrained pattern now, neither of us considers it rude that the call is so short and on weekends when there's coffee and more time we just chat longer. Not sure texting would work well with my folks and would consume about as much time, so calling works fine for me, but you'll figure out what works best for you.

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Laure in Edmonds, WA
July 30, 2018

I'd touch base with her on her cell phone via text message (if she knows how to do that) or a call). JUST in CASE rather than trust she's ok if you can't reach her

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Laura in Dallas, TX
Oct. 18, 2017

It shall be a good service taking care of your mother, but don't avoid you to call her, it will be very nice for her to know that you are fine.

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I think texting her would be a good Idea, because if you called daily you might frighten the loved one into thinking something is wrong.

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I have taken care of my mother for two years , this did get to be to much because it was 24/7 , it did not mean I did not love her ,it was time to let go . I had her placed in a home were they can all watch her care  for her and love her . I still will call her once a day it is a lot easier on me than watching her 24/7 . I find it warm and inviting to her my mothers voice , I love it when she has a good day , God has blessed us when our family does well .

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I wouldn't rely on this service as a sole plan. I would recommend having a neighbor or someone that can be there to check when you can't.

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