It’s 11.00am. This is the time we have set up the 3rings Plug connected to my elderly mother’s kettle a year ago to send me an updated alert every day. The reassuring message on my Smart Phone tells me mum is up and about and has made her first drink of the day. I will as always, speak to her during the day, but right now it’s telling me that “All’s OK” with mum. No need to worry.
My mum is now “21, four times over” – she’s just had her 84th birthday! She is still very active, drives everywhere, is out every day, never turns down an invitation to go out somewhere and is determined to live life to the full for as long as she is able to. This is such a great attitude, but it also creates worry – what if she falls, what is she breaks down on the motorway – what if, what if?
Over the past 12 months I’ve got used to receiving this daily message from 3rings Plug. It’s reassuring for me, but as mum told me, and more importantly, it’s also very reassuring for her. Because mum knows that by 11.00am if she has not got out of bed and made a cuppa (which is her usual routine), without needing to do anything, I will know about it right away. In fact, on the few occasions when we’ve got the alert that mum had not used the kettle by 11.00, within five minutes either myself or one of my sisters had made contact with her. Thankfully each time, there’s been no problem – mainly mum having a lie in recovering from her social life!
As a franchise owner in the Home Instead Senior Care network, I am fully aware of the challenges older people face and the impact of these on family members and others. Almost all older people would wish to remain at home given the choice, and it’s the combination of factors that can make the “promise of home” a reality. These may include a supportive family, access to health care, and the support of other agencies and organisations like Home Instead.
Technology also plays an increasingly significant role. The 3rings Plug is taking a really simple “let the phone ring 3 times” concept and uses technology to deliver this reassurance to the family every day. It’s simple but so effective, and mum needs do nothing other than switch on her kettle as usual. A great proof statement for me is that a few days ago (due to a problem with my phone and partly my fault!) the system didn’t work for two days. It was an anxious time. It just reminded me how much reassurance I receive from using the 3rings Plug.