An iPod and an App = a daily, easy check-in service
My brother and I wanted for our Dad the opposite of a panic button: a Don’t Worry Button, something with a big friendly button for him to send a “Don’t Worry, all is well” text message or email on a regular or occasional basis at his convenience. Our Dad is too independent to need or want a visitor every day, but with his hearing problems we couldn't depend on phone calls.
We looked for this device without success, and started talking to friends.
We weren't thinking of iphones. Our teens were attached to their phones, but neither of us owned an ipod or iphone. Those devices seemed like music and communication centers for the young. However, as we asked around, three people in a row said the Don’t Worry Button sounded like something for smart phones.
We found a link for app developers on the internet, and connected with a development company. Our design requirement stayed simple: a colorful button on the screen that the parent presses to send a pre-set text message or email to a concerned family member. For the one-time set-up, there are options for texting and emailing, timers and alerts.
The senior parent needs a device -- an iphone, ipod, or ipad. The ipod is simple and inexpensive, with no on-going fees, as long as there is a wi-fi connection in the area. If there is no wi-fi available, an iphone or pad can connect through cell service. With any of these devices, you just download the app for $0.99, set up the message, and then your parent or relative can let you know that all is well by pressing the Smiley Face, and then "Send".