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Telephone reassurance

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CARE (Call Reassurance) is a Telephone Reassurance phone system developed and marketed by Database Systems Corp. that calls the elderly at home to ensure their well being. This technology allows many seniors who would normally require home care or other types of assisted living to stay in their homes longer with the security that someone will be checking in on them on a regular basis.

Telephone reassurance calls are daily checks for seniors who are living alone and wish to be contacted in case something happens to them and they are unable to request emergency assistance on their own. Seniors subscribe to this service in their local communities which have CARE systems. Subscriptions vary among communities, but most are free to the CARE subscribers.

Calls are made from a list managed by a CARE systems administrator. This list includes the CARE subscriber's name, address, and phone number. Optionally included are "keyholders", or friends and associates of the subscriber that the CARE responders can contact if they need to enter the home of the subscriber when no one answers the call.

CARE phone systems are provided to many communities throughout the U.S. and are typically maintained by local police departments, fire departments, or community service organizations. They are also available in some private, senior service organizations [1].

Contents

Telephone reassurance and national 2-1-1 service

Telephone reassurance has been included as one of the key services listed under the U.S. and Canadian national 2-1-1 program. 2-1-1 is a special abbreviated telephone number reserved in Canada and the United States as an easy-to-remember three-digit telephone number meant to provide quick information and referrals to health and human service organizations.

2-1-1 is operated (where available) by private, non-profit community-service organizations, local governments or local affiliates of the national organization of the United Way of America. 2-1-1 provides information and referral to callers on where to obtain assistance such as telephone reassurance programs from local and national social service programs, local and national governmental agencies and local and national non-profit organizations as well as where to volunteer or make a donation locally.

Senior CARE features

  • Automatic telephone reassurance calls to seniors
  • I'm OK automatically answers calls from seniors using IVR technology
  • Latchkey children automatic home alone checks
  • RUOK replacement of older technology
  • Monitor self abuse elderly victims
  • Notify family and friends automatically when no answer
  • Automatic reminder calls to seniors (medication reminders)
  • Connect seniors with volunteers for friendly chat
  • Voice broadcast messages to staff and dispatchers
  • Emergency notification calls to community members

Automatic CARE calls

CARE subscribers are called at a predefined time of day, every day. These calls are made automatically by the CARE phone system. If the CARE subscriber answers the call, a prerecorded message is played greeting the subscriber and asking "Are You OK?". The subscriber presses an acknowledgment phone key if everything is OK. If the subscriber does not answer the phone or an answering machine is detected, the CARE system calls back one or more times. If there is still no answer, an alert process begins.

CARE volunteers

CARE volunteers [2] can be family, friends or community members who wish to volunteer their time to speak with CARE subscribers after the CARE system determines that the subscriber is OK. When a subscriber designates that he or she wishes to speak with someone and it is not an emergency, a CARE volunteer is automatically notified by email or a phone call. The subscribers name and phone number is provided to the volunteer who can call the subscriber to provide a friendly chat or assist the individual with non-emergency help.

Call reassurance and latchkey kids

CARE systems can also call children at home to ensure they arrived safely after school when their parents are not home. These children are often referred to as Latchkey Kids. This is an important calling service offered by some communities that provides peace of mind to single parents or dual working parents who do not get home until after their children return from school. The system calls the household just as it does for seniors and the child must answer the phone and positively acknowledge receipt of the call by pressing the appropriate phone key.

If the child does not answer the phone or does not press the positive acknowledgement key, an automatic alert can be sent to the parents, school or neighbors and in some cases to the police department.

Elder abuse victim monitoring

Some of the most vulnerable individuals in society today are the elderly who are victims of abuse by both family members and caregivers. Elder abuse can be self inflicted, meaning individuals living at home may not provide the adequate care needed to live safely. A CARE feature known as Elder Abuse Monitoring calls these individuals to ensure they are OK. If the senior does not respond, an alert is generated and family, friends and the local community service organizations are contacted. CARE works best when community volunteers are also available to assist these individuals in performing very basis functions such as feeding the senior and ensuring they are properly clothed.

Senior medication reminders

Senior citizens can enroll in the CARE program to receive free daily or periodic reminders. These most likely are medication reminders and these non-emergency calls are made at a time and day unique to each senior. Reminder messages are played to both "live" answers or left on answering machines. If there is no answer or the phone is busy, multiple attempts are made to call the senior. No emergency alert is generated if there is no answer to this call.

CARE alerts and response

CARE alerts begin a process of contacting family members or the police department or local community services group that is tasked with follow up when a CARE subscriber does not respond. This individual or group is referred to as the CARE responder. If a responsible friend or family member is contacted, an acknowledgment must be received by the CARE responder that the subscriber is OK or needs assistance. If no acknowledgment is received or if a family member could not be contacted, the CARE responder will take action.

Normally the CARE responder will attempt to call the subscriber again before making a house call. If there is still no answer, the CARE responder will visit the subscriber's home to see if they are in need assistance.

CARE communities

The following are a few of the organizations using CARE (Call Reassurance) systems to check on the welfare of seniors in their communities:

  • Estes Park Police Department, Colorado
  • Garland, Arkansas Sheriff's Department, Arkansas
  • Gibson County, Indiana Sheriff's Department, Indiana
  • Oxford Park Commission, Mississippi, Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (Senior Corps)
  • Pound Ridge Police Department, New York
  • Rankin County Police Department, Mississippi

Contact Database Systems Corp.

Database Systems Corp. can be contacted at (602) 265-5968 or using the following Contact Form.

Technology and Related Articles

The following technology is used by the CARE system. It incorporates automatic dialers that send recorded phone messages (Voice Broadcasting) and embeds touchphone keypad responses (IVR) to verify the senior is OK. Emergency notification is an option to this system that can call the community at large.

External links