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Telephone reminder service: it’s for you….

telephone reminder
Written by Louise Hickman

Supporting her elderly parents gave Louise Hickman both a headache and a brainwave, which together led to a brilliant telephone reminder service solution….

Tough decisions

How do you juggle your elderly folk and your kids and/or your job? They are equally important and vie for your attention, usually at the same time. So do you ring and remind Mum about her meds at 3pm and risk being late at the school gates or having to make yet another personal call from work? Or ring her later, meanwhile her sugar levels drop?  It’s impossible to choose.  There are approximately 6.2 million carers in the Uk who also face these challenges, we’re not unique in this situation.

Our Dad had early on set Parkinson’s and we as a family were very used to Dad’s routine of off and on periods and when he had to exercise or take his pills. If he missed one this would affect his entire day.  My brother and I both work and often couldn’t make the reminder calls just at the right time.

Now our Mum has the early signs of dementia and she too needs attention at exactly the right times. So being the efficient person that I am I looked for something that would help, a thing, a device that could help.  There was nothing…they all needed a gadget for Mum that she would lose, drop or break.  Her hands aren’t great due to Reynard’s and a fondness for sherry. But the one constant thing that she has always used is her phone.

A Family Affair

Last Christmas, with all the family together we started chatting about possible ideas. Having geeky tendencies my brother and husband came up with a technical solution. This concept grew so we took a deep breath and appointed a developer.

After much thought and negotiation, a really useful app was born. It’s called Nudgu – as in I’m going to nudge you about something.  It’s unique, as it allows you to record a message in your own voice then schedule it for delivery when its needed.  So as you have a coffee first thing you can look at your day and record a doctor’s appointment reminder for Mum to be delivered at 3pm when you’re on the school run.  It doesn’t matter if your phone is off, out of coverage or credit the message will still be delivered.  We found that a familiar voice really helps.  After the message is delivered you get a notification that the call was answered by a person or a machine.  Perhaps two missed messages would mean popping in to make sure all is well.

Easy, saves you time and money

All you need is a smart phone and all the message recipient needs is their normal phone. You can be up and running in 5 minutes.  Its free to try for 30 days and after that it starts from £8 a month.  So if it’s a nudge for medication at lunchtime you could save a care visit which is usually £10 per time, the monthly savings are substantial.

It also lets me have nice phone calls with Mum, I can ask her about her day not if she’s had her tablets or remembered to pop to the docs. I feel reassured and less stressed.

So this is a for Carers by Carers solution. We personally find this so useful and we have had some great feedback.   So try and see, it might just make all the difference. We all know someone who needs a little Nudgu.

We think is such a great idea.  Have you come up with solutions to problems you have encountered? Join the forum and let us know.  Or read our blog about telecare and other ways to keep in touch.

About the author

Louise Hickman