by MichelleR on July 19, 2013

Staying in touch with family and friends has dramatically changed over the decades.  It is almost unheard of to sit down and write a letter to someone.  These days it’s all about emailing, texting, and video interaction such as FaceTime or Skype.  However, when it comes to these great advances in technology, often the elderly population gets left behind.  The founders of VideoCare have realized this and have launched a system that has many benefits for seniors and all that interact with them.

VideoCare is a fairly new videoconferencing start up based out of Menlo Park that is targeted for seniors and their extended families, and caregivers. The foundation for VideoCare is simple.  The founders of VideoCare recognize that today’s 80 and 90-year-olds retired from the workforce before the internet and smartphones were a part of daily living and therefore, have the hardest time trying to navigate the ever-changing world of technology.  The technology created for VideoCare basically breaks down the operating system to make it as simple as possible for the senior user; basically a one-touch system.  All of the management of the device happens remotely, by the family or caregiver.  The senior does not see an operating system, files, folders, or apps.  What they see is exactly what they get; if they want to make a call, they touch the call button, and if they want to see a picture then they touch the photo button, and so on.

Benefits and Perks of VideoCare:

Dave Trescot, co-founder of VideoCare says, “If you are a middle aged person, the biggest problem you have is worrying about your parents”.  Being able to see each other versus just making a phone call can make all the difference in the world.  Many seniors use it to have video chats or see family pictures.  This is extremely beneficial to the overall wellness of seniors.  As people age, their world tends to become increasingly smaller.  They move out of their houses that they have lived in for many years, which means they are also moving away from the relationships they have formed in that community.  They give up driving (voluntarily or involuntarily) limiting access to the outside world.  Inevitably, their social circle shrinks as their friends and family pass away.  As a result, many seniors begin to suffer from isolation, especially if family members live far away.

One family in particular testifies to the benefit of having video care: (article, Staying in touch with Grandma VideoCare system aids seniors, families and caregivers, Mercury Newspaper, Monday May 13, 2013)

Redwood City resident Kelly Ilnicki is very close to her 89-year-old grandmother, who lives in Oceanside, near San Diego, California.  Kelly talks to her grandma three or four times a day via VideoCare.  One day, as they were talking on VideoCare, her grandma was sitting on the couch and Kelly saw her fall over.  Kelly thought her grandma had a mini stroke.  Kelly was able to yell at her.  They called the paramedics in Oceanside and they came to her house.  Kelly could hear the paramedics  beating on the door.  When they arrived Kelly was still on VideoCare and she was able to explain to the paramedics what happened, as well as discuss what medication her grandma was on.  The paramedics were thrilled! Kelly feels VideoCare has been the most amazing thing for their family.

There are other ways that VideoCare can be beneficial to seniors.  There are options to set alerts for medication reminders.  This can be a great relief for families that cannot afford a private nurse to manage medications and cannot be there themselves to assist with medications.  It can also be helpful in an assisted living facility situation. For example, instead of the residents having to go to the Wellness Center, they can receive alerts on VideoCare and take their medication in their apartment.  Alerts/Reminders can also be set for activities and socials, i.e- Bingo night tonight!

The biggest benefit of technology like VideoCare is giving seniors the ability to connect with family members and bridging the social isolation gap. VideoCare has pilot users in Alzheimer’s facilities that can use their system!




Previous post:

Next post: