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Join Kathleen Warshawsky, BSN RN, for a Seniors Blue Book Senior Care Spotlight, featuring Tavis Schriefer, CEO of teleCalm.
The teleCalm service stops problem calls for seniors – whether they live at home or in a senior living community. We especially help those living with Alzheimer’s and dementia by keeping them safely connected to family and friends.
Our service reduces senior isolation. We help seniors maintain their independence, while helping family caregivers prevent phone-related problems such as late-night calls, repeated calls, and 911 abuse. Plus, we stop 100% of telemarketer/scam calls.
How do you do that?
Family caregivers subscribe to the teleCalm service for their loved one, and it replaces any existing home phone service provider. Our service works whether the senior lives at home or in a senior living community – even in memory care, where ordinary phone service is not allowed.
We provide a small wireless adapter that the telephone plugs into. They don’t need to have existing phone service or internet service.
The family caregiver manages all the features and benefits of our service remotely through the teleCalm Caregiver app on their smartphone.
If a family wants your service for their loved one in senior living, does the community have to already have your service installed?
No. We’re currently in over 170 communities across the US. In the majority of these communities, the family member has brought the teleCalm adapter into their loved one’s apartment and plugged it in themselves. The great thing is we don’t touch the community’s telephone wiring and we don’t use the community Wi-Fi. Our wireless adapter uses cellular but has a standard phone jack on the back to plug in any standard home telephone.
What do your customers tell you they like most about the teleCalm service?
Our customers love how simple our service is to use. If you know how to add a contact in your cell phone, you will find it easy to use our Caregiver app to manage the teleCalm service.
For many, our service has been life-changing for their family – whether its stopping all those late night and repeated calls, or stopping their loved ones from getting scammed, or stopping the frequent inappropriate 911 calling. Often times, we have been the only way their loved one can keep a telephone – because we are able to stop all the bad calls, while keeping them connected with their family and friends.
Our customers also love teleCalm’s personal touch to support. Our US-based customer support is manned by staff who have been caregivers themselves – so they understand first-hand the issue families are going through.
What changes have you seen since COVID-19?
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began in the US, we’ve witnessed the same concerns that we are all seeing on the news regarding senior isolation, both at home and in senior livings.
We hear this firsthand in the phone calls with our new customers as they as they are searching for ways to stay connected with their elderly family members.
teleCalm is helping to reduce social isolation in seniors, especially during pandemic – and we’re providing peace of mind to the families.
Since the stay-at-home orders and the lockdowns in senior livings, our customers are talking with their loved ones longer. The average phone call is now over 70% longer then pre-COVID calls. Since families can’t visit their loved one in person, they are spending more time talking to them on the phone.
Some new customers thought that maybe they had to wait until the lockdowns were over before they could install teleCalm service in their loved one’s senior living apartment, but that’s not true.
We continue to add new subscribers during COVID-19. Normally the caregiver brings the adapter in and sets it up, but during COVID, the senior living staff have been more than willing to set it up for the family, because it only takes 10 minutes.
Besides teleCalm, have you seen any other technologies that can be helpful for seniors, especially during these times?
Well, on the telephone side, a lot of families like these photo dial telephones that allow their loved ones to make calls by touching the picture of the person instead of dialing the phone number.
Also, with all of us staying at home, we are watching a lot more TV. There is this one type of speaker that’s specifically designed for the hearing impaired. It enhances the voices, making them clearer, while toning down the background music and noises that often make it difficult to understand the dialog.
Then there’s this unique adaptive clothing company that customizes your loved one’s existing clothing, replace the need for buttons with hidden Velcro or magnets, making it easier for seniors to dress themselves.
You can learn more about some of these items here: http://www.telecalmprotects.com/dags/
How would someone find out more about teleCalm?
There’s a wealth of knowledge on our website at teleCalmProtects.com, and they can also call us at 888-701-0411.
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