As you may know I’ve been living cellphone-free for the past 2.5 years. Just recently, I rejoined the cellphone world mostly to be better connected with my girlfriend who was tired of having a hard time reaching me. And just as I made this life change I received an invitation to review the CarelineTM Home Safety Telephone System from VTech via the BOOMbox Network, a group I’ve written for in the past. So, just like life – out with the old and in with the new, right? As I send my landlines back to GoodWill and and Re-Run (an excellent place to consign things such as the rotary phone I bought from them as a joke…) into my life comes this new telephone system! How cyclic!
We’re all aging, it’s how life works. Aging in place is all the rage. And this phone system may be for you or your parents or their parents. To me, even thinking of ever needing something like this for myself is pretty scary. But perhaps that’s part of being an adult – you face the scary stuff, sit with it, reflect on it and in my case, report back to my readers. In the case of the Careline system, it’s not something that I’ll personally be using for a while, but I can easily think of many family and friends who might benefit from using it.
I watched a TED talk recently that talked about a life strategy of reducing the risk in one’s life so that our lives can continue with as few tragic developments as possible. In the speaker’s talk the example was sleeping under trees in the New Guinea forests and how one would want to avoid that as they tend to fall down and kill people. In the case of Careline what they’re doing is providing a service for older people to turn something where minutes count (such as a heart attack or fall) into an event with a more positive outcome. Even though we’re more and more connected these days, this doesn’t always mean that the people we’re connected to know when something happens to us. Careline’s system aims to increase the odds that when something happens it’s easy for the injured to reach out and alert others.
From the VTech press release:
“Studies show a strong correlation between staying connected to others and the health of older adults. A Harvard University report said odds of mental decline doubled for seniors with no social ties compared to those who had frequent contact with relatives and friends or participated in social activities. Researchers in another study found individuals with a rich social network lived at least 1.6 years longer than their peers. CareLine is designed to support the need to stay connected, linking seniors with the people they can trust to help them age in place independently.”
So, will this device help you or someone you know prevent a tragedy from happening? Probably like any tool it will help once the user knows how to operate it and has some practice with it. As we baby-boomers continue to age I’m happy to know that companies are thinking more and more about our generation and how to improve our life experiences.
Staying connected with others seems to be of key importance in helping us live longer and thrive while doing so. I watch constantly as I see older people struggling to stay connected. One of the issues is that their friends die off. But there are great ways to stay connected these days that didn’t exist in the past – one example is the Facebook events feed = instant social life. If all of the tools at our disposal are used perhaps we can make aging a more fun and enjoyable time for folks rather than a period of isolation and challenge. If you’re thinking about an elder, please learn about this tool and others and report back when you find something that works! Thanks!
Here’s a video that explains how the system works.
I wrote this blog post while participating in a campaign by the BOOMbox Network on behalf VTech Communications, Inc. and received payment for my participation. All opinions stated within are my own.