I called my mother every day that I could. I always hoped my brother or sister had checked on her, but we weren’t coordinated, so I didn’t know for sure. Since then, I learned about Senior Check-In calling services. If this had been a thing when my mom was alive, I would have given her a subscription as a gift to both of us.
So what is a Senior Check-In Service? A senior daily check-in service calls a senior every day at a certain time. If the senior does not answer after several tries, the service notifies the designated caregivers. With many services, if the caregivers do not respond, the service calls the police to ask for a welfare check on the senior.
Automated or Personal Phone Calls: Which is Better?
Either human volunteers or automated dialers call the seniors. Each type of call has its advantages and disadvantages.
Automated Call Pros and Cons
Automated calls rely only on technology. They are not held up because the caller is late or detained. However, automated calls are also impersonal. They fulfill the need to check in on the senior. They do not fulfill the senior’s need for human contact.
Personal Call Pros and Cons
Personal calls do fill that need. They require paid staff or volunteers to make the calls. Delays and obligations can interfere with personal call schedules. Personal calls excel at determining if the senior is “OK.” The caller is more likely than a machine to detect hesitation, anxiety, and illness. The person calling can trigger intervention, before problems become too big to solve.
Are There Any Free Senior Check-in Services?
There are some free check-in services. You might have to do some digging because many services are local. There’s no national directory of free senior check in services. Below are some places you will probably find some free help.
Volunteer Free Check-in Services
Churches, United Way, Police and Sheriff Departments, and community volunteers offer senior check-in services. Snug Safe is a commercial service that has a free plan. Learn more about Snug Safe in the Snug Safe Mobile App section below.
US Government Free Check-in Services
The U.S. government offers one of the best ways to find volunteer and government-run senior call services. The U.S. Administration on Aging helps you find senior citizen services. Visit the Elder Care Locator on the web here: https://eldercare.acl.gov/. Call them at 800-677-1116.
How to Search for Free Check-in Services
You can often find these on the internet using phrases such as:
- volunteer free senior check-in
- volunteer free daily check in services
- volunteer free “are you ok” service
- volunteer free telephone reassurance service for seniors
- volunteer free phone calls to elderly
- volunteer visiting programs
Also, try adding these words to your search:
- near me
- community group
- social service agency
- area agency on aging
- police department
- sheriff department
- United Way
- your town name
- your county name
Law Enforcement FreeSenior Check-in Services
Police and sheriff department daily check-in call services are usually free. The software they use usually costs them a fee, but more often than not, the town pays for it out of its budget. Police senior check-in calls most easily cut to the chase when seniors and their care circles do not answer the phone. Police can dispatch themselves to the senior’s home for a welfare check.
What are Some Free Senior Call Services?
- Senior Touch Line, Broward County, FL.
- Senior Check Program, Maryland
- TeleBridges, Virginia
- Safe and Sound, Portage County, WI
- Telephone Reassurance, Indianapolis, IN
- Elderly Check-In, Pelham, NH
What Are Some Commercial Senior Call Services?
The list below is a starting point. I haven’t investigated any of these services, so these are not recommendations.
Some Commercial Services
- keepingintouchsolutions.com (I had to remove this link as the company did not keep their web security certificate up to date)
- Update Jul 1 2020 no longer in business wecheckonyou.com
What Do Commercial Senior Call Services Offer?
Find out what benefits commercial check-in services offer. We cover both automated and personal phone call models.
How Much Do Commercial Senior Call Check-In Services Cost?
Commercial check-in services range from $15 to $150 per month.
I Am Fine Automated Check-In
I Am Fine is an automated telephone check in service.
You schedule the check-in for a certain time each day. To indicate you are OK, you press the “1” button and hang up. If you pick up and do not press “1,” or you do not pick up, the system will call you three more times during the next hour.
If you still have not pressed the “1” key, the system notifies care circle members you designate. Your care circle can consist of friends, family, volunteers, neighbors, and the local police. You can have up to eight people on your care circle list.
I Am Fine calls their system a “Telephone Reassurance Service.” Their target market is seniors who live alone. Their goal is to help seniors safely age in their own homes, also known as “Aging in Place.” Aging in place happens to be the entire purpose of this website, Senior Home Central.
You can register any telephone, including a landline, a mobile phone, and an internet phone. VoIP internet phones, or by the brand name Magic Jack.
I Am Fine offers one or 2 calls per day for $15/mo., or $120/yr.
Sage Minder Senior Calls
Sage Minder offers Senior Care Calls at a time you choose each day. You can get automated calls, human operator calls, or a combination. You report in that you are ok by saying “hello.”
Caregivers can opt to receive alerts by text or email. They can also check on your call history using the Sage Minder website.
Sage Minder also offers a group calendar for seniors and caregivers to schedule appointments and visits.
Sage Minder works with any type of telephone, including landline, mobile and VoIP.
With non-automated calls, a dedicated operator calls you each day. She asks a specific set of questions relevant to your health concerns. If you need help, she sends a text to your caregivers. Sage Minder operators log each call on the private portal for caregivers to read.
Both operator and automated calls are interactive. Both the operator and the automated system ask questions. You respond with simple verbal answers.
It looks something like this:
Operator: Are you taking your medication?
Operator? Why not?
Senior: I lost my pills.
The operator then texts/emails your caregivers. She tells them you cannot find your pills.
Sage Minder offers four packages.
- Daily Check-In Call
- Daily Check-In Call with Medication Questions
- Medication Dosage Reminder Calls
- Live Care Calls
There is a mix of automated and live care calling. The Daily Check-In Call is $17/month. Add the medication questions and its $19/month. Medication Reminder calls start at $19/month, and go up based on how many medication calls you get in a day.
Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT’s) make the personal check-in calls. Live Care Calls start at $30 per month. For that fee, you get one call a day. It goes up based on how many calls per day you schedule. The EMT calls include customized messages for your situation. For example, a call could include medication instruction reminders.
Both automated and live care calls default to calling your caregivers if you do not answer after several tries. You and your caregivers can log into the SageMinder.com website to read a data log of each day’s interactions.
We Check On You Senior Call Service
Update June 2020: We Check on You is out of business
We Check On You staff members call senior clients each day. We Check On You does not make automated calls. They offer daily check in calls as well as medication and appointment reminder calls.
Live operators call with the goal of alleviating loneliness. They work to help you maintain your independence so you can remain independent in your own home.
We Check On You lets the phone ring a default of 15 times before they hang up. You can ask for more rings if it takes you time to get to the phone.
For scheduling, you choose morning, afternoon or evening check in calls. You schedule your medication reminders at the times you need to take your meds.
Update Jul 1 2020, WeCheckOnYou.com is no more: We Check On You does not post their prices, so go to their https://wecheckonyou.com/ website to learn more.
CARE Telephone Reassurance Call Service
Calling Care makes the automated equipment that many community and police programs use. They offer an individual service to the public as well, called CARE (Call Reassurance). CARE makes up to three calls before calling emergency contacts. It will also call your contacts if you indicate that you are not OK. In the other systems we covered, you indicate you need help by not answering the phone. CARE allows you to answer the phone and ask for help. It calls or emails your contacts when you need help. You press “1” for “I’m OK” and press “3” for “I need help.”
The CARE system costs $14.95/mo. if you sign up for 12 months.
What is a Senior Check-In App?
Senior Check-In apps are a possible choice for seniors who regularly carry their mobile phones. A Senior Check-In App is a mobile phone based check-in program. Instead of calling you, the app sends you a mobile phone message through the senior check-in app interface.
Snug Safe Mobile App
Snug Safe is a mobile senior check-in app for both Android and iPhone mobile phones.
Your Snug Safe contacts can include anyone you designate, including local police numbers.
Each day the Snug Safe app wakes itself up and “pings” the senior user. You tap the phone app checkmark to check in.
Snug Safe’s free plan sends a text message to emergency contacts when you do not tap the phone’s checkmark.
The Snug Dispatch plan also calls your caregiver contacts. If you fail to check in, the Snug Safe app calls each of your contacts, one at a time, until someone responds.
If you have not checked in by 8:15pm, and it cannot reach your contacts, the service calls local police. Police do a “welfare check” which is when they come by to check on you.
Because this is a mobile phone app, it includes GPS. The caregivers and police receive your last known location.
Snug Safe is $10/month or $100/year.
EyeOnApp Mobile App
EyeOnApp is another mobile senior-check-in app. The app allows up to three caregiver contacts. Caregivers can opt to receive email, texts, or both.
Check-in times are up to the user. They can be one time a day, multiple times a day, and different times on different days.
The EyeOnApp gives you 30 minutes to respond to the phone app check-in message. If you do not respond, EyeOnApp, the app contacts your caregivers. It uses your phone’s GPS to send your less known location to your caregivers.
To check in, you click “Yes” when the app asks: “Are you OK?” The “Don’t Worry” button allows you to check in before the scheduled reminder.
You can pause check-ins for various amounts of time, from hours to days.
EyeOnApp allows you to create any kind of reminder, including doctor’s appointments and medicine reminders.
For each check-in time you schedule, you can schedule a custom message to send yourself as well. Caregiver notifications can include custom text as well, such as “Grandma did not check in. Please call her neighbor at 555-1212 to check in on her.”
The Medical Alert Option
A medical alert is another option for making mom safe. I like the MobileHelp and have guides for a couple of brands you might like:
- The Ultimate Guide to MobileHelp Medical Alert Products
- The Ultimate Guide to Alert1 Medical Alert Products
People Also Ask
Can I get paid for taking care of my mother or father? Possibly yes! Each state has its own rules, though, so you have to research the rules that apply to you. Read this first: “Can I get paid for caregiving?” Then enter your ZIP code in the search bar here.