A modest proposal

William Prothero prothero at earthednet.org
Mon Sep 28 16:23:00 EDT 2015

I’m putting out what I think is a fantastic idea for an app. It’s much more than I’d be willing to take on, but in the US, I think it could be very big. But, then again, perhaps it exists already. I’d like to use such an app for my aging stepmother. I release the idea into the livecode-sphere.

Problem: Aging population and seniors needing services, and wanting to live in their home as long as possible. Getting help is hit and miss and the senior help organizations do not actually work very well or consistently. I have been pondering this because my mother-in-law is 200 miles away and needs help to be able to stay in her home. The kind of app I propose, as the population ages further, could be extremely useful.

Solution: Think Uber. Folks who want to offer services to seniors, like take them to a doctor’s appointment, go shopping, clean the house, provide company (you get the idea).. sign up to the site. Seniors or their “primary overseer” (POS: a family member, or some agent who takes responsibility for overseeing the senior’s well-being) request services the same as they would do for an Uber ride. The service provider leaves notes re their specific experience giving the service, on a password protected database available to the POS.  The POS can rate the service provider and comment on their service quality. There could be a public area, managed by the POS, where public information about the senior could be posted.

Challenges would be creating some kind of certification for the service provider. Seniors are particularly vulnerable to fraud and abuse, so providers would need some kind of strong oversight. Probably it would be best if there was a local office for each location where providers were interviewed, checked for criminal records, possibly trained, etc. Perhaps a partnership with an existing non-profit senior help center would work.

Another challenge is that seniors may, for awhile, not be able to use a mobile device. The POS would help in this regard.

Social media would be very important in helping seniors find and evaluate appropriate providers and share ideas for strategies for independent living and needed care.

Best regards,

William A. Prothero

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