Your grandmother could do that

You can give a senior in need a phone that will remind her to take her medicine.

It’s the "Well-being" app that 62-year-old Goh Choo Cheng finds particularly useful in his Silverline smartphone.

It reminds him when he needs to feed his 85-year-old mother her different medicines. Its simple-to-use features and big icons are made with seniors like him in mind.

In the two months he's had the donated phone, he’s also used it regularly to call and message his wife and three children in the Philippines, where he worked for 20 years.

He returned to Singapore to care for his mother a couple of years ago, and has found the going tough, not being able to see his family as often as he’d like.

But Choo Cheng, who used to run a car business in the Philippines, finds comfort in spending time with fellow retirees in his neighbourhood and busies himself volunteering with Willing Hearts, a non-profit that feeds 3,000 people daily.

Most mornings, he can be found at the food distribution point near his home in Jalan Bahagia, where, along with a dozen or so other volunteers, he helps to sort and distribute 120 packets of food to the poor in the neighbourhood.

He also uses the “Inspire” app to share heartwarming stories with his volunteer friends, something he says they enjoy.

The phones and apps have tested successfully with Choo Cheng and a handful of other seniors through the networks of Willing Hearts and Lions Befrienders, another non-profit. Now, the folks behind Silverline are trying to crowdfund US$50,000 to get 200 more phones into the hands of seniors.

Each phone will be equipped with a suite of healthcare and personal safety apps, including an "Emergency" app that gives one-tap access to Singapore’s police or ambulance hotlines.

The startup driving the project, Newton Circus, will also use part of the funds to develop more apps, such as games that can detect cognitive decline and one that can detect falls.

Learn more about donating your old iPhones, sponsoring a care pack that will provide a senior with a phone, a year-long data and voice plan, current and future Silverline apps and one-on-one smartphone training.

Video courtesy of Silverline.

About Silverline

Silverline offers home and mobile solutions for eldercare, such as a home sensor system and a mobile application, which help caregivers stay alerted to their loved ones' needs.



Josh Lye