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5 Tips for Better Family Tracking for Adults with Elderly Parents

Family tracking is important, but can be a touchy subject for adults. The Baby Boomers are the largest generation, and they are aging. That means that many have retired parents that live in their own homes. Typically, they are still completely in charge of their fully independent lives, but there may still be valid concern for safety in their minds and in yours. It is appropriate to have a conversation about options to provide peace of mind for everyone through family tracking. However, keep in mind a few best practices for the situation, so that everyone gets what they need and no one has their life disturbed

Senior woman and family preparing meal together

1. Don’t micromanage their lives

While it is important to know that your parents are safe, it is equally important to let them maintain their freedom. They are fully functioning adults and are still able to perform all daily tasks and make decisions about their daily schedule. No one wants to be micromanaged in their daily decisions. Allow the comfort of safety to be the only aspect of the family tracking option that  you seek, rather than GPS tracking and plotting.

2. Keep tracking from becoming a daily hassle

You likely have a busy schedule already, without adding an extra daily responsibility to the lineup. While worry about your independently-living aging parents might be at the forefront of your mind, it is also important to keep your life as hassle-free as possible. Regular communication is fine to keep in touch and maintain your relationship, but it is best find a tracking option that only involves you if there is a problem, rather than requiring daily checks feedback.

3. Select a simple family tracking product

Sometimes, options with fancy bells, whistles, and the latest technology can be exciting and seem fun. However, they are only as good as the user’s willingness or ability to use them. Without GPS capabilities, data plans, and new smart phones, typical family tracking products simply won’t work. Instead, find an option that is more user-friendly and simply needs a traditional and simple text to communicate.

4. Keep utility bills separate

Many tracking plans require phones to be on the same plan. However, it is not necessary to take over your parent’s bills and life. If they already have mobile phones, then let those utilities stay separate from yours. A tracking option that utilizes a phone is fine, but find one that will allow both parties to continue with their current, chosen phone plans.

5. Don’t wait to implement something

Family tracking can provide a feeling of safety for both the elderly parent and the concerned adult child. You know that your parent is safe and they know you will be there if anything goes wrong. Don’t wait to research options. Instead, find something that suits the independent lifestyle of both parties, but also provides the peace of mind that each seeks.

A-OK is a great product that allows a sense of independence, all while providing families the peace of mind their loved ones are A-OK. Click here to learn how.

A-OK goes live! Message from Founder, John McCarley

A-OK, family trackerDear Friends & Family,

I wanted to share my new company, A-OK, with you! As you may or may not know, I’ve been working on a new tech startup for the past 6 months, and we officially went live last week.

A-OK is a mobile check-in service that can impact so many different people. The idea came to me as someone who lives alone and can go days without talking to friends or family. However, I am also paranoid about something happening to me and no one knowing for days. From there, A-OK was born.

The idea is simple; you sign up for an account and add people you want to check-in with. Once you’ve added your people you can select if you want to check-in on them every 24 or 48 hours. We send them a text message; they have up to 3 hours to respond. If they do not respond, you get notified.

A-OK applied to so many different people:

  • Kids going to college
  • People living alone or one their own
  • People recently widowed or divorced
  • People traveling on business

The great thing about A-OK is there is no app to download, as long as you have a messaging plan on your phone it will work. We also do not share your location or track you like lots of the other apps out there. We offer two plans, you can track 1 person for $4.99 a month or 10 for $14.99 a month.

To learn more, please visit our website, www.imaok.com, find us on Facebook and Twitter. As a special offer, I’m offering 20% off through the end of the month, use code JSM20.

If you have any questions please call or email me directly! I’d be happy to talk about it with you personally! [email protected] or 214-254-4317.

Hope you stay A-OK!
John McCarley

Kids Going to College: Holding on, but Not Too Tightly

Going to College

Peace of mind is a fragile state. The day when a young adult child goes off to college and gains their independence is bittersweet. The stress of hectic school and extracurricular schedules are no longer the parent’s responsibility. They now are able to devote more time to their own interests and pursuits. The child is excited about being self-reliant and free to make their own decisions. However, sometimes letting go completely is hard for everyone. The trick is finding a solution that suits this new stage of life for the changing family dynamics.

Even though the way parents and children interact changes as the family ages, the parent will always have a natural instinct to worry about their child. It continues for the rest of their lives and doesn’t stop simply because the child leaves the nest. The problem is when worrying takes over their lives and intrudes on their child’s life. Non-stop calling, texting, or emailing can drive the child crazy. A family tracking options that uses GPS gives too much control and information to the parent. Not to mention, having to constantly check the app for tracking coordinates and updates can quickly take over the the life of the parent.

going to college

From the perspective of the young adult child, it can be comforting to know someone still knows that you are okay every day. Taking the first steps in life on your own can be exciting, but scary. Knowing that someone has an interest in you and knows if you have made it through the day can give peace of mind. Unfortunately, many tracking options aren’t appropriate because they don’t allow for enough independence. It is important to be free to make decisions on your own, without every move being tracked through GPS.

The answer lies in finding a neutral product that puts everyone’s mind at ease, but also allows the young adult child the freedom to start life on their own. With A-OK, a daily text is automatically sent to the child through the service, the child sends an almost effortless confirmation reply, and the parent is only alerted if they don’t. If all is normal, the parent can rest easy every day that the child is alright and the child can rest easy knowing there is a system to assure their safety. Everyone can have the peace of mind to continue with their daily lives and explore their new roles.

If you would like to learn more about peace of mind with your young adult children, click here, or watch our video below.

Family Tracking for Adults: Balancing Peace of Mind with Independence

As a single person living on your own, independence is important. You have the freedom to do what you want, when you want and don’t have to answer to anyone or ask permission before adjusting your schedule. Your house is always as tidy as you want it to be. Your comings and goings are no one else’s business, unless you choose to share that information. However, all of this self-sufficiency comes at a small price. You might wonder if anyone else knows you are alright.

Everyone has had those lingering and vague thoughts of what might happen if something goes wrong. What if I slip in the shower? What if I trip in the backyard while taking out the garbage? What if something even worse happens…who will know? While the freedom to come and go as you please is a huge benefit of having independence, peace of mind can be occasionally affected. Tragic accidents are rare, but the fear in the back of your mind is a normal, human reaction.

A-OK Senior, family tracker

You probably have plenty of family, friends, neighbors, and coworkers that you interact with, but not necessarily on a daily basis. Especially in this day and age of mobile work options, it is important to have a system of safety in mind. Previously, if you didn’t show up to work on time, co-workers would question the situation and check in on you. Now, they might only think that you are working from home that day. Friends and family might not think it odd that you didn’t call for a week or respond to a message for a day or so.

So what options do you have to help? Even though the fear is present, it isn’t worth sacrificing your autonomy. In fact, precisely because your independence is important to you, most traditional family tracking options don’t fit your situation. First of all, you are no longer on someone else’s phone plan. That immediately negates many products, which require the tracker and the trackee to be on the same plan. Even for those that don’t, an app must first be downloaded to your phone that allows someone access to your global positioning.

These GPS glimpses might let someone know you are safe, but the tradeoff is that you give someone a voyeuristic glance at your life. They may not abuse the access, but they could, and that is an uncomfortable feeling for an adult. Some options even go so far as to track your driving habits, which is certainly no one’s business. At the very least, they would inadvertently know where you go, at what time, and how long you stayed there, which still encroaches on your independence in life. As a single adult, this style of tracking is much too intrusive.

The problem is that most tracking apps were created with parents of young children in mind. They serve a good purpose, but don’t meet your needs. The benefit of A-OK is that you are able to maintain your self-reliance and have full discretion about how much or little you want to share with others. Your schedule and habits are not part of the process. Instead, a quick daily text is sent, to prove all is well. Only if you don’t respond after several reminders is a loved one of your choice alerted that they should look into the situation. It provides that peace of mind, but lets you keep your independence.

If you would like to learn more about independence with family tracking, visit A-OK!