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Why I built a daily check-in service for fiercely independent loved ones

I’m Adam, the founder of CheckinBee. Originally from England, I now live in Chicago with my wife, young daughter, and our dog. CheckinBee is a service, originally created for my father-in-law, that has grown to serve independent seniors and loved ones all over the US.

Like many seniors, my father-in-law prides himself on being independent; he is very active, lives alone, and travels often. While this independent lifestyle brings many benefits, it also brings along some worries that are fairly typical amongst the families of someone who is aging alone. My father-in-law is in his mid-70’s and in very good health, but we still feel concerned for his day-to-day safety and wellbeing.

We have a small but well connected family spread out across the US (my side of the family is in the UK). We only meet up in person a handful of times a year, and we use video calls and messaging to keep in touch the remainder of the time. Even with the best intentions, our busy lives get in the way, and we can sometimes go a week or two without connecting. We started to worry about the possibility of something unexpectedly happening to my father-in-law and no one being aware.

We started to search for a solution. I had heard about the idea of check-in services or wellness checks and decided to do some research to see if there was something out there that would be a good fit. There was no shortage of options out there; they could do everything from calling a loved one at set intervals, to someone coming around to their house each day. The more I searched, the more options I found, but there was always the same problem.

My father-in-law did not like the idea of having to speak with someone ‘checking on him’ each day. A service like that would make him feel dependent and monitored, when he prides himself on his independence. An alternative option that I found could call each day with an automated message to check in, but that would require him to be next to his phone at a specific time of day. With his frequent traveling, that would be difficult. We wanted a solution that was more hands off and less intrusive; a solution that would let my father-in-law keep his independence while also giving us, his family, some peace of mind.

After an exhaustive and unsuccessful search, I decided that I would build my own solution. With my past experience building web applications, I knew that I could develop something more suitable for our family. I wanted to build a system that would allow simple daily check-ins for my father-in-law without him feeling like he was being monitored or inconvenienced. Because he travels a lot, the system would need to work even when he wasn’t at home. This brought me to the idea of text messages. Being a bit of a technology enthusiast, he is never far from his phone and is very comfortable with sending and receiving texts. A phone call would require him to pick up his phone at a very specific time but a text message could be replied to at a later time.

The solution that I developed would send an automated text message each day, reading “Hello, please check in before 11am. Reply with ‘yes’ or ‘okay’ to check in.” On his end, my father-in-law only needed to text back with a simple “Yes.” I programmed a one-hour response window to allow some flexibility. If no response was received within an hour, an automatic text message would go out to designated members of his family, asking them to check if he was okay. After some minor tweaks, this system worked really well for us. Our family had the peace of mind that my father-in-law was okay each day, and he was happy with a simple check-in. For our family, CheckinBee didn’t replace regular calls, but simply supplemented the communication and care for my fiercely independent father-in-law.

After hearing about others who were in a similar situation, I wanted to offer this same peace of mind to other families. I decided to build out CheckinBee into what it is today. CheckinBee.com launched publicly in early 2023, and we now have users all over the US. As our user base grows, my commitment to provide the best service for independent individuals remains strong. I always welcome feedback and suggestions from our users, and I personally respond to each message. As the main app developer, I can put this feedback into action promptly and ensure that CheckinBee continues to be the best fit for our users.

Thank you for joining me, and I hope you enjoyed learning a bit about CheckinBee. If you have any questions, comments or concerns, I would love to hear from you. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me at adam@checkinbee.com.

Adam
CheckinBee Founder

Me, My Father-In-Law, My Wife And My Sister-In-Law
Me, My Daughter And My Father-In-Law Making Poses In Front Of Wings Art

The post Why I built a daily check-in service for fiercely independent loved ones appeared first on CheckinBee.

Adam Lack Founder of CheckinBee

I'm Adam, the solo founder of CheckinBee. CheckinBee is a simple daily check-in service aimed at independent seniors. Our daily check-ins come through text message and a simple one word reply checks you in for the day. A designated care circle of friends and family will be notified if a check-in is missed so that they can make sure you're okay.

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