CARE (Call Reassurance) is a telephone reassurance phone system developed by Database Systems Corp. and marketed throughout the United States and Canada. CARE systems are provided to community service organizations such as Sheriff's Offices and Police Departments (Care Organizations). These organizations enroll citizens within the community through public service announcements and through community outreach programs.
CARE systems automatically call enrolled citizens at their homes to ensure their well being. These types of calls have been credited with saving the lives of many senior citizens. This technology allows many seniors who would normally require home care or other types of assisted living to stay in their homes longer with the security that someone will be checking in on them on a regular basis.
Telephone reassurance calls are daily checks for home alone children (latchkey kids) or seniors who are living alone and wish to be contacted in case something happens to them and they are unable to request emergency assistance on their own. Citizens subscribe to this service in their local communities which have CARE systems. Subscriptions provided by community organizations vary, but most are free to the subscriber.
Contact DSC to learn more about this important community calling program.
Telephone reassurance programs have been in existence for many years. Originally, volunteers from within a community would place these calls manually, checking in with senior citizens and providing them with a friendly chat. Automated DOS and modem based systems were introduced in the late 1980's but became unreliable as the systems aged.
CARE was introduced in 2005 as a Windows based telephone reassurance system that also incorporated telecommunications boards from Dialogic rather than using modems. This allowed multiple calls to be placed at once as well as call transfers to emergency response personnel.
Calls are made from a list managed by a CARE systems administrator. This list includes the CARE subscriber's name, address, and phone number. Optionally included are "keyholders", or friends and associates of the subscriber that the CARE responders can contact if they need to enter the home of the subscriber when no one answers the call.
CARE subscribers are called at a predefined time of day, every day. These calls are made automatically by the CARE phone system. If the CARE subscriber answers the call, a prerecorded message is played greeting the subscriber and asking if they are OK?. The subscriber presses an acknowledgment phone key if everything is OK. If the subscriber does not answer the phone or an answering machine is detected, the CARE system calls back one or more times. If there is still no answer, an alert process begins.
CARE alerts begin an escalation process of contacting family members or friends in a predetermined order. CARE could likewise contact the responsible police department or a local community service group that is tasked with follow up when a CARE subscriber does not respond. This group is referred to as the CARE responder. If a designated friend or family member is contacted first, that member must contact the CARE responder specifying whether the subscriber is OK or needs assistance. If no acknowledgment is received or if a family member could not be contacted, the CARE responder will take action.
Normally the CARE responder will attempt to call the subscriber again before making a house call. If there is still no answer, the CARE responder will visit the subscriber's home to see if they are in need assistance.
CARE volunteers can be family, friends or community members who wish to volunteer their time to speak with CARE subscribers after the CARE system determines that the subscriber is OK.
When a subscriber designates that he or she wishes to speak with someone and it is not an emergency, a CARE volunteer is automatically notified by email or a phone call.
The subscribers name and phone number is provided to the volunteer who can call the subscriber to provide a friendly chat or assist the individual with non-emergency help.
Call reassurance and latchkey children
CARE systems can also call children at home to ensure they arrived safely after school when their parents are not home. These children are often referred to as latchkey kids or latchkey children. This is an important calling service offered by some communities that provides peace of mind to single parents or dual working parents who do not get home until after their children return from school. The system calls the household just as it does for seniors and the child must answer the phone and positively acknowledge receipt of the call by pressing the appropriate phone key.
If the child does not answer the phone or does not press the positive acknowledgement key, an automatic alert can be sent to the parents, school or neighbors and in some cases to the police department.
Latchkey Kids Calling Service
Besides offering phone systems to community organizations, DSC also provides an affordable latchkey kids calling service for parents of home alone children. To subscribe to this service, please use our convenient online registration service. Here's how it works.
Once subscribed, our system automatically calls your home alone child on the days and at the times you designate. If the call is not answered or acknowledged, our system will automatically call you and/or send you an email alert.
- Subscribe - Use our convenient online latchkey kids registration form.
- Profile - specify your child's profile (window of time to make calls to your child)
- Contacts - identify who we need to contact if we can't reach your child
- Pay By Credit Card - use your Mastercard or Visa and select an appropriate payment plan.
DSC also provides online management of your account. This lets you view a history of the calls. You can also manage the dates and times for these calls including blackout dates.
Elder abuse victim monitoring
Some of the most vulnerable individuals in society today are the elderly who are victims of abuse by both family members and caregivers. Elder abuse can be self inflicted, meaning individuals living at home may not provide the adequate care needed to live safely. A CARE feature known as Elder Abuse Monitoring calls these individuals to ensure they are OK.
If the senior does not respond, an alert is generated and family, friends and the local community service organizations are contacted. CARE works best when community volunteers are also available to assist these individuals in performing very basic functions such as feeding the senior and ensuring they are properly clothed.
Senior medication reminders
Senior citizens can enroll in the CARE program to receive free daily or periodic call reminders. These most likely are medication reminders and these non-emergency calls are made at a time and day unique to each senior.
Reminders are delivered using voice broadcasting technology and are played to both "live" answers or left on answering machines. If there is no answer or the phone is busy, multiple attempts are made to call the senior. No emergency alert is generated if there is no answer to this call.
Williamson County Texas Sheriff's Department
"Williamson County, with the City of Georgetown, offers this free program (CARE) to serve homebound and senior citizens. Once you have registered, you choose a specific time of day to receive a daily computerized call. If you are ever unable to answer the phone, the computer sounds an alert and someone will come to check on you." - wcportals.wilco.org
Our CARE phone system was provided to the Williamson County Sheriff's Department to check on the well-being of disabled persons, older adults, and individuals who live alone in the communities of Williamson County, Texas.
The following are a few of the organizations using CARE systems to check on the welfare of citizens in their communities:
- Estes Park, Colorado Police Department
- Fairfield County, Ohio Sheriff's Department
- Garland County, Arkansas Sheriff's Department
- Gibson County, Tennessee Sheriff's Department
- Pound Ridge, New York Police Department
- Rankin County, Mississippi Police Department
CARE advantages and features
The following are just a few of the salient features of the CARE senior calling program. For a complete list, please visit the CARE features webpage.
- CARE sends automatic phone messages over multiple phone lines at once.
- Answering machines do not need to be turned off by CARE recipients.
- Greeting messages can be customized and randomized on a per subscriber basis.
- Messages could include a reminder to take a medication.
- Alerts can be sent by phone and email plus an alarm at the CARE monitor center.
- First response can come from family members, friends, or volunteers.
- The police or fire department can be primary or backup responders.
- CARE can connect volunteers, family or friends for non-emergency conversations.
- CARE phone can deliver emergency notifications to community members or staff.
- CARE systems can be managed and monitored remotely.
- CARE systems can process inbound calls using IVR technology.
- CARE includes complete online progress reporting.
Contact Us Today
Contact DSC to learn more about our call reassurance services and phone systems.
Senior Services Information