New App Can Connect Seniors And Families

Tim Watt  |  August 27, 2014

When a loved one moves into a retirement community, it can often be difficult to organize visits with the entire family. Especially when relatives live in different places, getting information on a loved one's health presents a lot of challenges. On top of that, those who can't make it to the community as often as they'd like may be missing out on learning what their loved one has been up to. Fortunately, a new app, developed by the granddaughter of one of Sunrise Senior Living's own residents, is available to help solve these problems.

Learning from experience 
The app's creator said that inspiration came to her when she was visiting her grandmother. Since her family had spread out to various cities, they weren't in close contact with each other about who had visited or what they talked about.

​Building bonds
GrandmaSays is an iPhone app created to make visiting loved ones in senior living communities easier and more enjoyable, so relatives of seniors don't have to worry about missing another moment with their family members. According to the app's creator, GrandmaSays can help family members share information and memories while they stay more closely connected. The app works by creating a personal social network for each family that uses it, with seniors at the center. After family members register, they can post information about their last visit to the retirement community, such as health updates and what they talked about. This way, updates on their loved one are readily available at their fingertips and they won't feel like they are mssing out on what's going on in their lives.

Sharing stories 
While sharing health-related information is very useful, the fun part of the app comes from the ability to share stories from loved ones. GrandmaSays provides question prompts for family members to ask their loved ones, and the answers can be shared right in the app through voice or text. These might include stories about a loved one's first date and other fun topics, the app's creator said. It functions like an ever-changing scrapbook so families can continue to share memories even when they all live in different places. The app even allows these memories to be shared on other social networks to let family members who aren't members of GrandmaSays in on the fun.