On a summers evening in July my teenage son had just returned home from yet another call to support elderly neighbours who had reached out for technology assistance. He joked that if had a pound for every call out to assist 'old people' with tech or walk their dog he'd be very happy. My reply was that if I had a pound for every meal I'd made for them, shopping I'd picked up for them and paperwork I'd help them fill in I'd also be very happy!
Later that evening as we sat in the garden having a BBQ my son asked the question 'If we weren't around mum who would they all be able to call on for all this? They are just expected to keep up and understand things like online banking but many of them are in their 80's, they don't even know what an app is which seems cruel to just expect them to teach themselves especially when local bank branches are all closing down?'
Many of our community don't have family on hand and even for those who do, families are often so busy working morning until evening and raising their own children that they feel torn and increasingly stressed when it comes to finding the extra time needed to provide the much needed non-medical support for ageing parents.
Together we decided as a pilot project to set up an affordable one-stop shop solution for Seniors to assist them with anything non-medical they required help with. My background as a nurse for 20 years together with my son's technology obsession and love of animals we agreed we could cover off just about anything they needed plus build in a Trusted Partner Scheme for times when professional help was required eg plumbing, electrician etc
July, August and September saw they project grow and grow very fast, far beyond our expectations and our small village to neighbouring towns. ASSIST is now to become an established Senior Concierge Service first County wide and then beyond. GP's Surgeries, Social Services, Community Nurses and the discharge services at our hospitals are all referring to us as the Missing Link for the most vulnerable sector of our community.
We are crowdfunding to gain the funds before winter to build a website and to be able to reach more vulnerable members of our community with a marketing campaign which will include an advert to recruit further carefully vetted concierges to join our team.