AARP Eye Center
App of the Week: EmergencyLink
By Suzie Mitchell, June 28, 2012 09:54 AM
Doesn't it seem like the older we get, the more people's safety we worry about?
When we were young, most of us thought we were invincible. We didn't think about staying out of harm's way. We did crazy stuff like drive too fast, hitchhike, and other risky and reckless activities.
But then, we got married and settled down a bit. We started to worry about our spouses. If they were late home from an appointment, we got nervous. If they traveled we were concernethey got seriously ill we got stressed.
Then we had kids, and our worrymeter skyrocketed. Never again would our lives be peaceful. As a mother, I would lay in bed awake, anxiously awaiting the sound of the backdoor slamming shut signaling my son's return home.
Now as middle aged adults, we worry about our parents. Are they safe? What if they have an accident, will anyone know how to find us so we can help?
We all have kids, grandchildren, parents, siblings or friends who travel in cars, trains, buses and planes enjoying life. We don't always know where they are, but we want to be contacted if they find themselves in an emergency situation.
Realizing that we can't keep our loved ones free from danger, or in our kitchen 24/7, we can get some relief from a wonderful new app called EmergencyLink.
EmergencyLink is a free app, available oi iPhone, Android and Blackberry, that anyone can use to create a secure, comprehensive online emergency plan. It lets members (that's what they call people who sign up) store and share important emergency and medical information. Members pick the friends and or family they want to share the information with, and each get emergency ID cards to put in their wallet, key chain or child's backpack.
EmergencyLink also has a free 24-hour emergency hotline, so first responders have round-the-clock access to the important information if needed. The app can also be synced with its web based network.
When users open the app's home page they faced with six easy to read and easy to complete sections, which include:
- Important Contacts-these include emergency contacts, medical, legal/estate, financial, insurance, personal and end of life directives.
- Important Records-the can include your insurance information; specific medical records needed like allergies to medicines and various other records.
- I'm Sharing with & Sharing with Me-these are sections for you to invite loved ones to share their emergency information with you.
- Personal Information-where a plethora of important information is recorded
- Help-a terrific question and answer section about what information people can see, the app's security functions, and how to input information for each topic.
The app declares it uses the same sophisticated data encryption security systems that national banks use on their websites.
EmergencyLink Founder and CEO Michael Soenen says it's the information that's missing from our personal belongings that's really troubling. He conducted a national survey and found that 89 percent of Americans don't have their emergency contact information in their wallet or mobile phone.
I signed up for EmergencyLink as soon as I learned about it last week. I have my husband and mother connected. It's another story with my 29 year-old son living in Israel. He's not answering my EmergencyLink emails to join. Of course, he thinks he's invincible.