Grief is difficult. Whether it’s yours, a friend’s, a business associate’s, or a client’s, few of us feel comfortable addressing grief head-on, and as a result we may either clam up or say something trite and stilted. Neither response is ideal for the one who is mourning.
Cyberspace to the rescue. The sympathy website eCondolence, which helps people do everything from compose obituaries to plan a funeral, craft a eulogy to choose an appropriate condolence gift, has recently expanded its offerings to include GriefDesk, a business-to-business resource that supports those who are supporting the mourners.
Solutions and Support for the Sorrowing
Designed with health care professionals and benefit providers in mind, GriefDesk might also be an excellent resource for reverse mortgage professionals to use and share with other senior support team members.
GriefDesk takes the educational information available on eCondolence.com and organizes it so that businesses can best support grieving families and employees. The GriefDesk solution provides companies the right to reproduce a vast library of educational content, customized web pages, e-newsletters and print designs to enhance bereavement outreach, as well as full-scale campaigns aimed at client engagement.
Though “engagement” may sound a trifle crass given the subject matter, talking about grief is vital for everyone involved. The site’s breadth of information helps those who work with and/or care about the mourner(s) to connect with them from a place of deeper understanding.
Below are some recent HECMWord posts on grief and grieving, accessible in one place to supplement the information on eCondolence and GriefDesk:
- The Sacred Work of Grief: Beyond Loss Into Renewal
- Is There A “Right Way” to Grieve? 7 Steps to Support Those Who Are Grieving
- Finding the Gift In Grief
- First Person: Awakening to Grief
The Techno-current Accelerates in Every Realm
And it’s not just “semi-taboo” topics our cyber age makes more approachable. Apps are accelerating how we age in every imaginable way — except, fortunately, for actually advancing our years at warp speed. Consider:
Have you logged onto MySpace lately? How’s your Motorola cell phone working? These anachronistic questions point up an astonishing fact: a scant decade ago, MySpace was the premier (indeed, almost the ONLY) social network, Motorola did indeed have the top-selling cell phone, and “app” might have been an abbreviation, rather than what you installed and updated on your phone in order to work, play and connect.
Today’s seniors can see doctors via Skype, have their vitals monitored remotely, and get second opinions on serious medical issues rapidly, thanks to online medical records sharing.
“Home care” has taken on a whole new meaning, with discreet tech that ensures elders’ homes will alert family members or caregivers if there is a problem. Robot caregivers already exist, and we’re a hair’s breadth from self-driving cars.
The eight types of apps most useful to those 65+ (more than a fourth of whom owned smartphones by the end of 2014) include:
- Ride-sharing: Lyft and Uber allow seniors to summon a car within minutes.
- Meal delivery: UberEATS and GrubHub can deliver a senior’s favorite restaurant fare for a fee — especially helpful for those who no longer drive, or may not want to dine out solo.
- Video chat: Skype and FaceTime make visiting with the far-flung grandkids so much easier!
- Grocery delivery: Instacart and Shipt do the grocery shopping and bring a senior’s personal order right to their door.
- Fitness monitors: Fitbit and MyFitnessPal monitor blood pressure and count exercise steps.
- Butler on call: Hello Alfred handles the errands a senior cannot, or doesn’t want to do.
- Medication management: Medisafe and CareZone ensure seniors take the right meds, and remind them about upcoming doctors’ appointments.
- GPS: Google Maps and other GPS technology make navigating by car a breeze — and keep seniors from getting lost.
Whatever challenge or circumstance the seniors you serve may face, if you don’t already know of a tech solution, simply check online — or ask Siri. If there isn’t an app available right now, you can bet it’s on the near horizon.