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My mother is in her mid 70's and and in great shape physically and mentality. But since my father passed away a few years ago, she is increasingly having panic attacks at night (and some during the day). Have been looking for a smartphone app that let's her let a close circle of family know that she's okay and settled in for the night. She has lots of family that live close to her (within a mile in some cases) and appears to need just a little boost at times to her confidence about being alone at night. Otherwise, she's very active and continues to work part time. Any suggestions on an smartphone app that just allows you to quickly and easily communicate with a circle of people your status? I've looked at a few caring smartphones apps but they all seem to be a little more complicated than what we need - whereas just general texting seems to good enough. Thanks, Angie

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I've read over all the comments and they've given me a lot of food for thought.

Thank you to everyone who took the time to post a response. The wide variety of information has been very helpful.

Thank you,

Angie
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This question must come from one of the "always connected" generation because I frankly don't get it. You are telling us mom is fine mentally and physically, so basically mom is just supposed to let everyone know she's gone to bed for the night so you don't have to worry? If she is having a panic attack, or fails to check in, or just doesn't think it is any of your business, what will you do? And if she chooses to lie and say she is fine, how will you know?
I think getting to the bottom of her anxiety would be a better thing to focus on than figuring out how to monitor it. Perhaps she should consider moving to a place where there is more opportunity to be out with people of her own generation. Perhaps her doctor can prescribe something for her anxiety, or she should see a therapist.
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Would something like the telephones that have a spot for pictures of the person being called be helpful? It would speed dial whomever she wanted to contact. Perhaps there is a conference call options available from the phone service provider or a message box could be set up as well. But I like the phone with the pictures better.
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Search for "Long distance touch lamp" on the internet.

After each person connects their lamp to WiFi, a quick touch of the hand sends a message. When one lamp is touched, the other gives off the same radiant glow, regardless of how far away you are from each other. You can get these lamps in a pair for you and your parent, or as many as you need to keep the whole family connected.

Maybe you could use a pair of these for you and your parent. Kind of a "goodnight all is well," then you could group text family as needed.
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Looking at both sides of the communication issue, from assurance to the opposite of needing assistance ASAP, I'd want something that's quick, simple and easy. I'd go with Linda's suggestion of a group text rather than an app, and FF's suggestion of a medic alert pendant with a lockbox for EMS access.

Or you could create an adaptation of an old fashioned "phone tree". Participating family members could call her on scheduled days. That way she also gets to communicate with them, if for nothing more than to reassure them that she's okay. And they do the calling, so she doesn't have to worry about remembering how to use an app.

Something to bear in mind is that panic attacks can influence clarity, and make it more difficult to use a SmartPhone. That's why I think having the family take responsibility to call might be a good consideration.

Besides, smart phones to me are prohibitively expensive. I could never afford one.

I'm also told they need to be charged more often than cell phones. My father's Medic Alert pendant needs to be charged, but it's a simple charge - just set the pendant in the cradle. Your mother would have to remember to charge the SmartPhone on a regular basis. Why add another task to her schedule?
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I hope you find something that works. But also consider that these increasing panic attacks may indicate that she may be ready for a different living situation. Maybe an Independent Living apartment?
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Angie, I am close to your Mom's age, and the last thing I want is to learn a Smartphone, unless your Mom has been using one for the past few years. I still work in my career and have a flip-phone.

I understand your Mom's panic attacks when being home alone. There is always that fear that something medical will happen and no one would know about it. I found out for myself that dehydration can cause panic attacks to increase.

Would your Mom accept one of those Medic-alert button pendants to wear when she is home? Maybe put a small lockbox on the front door where a house key can be placed and give the code to the relatives and to 911.
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Could you set up her family members as a group in the phone so she could just send a group text?
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