21 July 2018

Millennials Extend a Helping Hand to Aging Boomers

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Millennials, expected to outnumber Baby Boomers this year for the first time, are extending a helping hand from one generation to the next. From a pharmacy that sorts customers' medications into individual daily packs, to a website that helps families find reliable caregivers, Millennials are using their digital know-how and ingenuity to make the lives of seniors a little better.

FRAUD STOPPERS 

Elder fraud and abuse is a particular concern. A Wells Fargo/Gallup survey of 1,005 investors in May found that when evaluating various risks, 32% were worried about financial abuse or exploitation of older relatives or friends. A third of those surveyed also said they knew a senior who had been targeted by an investment scam or other form of financial abuse.

Enter True Link. Started in 2012, the company issues a new Visa card to seniors. Family members then, through an online dashboard, can block merchants or groups engaging in predatory behavior. For instance, they can block wire transfers, or impose restrictions that limit the amount of cash that their loved one can withdraw. Relatives can also keep an eye on other savings accounts to see if there is suspicious activity.

Stinchcombe and his co-founder, Claire McDonnell, were motivated by their own experiences. Stinchcombe says that his grandmother gave to charities throughout her life. But suddenly, in her 80s, she was giving away, instead of $50 a month to charities, maybe $50 dollars a day, and that adds up. When his grandmother's bank suggested taking away her checkbook or credit cards, he and his family were concerned about the toll losing her financial independence would take. That was the inspiration for True Link.

GOOD MEDICINE 

Meanwhile, PillPack, a Boston-based pharmacy launched in 2014, fills prescriptions in a handy way that makes juggling multiple prescriptions a no-brainer. Pills from all your prescriptions are presorted into single-dose packs, clearly labeled with the day and time to tear open and pop the pills. The packs come in one long strip rolled into a dispenser and arrive by mail every two weeks.

TJ Parker, PillPack's 29-year-old co-founder, says the pharmacy also manages refills and works with the customer's insurance company. Pharmacists are available for consultations either online or by phone, and customers pay only standard co-pays, nothing more for shipping and handling.

On July 9, the company launched an app that prompts users when to take their medicines. Unlike traditional reminders, which require the manual entry of each medication, the app automatically downloads all prescriptions from wherever they're filled, after the user enters such details as their name and the last four digits of their Social Security number.

CALLING ALL CAREGIVERS 

Mike Townsend and Kyle Hill co-founded the Santa Monica, Calif.-based Home Hero after watching the travails endured by Hill's father as he sought quality care for Hill's grandmother. Family members can go to the HomeHero website and review video profiles of over 1,000 caregivers. A client-support team assists relatives in going through the hiring process, and once a match is made, caregivers submit their hours electronically. HomeHero takes a 15% fee, and the caregiver keeps the rest. And in addition to handling the caregiver's payments, HomeHero monitors the client's care. It is currently available in San Diego, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Stinchcombe says services like True Link and others may be tools that Millennials will one day need to tap into, not for their loved ones, but for themselves.

Click here to access the full article on USA Today.

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