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
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.
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
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.
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