Are You at Risk? Shop, Date & Live Life in the Safety Zone

January 12, 2024 Mike Dandridge w/ CD Risk Consulting LLC Season 3 Episode 68
Are You at Risk? Shop, Date & Live Life in the Safety Zone Podcast
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Are You at Risk? Shop, Date & Live Life in the Safety Zone
Jan 12, 2024 Season 3 Episode 68
Mike Dandridge w/ CD Risk Consulting LLC

Encounters with danger seldom announce themselves, so learning to defuse tense situations with poise is crucial. Mike Dandridge, a titan in risk management at CD Risk Consulting, and I share practical tips for personal safety, emphasizing strategies like maintaining distance, using verbal cues, and attracting attention with devices like the Birdie personal alarm. Our conversation also ventures into online dating, a realm fraught with risks for seniors seeking companionship, and we arm you with the know-how to spot and sidestep the traps laid by modern-day scammers.

In an era where technology is both a tool and a weapon, understanding its dual nature is key to protection. We discuss the boon of GPS apps and in-home monitoring systems for senior safety, ponder the merits of technological aids like Life360 and Air Tags, and highlight the insidious ways AI is being weaponized in scams. This episode isn't just a discussion—it's a crucial toolkit for preserving the dignity and security of our senior population. Podcast sponsored by TransMed Care Long Distance Medical Transportation

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* Webinars and Podcast represents the opinions and expertise of our guests. The content here is for informational and educational purposes. It does not necessarily represent the views, recommendations, opinions or advice of Fairfax Publishing/ or its employees

Show Notes Transcript

Encounters with danger seldom announce themselves, so learning to defuse tense situations with poise is crucial. Mike Dandridge, a titan in risk management at CD Risk Consulting, and I share practical tips for personal safety, emphasizing strategies like maintaining distance, using verbal cues, and attracting attention with devices like the Birdie personal alarm. Our conversation also ventures into online dating, a realm fraught with risks for seniors seeking companionship, and we arm you with the know-how to spot and sidestep the traps laid by modern-day scammers.

In an era where technology is both a tool and a weapon, understanding its dual nature is key to protection. We discuss the boon of GPS apps and in-home monitoring systems for senior safety, ponder the merits of technological aids like Life360 and Air Tags, and highlight the insidious ways AI is being weaponized in scams. This episode isn't just a discussion—it's a crucial toolkit for preserving the dignity and security of our senior population. Podcast sponsored by TransMed Care Long Distance Medical Transportation

The background music is written, performed and produced exclusively by

* Webinars and Podcast represents the opinions and expertise of our guests. The content here is for informational and educational purposes. It does not necessarily represent the views, recommendations, opinions or advice of Fairfax Publishing/ or its employees

Unlock the secrets to elder safety with Mike Danderage, a titan in risk management from CD Risk Consulting. In our enlightening discussion, we dissect the current landscape of threats facing seniors and equip you with the savvy needed to navigate these challenges. From the deceptive allure of smartphones to the art of staying vigilant without succumbing to paranoia, we cover the breadth of issues that can compromise the well-being of our cherished elders.
 Encounters with danger seldom announce themselves, so learning to defuse tense situations with poise is crucial. Mike and I share practical tips for personal safety, emphasizing strategies like maintaining distance, using verbal cues, and attracting attention with devices like the Birdie personal alarm. Our conversation also ventures into online dating, a realm fraught with risks for seniors seeking companionship, and we arm you with the know-how to spot and sidestep the traps laid by modern-day scammers.
 In an era where technology is both a tool and a weapon, understanding its dual nature is key to protection. We discuss the boon of GPS apps and in-home monitoring systems for senior safety, ponder the merits of technological aids like Life360 and AirTags, and highlight the insidious ways AI is being weaponized in scams. This episode isn't just a discussion—it's a crucial toolkit for preserving the dignity and security of our senior population.



Senior Safety and Situational Awareness 


Dealing With Uncomfortable Situations Safely 


Recognizing and Avoiding Online Dating Scams 


Scams and AI Technology 


Technology for Senior Safety and Monitoring 


SeniorLivingGuidecom podcast discusses topics which are relevant to the everyday lives of seniors and their caregivers. We are joined by experts who share their knowledge on a variety of issues. Seniorlivingguidecom podcast offers solutions and resources to create the best quality of life as we age. And now let's welcome your host, darlene Mahoney. 

Speaker 2: 0:28 

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Speaker 3: 1:58 

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Speaker 4: 2:30 

We are joined on this podcast episode with Mike Danderage. He is the president of CD Risk Consulting. He has over two decades of security experience and executive protection, travel security and threat assessment. That's so impressive. I love that CD Risk Consulting. It's a firm that helps public understand and meet their safety needs. 

Speaker 5: 2:52 

Yes, thank you. 

Speaker 4: 2:54 

Yes, thank you so much for joining us today. I'm really excited to dig in a little deeper. I know we've talked a little bit about senior safety in previous podcasts, but we're going to get kind of in depth on this one, I think. 

Speaker 5: 3:06 

All right, sounds good, let's do this. 

Speaker 4: 3:08 

Yeah, and talk about some things we haven't talked about before that are super important in some of our senior and caregivers' lives. So that's really awesome. We get so busy in our days oh my gosh. We can just get busy where we're on our phones, we're not paying attention, we're multitasking and I think everyone does this and then you're not really aware of your surroundings. That makes you a target. 

Speaker 5: 3:32 

Absolutely. The baseline to all safety measures is situational awareness. Like you said, we have phones, gadgets, anything and everything and distracting us. We don't see what's going on around us because we're so focused on answering that text message, checking the email, seeing what's the latest and greatest on TikTok and Facebook and Instagram. That threat element are those folks who are watching, those who are unaware, and that's where they'll target in to say, okay, if this person is so dialed in onto their phone or an email or something, whatever it may be, that I can walk up on them and they have no clue, then I know this is definitely my victim. 

Speaker 4: 4:23 

Right. I even see people talking on the phone and things like that in grocery stores and well, I think that's annoying if I'm around it. Clearly, they have a right to do whatever they want when it comes to that kind of thing, but I always think if they're so involved in a conversation that they can't go to the grocery store without getting off the phone, then they really are not paying attention to anything and everybody can see that. It's evident. 

Speaker 5: 4:51 

Right, I mean you're just putting a big bullseye on you. And then I mean you're so engrossing that conversation. Somebody can walk up to your cart, walk up to your handbag, take whatever they want to and walk away. But you're so focused with that conversation and I mean it's anywhere on a bus, on a train, even in the cars where people stop, they're not paying attention to what's going on around them. And too many times we see on the news that folks are getting even more aggressive in the ways that they're attacking people. 

Speaker 4: 5:21 

Oh, it scares me to death yeah. 

Speaker 5: 5:25 

And I utilize this every day. I teach it to my family, I teach it to my clients, I teach it to my nephews, I teach it to pay attention to the littlest things. Just take that time to analyze what's going on around you. That phone call can wait If you need to take it. Go to some place where you know you're secure, whether you get into your car, lock the doors. Then have that conversation. Go to a side area, put your back against the wall, have that conversation, but you keep your eyes up moving around, just seeing what's going on around you. If something catches your attention to say this is not normal. Once you've developed that skill, that situational awareness, then now your senses start to escalate. So you have that so-called spidey sense, that intuition that something's not right. So now put whatever you're doing on hold and now put your attention on what it is. Why is it creeping you out? Why is it? Have your attention, Then you can start to formulate a decision on what should I do? Should I leave? Should I make noise to draw attention to it? You got to come up with a plan, no matter what, stay in tuned. Then, once you figure it out, observe what's going on and then it's time to make a decision on what's your next steps. 

Speaker 4: 6:49 

Right, I don't want to scare people where they're afraid to go out of the house and the paranoia and things like that that can easily become a part of it if you become so conscientious that now you're seeing things that don't exist or you're just having concerns. But seniors in general are higher risk targets just because of their age or their perceived ability to defend themselves per se. But I do think that using common sense in your daily living is so super important. And you know one thing I did want to say that I think that we do get so involved in the phone and texting and playing on our Spotify all these different things that we're doing that do distract us. It lowers your quality of life because you aren't enjoying the things and the people and the sights and the views, even if it is a grocery store. There's a certain thing about being in the world that when you do all those things you're checking out. So I think you have a two for one deal on the situational awareness and overall, where you feel like you're connecting to society, even if you're not chitty chatting with the lady buying the peanut butter and the aisle and standing next to you. 

Speaker 5: 7:58 

Yeah, one quick tip to add in there to the point where you're saying you don't want to scare anybody. Once you have that observation of where you fall into that so-called scene whether you're in the store and you're shopping, put the phone down and being aware of folks around you so go from a safety issue of a threat to making sure you don't fall down flight of stairs or you slip in a puddle on the floor. So it's not so much just someone attacking you, so to speak, or a threat, but there could be a safety issue that can harm your health. 

Speaker 4: 8:39 

Right. Well, like in the parking lot. If you're in the parking lot and you're distracted, you're not gonna see the car. Sometimes they'll see you, but if they don't, I mean there's accidents every single day. Cars are hitting cars, while that's not gonna stop them from accidentally hitting a person, which is much more difficult typically to see when you are in a parking lot, because it's a smaller moving object per se. So, 100%, you're exactly right. 

Speaker 5: 9:03 

And so into your point of the parking lot so that you have two sides of it. And I think part of is, once you've set this process of situation awareness, being aware of your surroundings observation it just comes secondary, so it's not like an active process, and you just come out, you're out of the store, you come out onto the sidewalk, you look left and right, as we were taught as children crossing the road to see if there are any cars, but then you're taking an observation of is the sidewalk clear or is there a pothole that I may step in? Where's the edge of the curb? Then you move out into the parking lot of are there any cars backing out? Who's watching me walk to my car? 

Speaker 4: 9:46 

Yes, that's the big one right there. 

Speaker 5: 9:49 

Right, and so if your eyes are up and you're observing and you make eye contact, it doesn't have to be a long period of holding that eye contact, but at least you make eye contact, you're letting that person know that they are seen and you're making a mental note of that person. 

Speaker 4: 10:08 

Yeah, absolutely, and I think that can be a deterrent if you do make eye contact with someone that potentially has bad intentions. And I know that for me, especially in parking lots I have a thing with parking lots, just based on some past experience is I don't wanna be approached. Don't approach me. If I don't know you and we're in a parking lot, don't approach me. I don't care what your reasoning is, because I will tell you you need to back away and I'm not being rude and it's not anything personal. I don't feel comfortable being approached by strangers In parking lot situations, especially at desk or at night. That, to me, kind of freaks me out because you're super vulnerable and back in the day my mom always taught me the key between your fingers so that you have it. But nobody has this anymore. We all have key fobs. What is a key fob gonna do? You're gonna walk him over the head. Come on now. 

Speaker 5: 11:02 

To your point. Don't worry about being rude. They have to respect your boundaries, and if they're not respecting your boundaries, so be it. You're rude, and if it's something that you could apologize later on, down the road or what have you there was no ill intent, apologize later. But at the moment, to protect yourself, you're number one person. It's you all about you right now. And if that person's making you feel uncomfortable, you make noise, you let them know, please don't approach me. And then you start to kind of build in that distance between the two of you. That's where you kind of have to have that decision making of is this person making me uncomfortable to the point I can't get to my car, or do I have to go back into the store to get somebody else to assist me with this? 

Speaker 4: 11:48 

Yeah, absolutely, and I think it's important. If you need to do that, do that, go back into the store, say something, make some noise, have a fit, it's all good and then just explain. You know I feel uncomfortable or I feel threatened, or I'm full concerned, and if there's no issue then there's no issue. But if there is an issue and you don't do something, that's where you are absolutely 100% putting yourself in a very bad position. 

Speaker 5: 12:12 

Exactly. You definitely just have to have that kind of mindset. Regardless of wherever you are, whether it's in the store, out shopping, driving, walking and someone's paying particularly more attention than they ought to, red flag should start coming up. And then it's like, okay, what is my way out of this situation? Noise, asking for somebody else's help, turning a different direction and just creating that space. Folks are so again in tune with their own little world. They forget their own boundaries, that feel that they can approach you in a manner that makes you feel uncomfortable. They don't know your history or your tolerance for other folks, but they're gonna try to get into your little circle to talk to you. It's like no, no, no, no, no, please. You're making me uncomfortable. Please walk back, stay away, get away. I'm not that person that you wanna talk to Make up a lie. I have places to go. I have my husband, my wife, my children I have to go pick up and they're waiting for me. 

Speaker 4: 13:18 

My WWE wrestler person is getting ready to come pick me up. 

Speaker 5: 13:22 

My body guard's coming down with the whole body. 

Speaker 4: 13:24 

My body guard's coming. There you go. And you know I did talk about the key fob, but the other upside to a key fob is I use my key fob sometimes to find my car when I can't remember where I parked it, but definitely that draws attention when you hit that key fob. If you feel threatened in a parking lot situation, utilizing that key fob to draw attention, I think is so, keep that little clicker in your hand regardless. So Absolutely. 

Speaker 5: 13:51 

Yeah, and then there's other little different devices that do make noise Personal alarms that can trigger. You can just pull a pen and it's I think it's 125 decibels. So it's not a normal sound that you would hear on a street, in a parking lot, in a store. That would draw attention. And then if you get a little fancy you can get them with the GPS locations and notifications and so forth. But we could talk about that later. But there are tools that you can utilize that will help with that safety. 

Speaker 4: 14:26 

Quick question If I wanted to get a tool that would make that noise, that would probably have my dog running for the hills because they're so sensitive. Is that something you could just like buy on Amazon, or are there specific sites that are better than others? 

Speaker 5: 14:40 

I think so many of them are coming to market. I think one place would find them is Amazon. One of the companies that I like utilizing is Birdie, because Birdie has there's two versions just a regular personal alarm and a little strobe light. And then the second feature that I've given to my sister for Christmas because she likes to go running. It has the alarm, it has the GPS location and if you hit it it has like a fake phone call that's tied into your phone so that it kind of gets you out of that situation. You can just straightly hit the button, your phone rings and it's a prerecorded and you can just like oh, this is my friend that needs me, I need to leave, and it gives you that out so you don't feel technically rude. There's several that are coming out. I think it's just figure out which you'd benefit the best from. But yeah, definitely easily. One to find them is on Amazon. 

Speaker 4: 15:36 

So I'm gonna definitely look up the Birdie. So is that spelled B-I-R-D-I-E? Yes, all right, it's always good to know what you're looking for so you don't get a bunch of birds in your search. Exactly One of the downsides sometimes seniors, especially much older seniors, can be a little bit technically challenged. That is something that would be easy for them to do, or they might need a little bit of help from, like, a caregiver or something. 

Speaker 5: 16:04 

I think it's a combination where, if it's just the regular bird, it's a pull pin, it's like. So if it's on your key chain you could just pull it apart and it makes noise, and but that's where the caregiver can come into play to assist and help educate on that process of the new technologies, to show them, and it's kind of a way of just maintaining that communication and just talk about something new and fun. And that's one way of engaging. But also the caregiver is giving some advice and they're staying on top of what's going on with that senior. Whether it's your parents, grandparents or someone that you're taking care of, a neighbor. You know what their fears are, their concerns are, so that they can take it in and be part of that training and conversation and education. 

Speaker 4: 17:00 

Perfect. So one of the things that you and I talked about is seniors dating. A lot of seniors, honestly. They're on the over 55 and senior dating apps all day long. There's clearly risk. Anything that is on what you would call like the worldwide web per se. What, specifically, are some ways that some of our seniors and the even caregivers that are on these dating apps can maintain their safety? 

Speaker 5: 17:28 

I think with the dating apps, it's maintaining that. Is this too good to be true type of mentality. If you're speaking with someone and they're telling you all of the right things, now it's they're tying into your emotions and then, once that process is going, you're talking, and it's mainly through an email or a text. They very rarely want to have a verbal conversation with you on the phone or a video conversation. They always want to keep it to either either email or text, and then the conversation after a few weeks will turn into I want to come see you, or I'm starting a new business, or I'm traveling and I'm overseas and I need help getting back out of the country, wherever the country may be, and I need your assistance. So then they start to prey on you. Now they want some type of financial request from you. Typically it's through crypto, gift cards, kind of tying you, trying to get your banking information, credit cards. So one red flags are definitely if they're asking money. Secondly, if they're refusing to show their face, they'll may send you pictures and I can crop pictures of myself anywhere in the world with with ever whomever and say, oh, this is my daughter, she lives close by you, I may come see her and maybe we can get together. And so they're. They're doing everything and saying everything, but can I send a? Can we get on a video call, or can we get into a personal conversation over the phone and talk? 

Speaker 4: 19:27 

And one thing I've watched a lot of Dr Phil and I'm always shocked and amazed at really smart, educated women that will fall for these and they just they're so determined to believe that this person is who they say they are is very sad to me and I know it's got to be said to their families that are on the sidelines and watching it. But one of the things that I noticed that ran in a lot of the dating scams is the texting really poorly written. So I mean, I think that that's a key if you're reading something and it doesn't look like it's written properly, or I mean, everybody does different things in texting, but in general it's got a specific flow. But sometimes you would read these texts and you can tell that they're voice generated texts. If you're in the United States and you're speaking specifically English and it's broken English and this person is supposed to be, you know, speaking English flowing there, they're not from any different type of language background, so I think that that is also definitely, and I mean you kind of have to analyze everything. 

Speaker 5: 20:38 

So let's look at the pictures what are they saying? How they're saying, like you just said, the spelling. And sometimes, because we do a lot of texting, we sometimes overlook that we've trained our brains to kind of read through what's supposed to be said and then make sense of it. So, like your texts and your friends and it's, you miss printouts of word. Or you say you write it incorrectly, but you know what they mean, so you just go ahead and accept it. But on this case you should be kind of analyzing every aspect of it, like you said. They said they have their PhD and their major businessman and businesswoman, but their spelling is horrendous. Or you have to read it two or three times just to understand and just say, hey, how about this? Let's get on a video call. 

Speaker 4: 21:30 

Or even a voice call, because you can. You would be able to tell if there was an issue with that. You know, it's so funny because I have very good English, I have good grammar and my daughter still. She will literally correct my texts and I'm like it was oh my gosh girl, it's so funny. 

Speaker 5: 21:48 

Yes, yeah, you kind of have to play detective and kind of just take a step back. What happens is a lot of us. Again, it goes into the emotions. It's like, okay, I feel a connection and this is something that I want. But take a step back and just review it. But also talk to others and talk to that caregiver, who may have another set of eyes and see it from a different point of view of wait a minute, this just doesn't sound right. Why are they asking you for money? Why are they pushing for X, y and Z? 

Speaker 4: 22:28 

Part of it is know your worth. It's really hard, I think, when, specifically, women I'm not discounting men's feelings, but when they get older and they're widowed and maybe they were married for a long time tend to potentially be more vulnerable. And I want anyone that's listening to know your, to know their worth, that they don't have to be a victim to a scam or have someone whisper sweet nothings via text for you or them to be Someone worthy of love. And the other thing is is I always say, actions speak louder than words. So if you have someone that's taking and they're not giving, that is to me boom, boom, right flag. 

Speaker 5: 23:07 

You're done and again, it's just taking that moment just to review everything I get it. I have a connection with this person because they're a so-called widower as well. We have that in common. I said I have two, three, four children. They have two, three, four children and they're kind of through our conversations that are filling that need that I'm looking for or that emptiness that I'm looking for. However, let's take a step back for a second and review this, just to make sure we're going down the right path. 

Speaker 4: 23:42 

What? Because they may be using their words as their currency and in Return, they're expecting actual currency. 

Speaker 5: 23:50 

Absolutely. I mean it's amazing was I just saw the stat it was like a 1.6 billion dollar scam, the amount I think it was either last year, the year before, so the tally was six point billion dollar industry for scamming seniors. Out of the money and in the predominantly were through the Dating apps right and it can happen to men as well, Absolutely. 

Speaker 4: 24:18 

I know when we're talking. We're always at least for me, I'm thinking you know that elderly lady that you know it's just looking for companionship. But it's happening with men as well right and they'll get scammed. 

Speaker 5: 24:28 

If they're on these dating apps and they have these fake profiles of these younger women that are interested in them and they're sending them seductive pictures, they get enthralled in that and then next, you know I'll come see you, but you need to buy my ticket or I need help with my family. We want to come visit you, send me X amount of thousands of dollars. Unfortunately, the same thing for men. They'll fall fall prey to that where they'll go and get the gift cards Several thousand dollars worth and give the codes over over the internet and, guess what, don't enter their bank accounts, done, gone and it's untraceable. 

Speaker 4: 25:14 

Yeah, especially if it's not even in the country which is, you know, a lot of the times the case. 

Speaker 5: 25:19 

So and that's why they they'll ask for the crypto or the gift cards, because the gift cards are untraceable. 

Speaker 4: 25:26 

I wouldn't even know how to do crypto, so good luck with that on my end. So bark it up the wrong tree, mr. So Well, we actually have got to take a break for our podcast sponsors transmed care, long distance medical transportation and we will be right back. 

Speaker 6: 25:44 

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Speaker 4: 26:14 

And we are back with Mike. We thought we would talk a little bit more. I know we've covered the dating and things like that dating apps and some of the scams, but one scam that is really prominent is Fake kidnappings. So what is going on with that? 

Speaker 5: 26:33 

So it's gone to an another level now with the AI technology. Prior to the AI, you would get a phone call I have your granddaughter, I have your daughter, and they'll have a child so-called child crying in the background and what will happen is, because the person's so much in panic, they'll actually give the person their name. So if my so-called daughter Amy, we have your daughter, who Amy, is Amy, okay, so now you're giving them the information. But now, with the technology of AI, ai can go out and mimic the voices of your grandchildren, children and Love ones by just going to social media. If they're out talking on social media, ai will record their voice. Now that person who knows how to manipulate it can now type in Anything and it'll sound exactly like the grandchildren, your children, your spouse, and they're demanding money. Or Like, if it's a grandchild child. They'll say we have your grandson, jimmy, who was in a car accident but he ran and he needs help and he doesn't want to ask his parents. So he wanted me to call you and you need to get us $10,000 via credit card or gift card so that we can get him out of the situation. They're Jumping on the the panic of the senior or the adult to say we have the person, they have the sound of the voice through the AI. Now they want you to come up with this money. One of the things I've always said is take a second. Give yourself that that window to stop, get your thoughts back together and say Call me back or I'll call you back. Is there a number I can call you so I can get this information, so I can start to get this financial information to you? But you're not going to get them that information. It's go out and reach out to that grandson, granddaughter, child, daughter, wife, spouse and say, hey, are you okay? I just got this phone call With your voice, your name, saying that you're in trouble. I just want to make sure you're okay. Just take that break. I mean, everyone goes in a panic mode and you just want to take action right away. It's something that I've done for years, especially going into crazy situations or medical, because I'm an EMT as well is you take a break to evaluate the scene and Say, okay, let me check with Whomever they're saying is being kidnapped. So I have my neighbor same issue. She called me. She said I got a call, they have my daughter, and I'm like wait a minute. What did they say? What did you tell them? All right, and this is here the steps. So I said stop, hang up, give me the phone number so I can trace it. Then you reach out to that individual just to make sure that they are okay, but also inform them that this is the call that I received and that you're aware of it. And then reach out to the local police to state hey, I'm receiving calls from this number that stated that they had my family member in an emergency in requesting money via crypto or gift card or a credit card. And here's the number. You'll have the number on a caller ID, though a lot of the numbers can be Bounced around so that you can't figure it out. Yeah, I Google numbers that you can, yeah at least you're starting the ball Rolling with notifying the police, notifying other family members that say, hey, this is what's going on, but also just to ground you back to the moment and not divulge too much information and Send out your money. 

Speaker 4: 30:38 

Right, because you do hit that panic mode. You hear it and you go, oh my gosh, oh my gosh. And sometimes you're not clearly thinking, just reiterating how important it is for everyone, but seniors specifically, to stop and think. You know, there's this artificial intelligence that's out there now. It wasn't out there, I want to say, even just a few years ago Was it really something? And now it's rampant. Where are they're able to to do that? And it actually happened to someone that I'm very close to as well. Her son, quote-unquote, called to say he was in jail and to please not tell anyone, because he was embarrassed and Was going to hand the phone over so she could give credit card information for his bail. It's crazy, because she did go okay. So let me, let me check this really fast. She texted her son and and he's like I have no idea what you're talking about. I'm perfectly fine, it was definitely a scam. But the craziest thing, even months later she says I swear to you it was his voice. She's still so convinced you can't get past the idea that that his voice, you was not him on this phone call. That was so convincing to her. So it really is something that, until you experience it. I don't really think you know how you're going to react, but it's just being educated enough to say, hey, stop. Just like I think most seniors now know, they don't give out their social security number, social security is not going to call them and say, hey, you know, can we get your social security number to verify XYZ? They're never, ever, ever, ever, ever going to do that, and if someone is listening to this and they didn't know that, we'll see you to learn something new. There you go Anything else with, like the AI. That is something that is super important that our listeners should be aware of. That. That might be new coming down the pipeline, enhanced, whatever. 

Speaker 5: 32:33 

Goodness, it's going to go to a whole nother level now, and I think the key thing is just taking that moment, think about it, communicate, but also on the other side, the caregivers, take part of this conversation and be aware of what's going on in the news the usage of AI, the negative usages of AI and make that part of the conversation. 

Speaker 4: 33:02 

Right. Technology is not getting stupider, it's just going to get smarter, and it's unavoidable. 

Speaker 5: 33:10 

Right, right. So I mean you can't just shut yourself off from it, because, no matter what, the world's going to move on with or without you and it's going to move for you to move on with it. Say, like the tech technology, the phone company a lot of phones aren't using copper anymore, so they're going to the digital, they're going to fiber optics. So even if you have the old school landline, it doesn't work anymore. You're going to be forced to take on the technology. For some who want, like the simple cell phones and want to pay their bills by check, like the way they used to, and they want to call customer service and want a live body, it's not happening anymore. Some of it AI is taking that on, so you have to speak to this computer to figure out, and it's frustrating. I mean I have zero patience for it, but you still got to deal with it. I'm like, just give me a live body, please, and you'll hit zero over and over again. 

Speaker 4: 34:13 

It's like this doesn't work. Zero used to be your ticket to ride and it's not anymore, exactly, and you wonder why people are like going loony toony. And it's because all the additional frustrations that come along with AI and that's a whole different podcast, because you can't get that live person on the phone and then when you do, somehow like 50% of the time your conk is dropped, I'm like, oh no, no, come back. So with the embracing technology, it's more learning about how to use it, understand it, and that can be really hard for some of our much older seniors. I think that the baby boomer generation has really embraced technology. 

Speaker 5: 34:52 

Yeah. So that approach is again. That's where the caregiver comes into play. They can have these conversations and it's like an educational thing. So if I'm going to visit my parents and my mother or my father and say, okay, hey, let's go over the new app on your phone and this app, why do you need to have this? So like the Life360. So if you're driving and you get into a car accident, it'll be like it'll notify your emergency contacts that you were in a car accident, it'll send out the GPS location and then we can start the response mode, the Apple AirTax. It's a good and a negative. I'll speak on the good. So, like my stepmom, she's early dementia, so now we just have to figure out if she decides to walk off. She has her handbag. You put the air tag on the handbag and you're able to see if she walks off with the handbag. But they've also coming out with different devices that you could put the air tag in the sole of the shoes that they constantly wear. So if someone were to walk off, you're able to kind of utilize that to kind of track them down. 

Speaker 4: 36:07 

I love that and I love you mentioning Life360, because I think a lot of people think of Life360 when they have kids, right, so that they can, you know, see where their kids are at. But I really hadn't even thought of it. For seniors to have that on their phones, it's kind of a no-brainer. 

Speaker 5: 36:23 

Right, and again it's where they still want their independency and we're not trying to get into that. But my father had a medical issue and he drove himself. Being stubborn I'm stubborn, I get it he's going to drive himself to the hospital. In that process he would have gotten into a car accident and we would have never known. So after that I said, hey, I'm stepping in, this is what we need to do. We all need to have this on our phones just to make sure. No matter what. It's not a tracking, it's to make sure you're okay. And even if you're somewhere and you're not feeling well, it's easy to open up the app and say assistance, and it'll give you a GPS location instead of me calling me when are you? I'm on the side of. Okay, what's the road? Let, I don't know. Let me try to figure this out. So all that that time wasted just to try to figure you where you are, I can look at the life 360 and say, all right, I'm on my way. 

Speaker 4: 37:19 

Yeah, I absolutely love it and if my parents or my dad was still here with us, I would have been installing that all day long. The only downside with my dad is he ended up having multiple cell phones when he got dementia and started he's just started having multiple device issues, so we would have been doing it on all of them. Maybe I don't know, but no, absolutely I agree with that and you know, on-star used to be one of the things to put on your car. I don't know it's on-star as popular as it used to be, but with the air tags and with the life 360, they always have that phone on them for the most part. So the on-star and I'm not discounting anyone that was to get on-star utilizes or think it's fantastic. But once you get out of that car, that on-star is irrelevant, except for where you might be close by. 

Speaker 5: 38:08 

Yeah, and so, like the air tags, once again, I'm not promoting any individual, I'm not paid by any individuals, I'm just saying it's just tools. I try to find the different tools that will help with the safety needs, used within their parameters properly. So they have the soles that has the cutouts for the air tags to go in their shoes. So, if you know, this is a shoe that they wear constantly, put it there and monitor when needed. And then there's other pieces where you can monitor around the home. And then I also have put cameras on the houses so that we know if anybody's out and about on their outside of their house. And I've, and I showed my mother how to utilize the cameras, how to record them, how to. If there's something that she's concerned about, send me that video Then I can observe it and then I can help make a decision on it. 

Speaker 4: 39:03 

Well, I think the Ring Camera that is a great technology that's come into play that so many people have and they're utilizing it. I know that, you know, we just like to know when Amazon's at the door or what have you, not that the dog doesn't let us all know, but it's really important. But if you do have someone that is potentially looking at breaking into your home or does come to your door, you can see them on your phone prior to opening the door and you can have a conversation with that barrier blocking them from coming into your home. So I think that's a big game changer for physical safety. 

Speaker 5: 39:40 

There's another technology that I'm looking at and working, trying to figure out it's the best fit. It's sensors that are put throughout the home where you can monitor for smoke and fire, you can monitor their moving habits but it's something where it starts to learn the patterns. Once that pattern is broken, then your emergency contacts are notified and you can put them on the refrigerator just in case you feel that they're missing meals. They're opening doors at random times so it's like, okay, what's going on? There's stuff out there and then that's where the caregivers can step in to get educated on it. But also do that situational awareness around the home. Listen to what the seniors are talking about, what their fears are, play the games on the apps to show their safety, how they can utilize, and you don't have to bombard them with every bit of what that app can do. Just say, okay, the camera, this is how you turn it on, this is how you turn it off. When you turn it on, it's recording and that's it. And then I can walk you through so they're not putting too much on it. But if you're doing it over and over again, it gives them that educational, that support, but also you get to see what's going on. You start to learn the habits. You know the cars that are in the parking lot, you know when the mailman comes, you know when the UPS or the Amazon guys are driving by. In the home you can find spot those danger points of tripping hazards. Do the smoke detectors need to be updated, making it a smart home that you can monitor from afar, but also you're still a part of the conversation with them to make sure they're happy, healthy and safe. 

Speaker 4: 41:28 

One thing you mentioned that just like completely resonated with me is putting the cameras just to detect activity within the home. So if you're got a senior that maybe hurt or that is depressed and is not getting you know, just sleeping a lot, or they're spending a lot of time in the lounge chair and not getting out, or, like you mentioned, they're not going into the kitchen often enough to suffice your intake of food that you would normally need, you can be there and you can kind of see those habits and if those habits change, that's when you know there's a problem. Mom is, you know, spending a lot of time in bed. Is she depressed? Does she not feel? Well, you know what are these different things? So I think those are incredible. I know that with some of the technology that we just spoke about, it's really affordable. 

Speaker 5: 42:18 


Speaker 4: 42:18 

It's not going to break the bank, which you can't say that about much of anything these days, but that knock on wood. Currently it's not really expensive, it's something that's affordable. So I think those are important, especially for caregivers. Just to do a little bit of research, we talk about risk of falling, so moving this rug and putting in your grab bars, but this is just another layer and that's with seniors that are independent, living at home, aging in place, and I mean honestly I think these are some things that even communities can put into their senior living room so that they know, especially if they're not coming in and out doing medication reminders or what have you, to just kind of make sure that Mrs Jones is okay without impeding on her privacy. 

Speaker 5: 43:06 

Right and with this one device it operates off an iPad so that you can do video conversations with family and I can send you I'm on vacation and I can send you directly to the iPad pictures of the beach or us out and about and so that you feel connected. But then for a paid service, you can have like an operator ready to go for you, to check in on you to see what's going on and help kind of coordinate the telehealth. There's an open market for this that they're starting to hit upon and, like you said, it's not expensive at all and some of it may get picked up. I got to do a little bit more research via like Medicare and so forth, but do the walk through the homes and just kind of get an understanding of the lifestyle and then as a caregiver you got to. You got to work your way into that so that you respect and privacy, but you're there and ready to respond to whatever. 

Speaker 4: 44:06 

No, I love that. I love that. I want to always try to provide our listeners with a post podcast resource so they've heard a little bit about some of the technology that you've described. Can you kind of share where that's something they can do their own research for themselves to consider it Like what works best for them? 

Speaker 5: 44:24 

You can do. The one company I was speaking about is Lavendi L-I-V-I-D-I dot com. They're local here in Boston, in Massachusetts, so that's where I'm working to see what they're doing next, because over the year they've improved their systems and technologies and add ons. But you can go on to and just start off with a Google search senior safety devices like the. I've fallen. I can't get up devices. I can't remember the company offer. I'm just drawing a book. 

Speaker 4: 45:01 

There's multiple companies that offer those, and they're fabulous. 

Speaker 5: 45:06 

And they've also improved so that you can go out of the home. Yes, and they have them in with the GPS location, so if you fall in the park you can hit that button and they can pinpoint and get medical attention to you. 

Speaker 4: 45:18 

They've added them to watches. They've added that so you could wear that as a safety device which will notify. If you do fall and you don't hit it because you're hurt or something like that, they know that that action has taken place. I mean, the technology is just out of this world when it comes to that as well. Absolutely. 

Speaker 5: 45:38 

And I mean even watching, like Apple with the iPhones, and how much they're putting into the medical portion of it so that you have like the crash detection on the newer phones and on the watches. You can put your emergency contacts into the phone so if you were to fall, lose conscious, the EMS police can go into your phone and find your information without having to unlock it. You can put in your prescriptions that you just so that they know, as an EMS, you know what you can and cannot give them. With all my family, we make sure we everybody has a list of each other's prescriptions, past medical history, so that when we do the handoff to EMS it's this is what's going on, this is the past medical, this is the meds they're taking and you're able to share with them so that they could take that on to the hospitals. 

Speaker 4: 46:34 

I remember, back in the day, my great grandmother, who died at 103,. One of the things I was always obsessed with as a child is she would have a medical bracelet on and it was pretty. I think it was like bronze or something. I'm not sure what it was, but I always remember playing with that on her arm, but she wore it everywhere. So this is just the tech version of that medical bracelet from you know, my nano from way, way, way back in the day. So this is so much great information and I think we have, you know, some stuff we didn't even think we were going to maybe cover, which I am just finding so interesting. So, before we sign off, is there anything else that we didn't cover that you think is really important? 

Speaker 5: 47:19 

I think maintaining communication with seniors amongst each other, if you're in a community or a facility, that you're all seeing the same things as far as situational awareness seeing the same things, hearing the same things, smile on the same things and that you're not feeling alone in the situation, the scams continue to have those conversations caregivers and seniors of what's the latest and greatest in understanding and making sure that no one falls down those rabbit holes. Caregivers reinstating that they shouldn't feel embarrassed if they fall into those scams or stop that process, because that's the other part where, if they happen to be part of that scam or fell for it, they don't say anything because they know they should have done better, or if you feel something can possibly get that communication going because someone else may not even know, may already have that experience or dealing with it, dealt with it or is in tune with it can help you out. 

Speaker 4: 48:29 

Absolutely Perfect. Those are great, always. Open line of communication. 

Speaker 5: 48:34 

Absolutely, it's huge. 

Speaker 4: 48:36 

Thank you so much for joining us on this podcast episode, Mike. I really appreciate all of your input and what you've shared with our listeners today. 

Speaker 5: 48:44 

Thank you for having me. I'm a security so-called geek, but I love making sure I can pass on any information that I've learned over the last 20 plus years and my experiences I'm sure a lot of experiences that I have, not too many have had. 

Speaker 4: 49:00 

Yeah, no, I appreciate it. We want our seniors to be safe and educated, so that's our number one priority. We really appreciate you Absolutely. Thank you for having me. Thank you If you enjoyed this podcast episode. Please visit us anywhere you enjoy podcasts, such as Spotify, apple Podcasts, google Pods and more. Thank you everyone.