Aging Wisely was founded in 1998 by Florida Elder Law Attorney Linda Chamberlain. She saw the varied needs of elders and their families and formed Aging Wisely so families would have help navigating care options. In 2005, she formed EasyLiving, Inc., a private duty home health care company serving individuals and families in Pinellas County, Florida with home care, companionship and senior transportation. Below, she explains how her companies use Backpack.
Our companies serve seniors in their homes and therefore have a very mobile work force. The families of our customers are all over the country and world. Employees are rarely in an office setting and communication and coordination are vital. 37signals tools have helped improve communication and efficiency. Because the products are so intuitive, employees didn’t experience the frustrations and learning curve that they did with other solutions we had tried.
Both companies use Backpack extensively, which has replaced accessing a server for documents or long strings of emails that become cumbersome. Our team can access the documents they need, share notes and information from virtually anywhere with web access. Aging Wisely’s care managers use iphones, so they can pull up information just about anywhere.
EasyLiving benefits from the shared calendar for managing time off, on-call schedules and trainings. With 24/7 services, client emergencies and communicating office happenings to a large number of fields staff, this is vital.
A couple of specific examples of how we use 37signals tools:
Our care management team at Aging Wisely is comprised of experts in the field of eldercare, with diverse specializations. We serve as resources for our clients and need to be up to date on everything from new healthcare requirements to latest Alzheimer’s research and what products can help our clients age in place. To do this well, we need to be able to share articles, training information, links, etc. We have different pages on Backpack for different topics, making it easy not only to share the information but to access it any time.
Our team is known for its expertise in the community and gets asked to do presentations for a variety of groups. We often do these speaking engagements together or work on the presentations and materials together. Our Director of Communications works remotely, but can collaborate from anywhere with ease using these tools. When we plan a presentation, team members will post ideas and work on input to the Power Point and/or handouts using Backpack.
My tip for other customers: For teams who aren’t used to using collaborative tools it can be a challenge to switch the mindset and get less email-dependent. Over time, though, people will see the benefits and develop new habits. Do a little demo for everyone and explain how the tools will make life easier. One of the great things about these tools is that they are pretty intuitive, so you don’t need any major training and the learning curve is minimal, but it helps to explain what the purpose and benefits are.
Do you use a 37signals product in an interesting way? Let us know.