I’m John L. Webb Jr., founder of Medication Call Reminder.
I had been a long-distance caregiver to my mom for a number of years. My mom was an amazing woman of great character, a loving mom to me and my siblings, a powerhouse in our family … and she deserved to enjoy her senior years doing her hobbies and watching her birds from the back porch. She had prepared to do as much by planting her azaleas and butterfly garden, putting up two bird feeders, and sitting on the back porch twice a day to watch the birds and whatever else came through her yard.
I was so happy for her back yard of flowers and plants, and wished I could sit on the back porch with her. Being over a 10 hour drive away, that wasn’t always possible. So instead, we would chat almost every afternoon, and she would tell me about who showed up in the morning and in the afternoon. Sometimes we did talk about other things, like the weather, politics or something she saw on the local news, or how the rest of the family was doing. Of course, she was catching me up on how they were doing, since she spoke to everyone more than I did!
I felt good and proud to chat with her regularly, and I felt like it was the least I could do since I was so far away. You know how your mom loves the sound of your voice! My mom is no different, and I knew that she looked forward to our calls each day.
With gratitude, I prayed that she would get to keep living this way as an important doctor’s visit was coming up. I couldn’t say why, but I had a feeling we might get some hard news. She was 85, after all. So I prayed for my mom, and I tried to avoid bringing it up on our afternoon calls.
I’d heard about the “Senior Moment” before, and I had a feeling that my mom’s was coming soon. That filled me with a sadness that is hard to describe… but if you’re still reading, I know you understand.
That first doctor’s appointment led to another. The next appointment led to a specialist and a test. The test results led to another specialist and finally, three new prescriptions to treat her diagnosis. She was to take 5 pills in the morning: two of this, two of that, and one of the other. At night she was to take four: two of this, one of that, one of the other.
When she told me on the phone what she had to do, I knew I had to find a way to make remembering her medication easy for her. Heck, if I was taking the medication like that, I might forget, too!
From my 25 years as a social worker, I felt like I had a head start on how to help my mom. I worked as a hospital discharge planner and a medical home care social worker advising others on the importance of taking medication as prescribed by their doctor.
I went online and did some searches and found a few low-quality options. Some were free because they only sent a reminder text. I had already tried setting up a medication schedule sheet for my mom, but it didn’t work for her. I knew there had to be a better way to help my mom. I looked for reminder services and saw all of this confusing stuff about buying credits, or rates per call and I didn’t want that.
I called my mom to reassure her that she could do this. I was going to help her by making it easy to know when to take her medication and I wasn’t going to ask her to learn anything new or complicated.
That’s when I decided to create Medication Call Reminder. At first, I was going to develop a reminder service just to help my mom. Almost immediately though, I knew that millions of other families were struggling with the same stress and relationship tension that we were. Then I thought of the people I worked with as a medical social worker who had been struggling for months or years to ensure their parents were taking their medication.
I committed to making Medication Call Reminder into a service that could help families like mine spend more quality time together so we could feel less stress, tension, and guilt about our parents taking their medications.
As I was working on developing the service, I continued calling my mom myself to make sure she remembered her medications. I’m ashamed to admit I forgot to call her twice, and she did forget her medication those times.
But three months later, the service was ready for my mom to use. My mom loved it right away! On the second day, she said, “Oh John! Thank you so much. I just love it when that nice lady calls to remind me to take my medication.”
I held back my laugh, because she didn’t realize that the “nice lady” was an automated recording. She didn’t care! She loved it.
Soon after, I added a feature that let me record the reminder message, so now it’s like I’m calling her every day. She knows it’s a recording but she says she still loves to hear my voice in the morning, afternoon and evening and more when I call her to chat!
Then in February of 2017, Medication Call Reminder started helping new families with our call reminder service and they are still using the service now.
Medication Call Reminder operates a nationwide automated voice information service to notify and remind seniors to take medications as prescribed by their doctor. Subscribers to this service set up a customized schedule that activates a phone call and/or text reminding them or an elderly loved one to take their medication. Subscribers also have access to The Caregiver’s Resource Helpline™ which helps them deal with the most common concerns of caring for an elderly loved one.
Medication Call Reminder brings over 20 years of experience in home health care, hospital discharge planning and health promotion to meet the growing demand for medication management tools to help manage chronic diseases and conditions such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, obesity, and arthritis. This experience demonstrated that good medication management practices can result in better outcomes and compliance.
Medication Call Reminder features reminder calls with the flexible scheduling and customization you need, and additional support through the Caregiver’s Resource Helpline™. It’s not uncommon for seniors to forget or become confused about when and how to take their medication. You’ll have more peace of mind knowing that your loved one is in compliance with their medication needs.
Awards and Achievements
AARP Caregiver Accelerator Graduate
2017 Caregiver Accelerator Pitch Contest Finalist
This year’s award winner, John Webb, is a long-distance caregiver whose background in medical social work, sales and marketing, along with his innovative mind, inspired him to create Medication Call Reminder, a simple and effective medication management system, as well as a Caregiver’s Resource Helpline, Caregiver’s Companion Guide and the Caregiver Journal & Record Keeper.