Mary's GrandPad Story

Mary Renfrow's GrandPad has been her lifeline to family and friends ever since she moved into full-time assisted care.

Mary grew up in the San Fernando Valley, a small region in the sunny U.S. state of California. The picturesque valley, just North of Los Angeles, is best known for its iconic connections to the bright lights of Hollywood and is the home of Warner Bros Studio, Walt Disney Studios and the famous Universal Studios Theme Park.

In her younger years, Mary was an active and engaged student at Verdugo Hills High School in the local neighbourhood of Tujunga. It was there she grew a passion for American Football, and as well as supporting her school team she also helped to tutor its star player, allowing him to pass his U.S. history course and remain eligible to play for his team.

Many years later, after almost 90 years living in her home of San Fernando, Mary relocated almost 400 miles East to Phoenix, Arizona so she could be closer to her daughter and her family.

Around this time is when Mary found out about GrandPad, after receiving one as a birthday gift.

An avid music listener, Mary’s first port of call was to get her library of favourite songs up and running. She’d grown up loving music, her mother playing piano as she and her sister sung along. Fittingly reminiscent of her years in California, her favourite song is Tony Bennett’s “I Left My Heart in San Francisco”, which the GrandPad team helped her to add to her favourites list (alongside a selection of her favourite tracks from The Beach Boys).

However, Mary truly found the value in her GrandPad when she experienced a scary situation in her new home. Now living in assisted care, Mary relies on care workers to come to her if she presses her room’s call button. This way, care workers can help in the event of an emergency.

Unfortunately, one day she pressed her call button four times, and waited without any response at all from her care workers. Situations like this can be incredibly dangerous for an elderly person, as with potentially limited mobility they can be left entirely helpless in a life-threatening emergency. Falls, for example, are a common cause of injury or death in elderly people, and over half of people aged 80+ experience a fall at least once a year.

Luckily, Mary had her GrandPad.

“I called my daughter using the GrandPad and didn’t have to look up her number. I just pushed her button and told her, ‘Nobody’s coming’.”

Mary's daughter responded right away, saying "I'll be right there" and heading out to help her mother. Mary was amazed at the simplicity of reaching out for help, saying "If I had fallen, I could have been hurt badly. With GrandPad, I was able to get help.”

Mary's daughter responded right away, saying "I'll be right there" and heading out to help her mother. Mary was amazed at the simplicity of reaching out for help, saying "If I had fallen, I could have been hurt badly. With GrandPad, With GrandPad, I was able to get help.”

Now, Mary is rarely without her GrandPad.

She uses it to check the weather every day when she wakes up, and then gives her sister in Kansas a call to catch up and keep in touch. She makes great use of both the phone and video calling options, finding them both incredibly simple and easy to use!

Keeping up with her old church in California is also easier than ever with her GrandPad, and Mary makes great use of the simple internet browser to watch the church’s online streams of each weekly service. 

“It completely, completely changes your life,” Mary said. “Without the GrandPad my life would be boring. There’s times my daughter needs to go and do things and other relatives come in, but I would be really, really bored.” 

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