ABA-sponsored app helps families access advance directives and medical information
It was Barbara Keller’s experiences in elder law and caretaking for her parents that inspired her to develop the Mind Your Loved Ones app.
Keller, the senior partner at the Keller Legal Group in New York City, helps pro bono clients of the City Bar Justice Center’s cancer advocacy and elder law projects with their advance care directives. These include legal documents such as living wills that allow them to express their wishes for health care in case they are later incapacitated.
Keller needed quick access to her own family’s advance care directives when called in an emergency situation, when helping them in the hospital and in a rehabilitation center, and in figuring out how to set up home care.
She also saw several clients and their family members walk into hospitals with shopping bags full of critical information and realized they needed a more practical storage spot. She understood the importance of properly organizing that information.
“The idea of the app was really that simple,” she says. “It’s to ensure that vital information that affects critical health care decisions is controlled by the individual or by their loved ones and is readily accessible at the right time and the right place.
“Most people leave the information at home or in a drawer or somewhere, but there is no better place than to have it on your phone.”
Mind Your Loved Ones, a mobile app sponsored by the ABA and officially launched in May, allows users to create customized profiles for each member of their family, including their pets. Each profile contains not only their advance care directives, but also other important medical information.