Frequently asked questions
Privacy & Security
Does Independa sell my personal information?
No. Never. Period.
Does Independa share or rent my personal information?
No. Never. Period.
Can the chat cam be turned on when I have declined it to be turned on?
How do I know the camera is turned on?
The camera on top of your TV cannot be turned on without the red light being on, which you’ll see.
Can people read my messages or somehow see my videos?
No. Everything is encrypted from the TV straight to Independa, and to your party on the other side … and back.
How long does it take to set up my Independa system?
It’s a matter of minutes. 10-15, and faster for some.
Can I set up the system myself?
If you’re comfortable setting up electronic equipment, such as an audio system, a TV, an AppleTV or Roku, etc, you can set up your Independa system. However, we recommend a family member, friend or neighbor set up the system.
Is there help during setup?
Yes, we have video of the entire setup process. Whoever is setting up the system can follow the easy steps. The system also comes with an easy to follow setup guide.
Do I need to get anything else?
No, your system comes with everything you need, including an HDMI cable and batteries for your Independa Simplified Remote. Even the velcro to put the chat cam on your TV is included.
Do I need an internet connection for Independa to work?
Yes. You need to have a WiFi connection that is reachable where your TV is located, or an ethernet cable.
Do I need to have a special kind of TV?
Not at all. The only requirement for the TV is that it accepts HDMI input and has at least one input available. TVs manufactured in the last 14+ years all have HDMI built in.
Do I need to have a smart TV?
No. A smart TV implies the TV can connect to the internet, and also has its own applications available via a TV-based app deck. This is not necessary, though it’s fine to have. As long as WiFi is available, the Independa AnyTV Companion connects to the internet directly, and connects to the TV via an HDMI cable.
What if my TV has HDMI but I am connecting via coax?
That’s OK. There’s a $30 device that you can purchase that would convert your coax feed into HDMI, and that feed goes into the Independa AnyTV Companion. NOTE: Your feed cannot be scrambled / encrypted. This is usually the case and you’re good to go, but you should double check to make sure your TV is not descrambling the feed. If that’s the case, the Independa AnyTV Companion will not work.
What if my TV has HDMI but I’m not using the input, and I’m using it only as a smart TV?
You can still use Independa. However, it’s best if there is some HDMI feed coming in, for example from a DVD player. This is only because when Independa is not running, the screen would not be black, which is what will happen if there’s no HDMI feed coming in.
What if I’m using Roku or Apple TV, will Independa still work?
Yes. However, it’s best if the feed from your HDMI cable is going into the Independa system. If you have two feeds, and you’re using a splitter, that’s great … you can have the output of that splitter go into Independa’s input. For example, the two feeds can be from Roku and a cable provider, both coming into the AnyTV Companion via one HDMI cable.
What if I’m using my TV only as a smartTV to watch Netflix or other streaming services?
You can still use Independa, but you’d have to be on the HDMI input that Independa comes in on. Note that in this situation, Independa doesn’t interrupt the streaming services, since that service is not coming in through HDMI, but via an app on the TV. You can still back out of the app and enjoy Independa to do video chat, receive pictures and messages, check out calendar events, etc. But for reminders, they will not pop up on your TV if you’re on a streaming service, or if the TV is off of course. What will happen in these situations is, if you don’t respond to a reminder, you can choose to have it delivered on your phone as a backup, whether cellular or landline.
Can Amazon Alexa be connected?
Not currently, for individual consumer purchases. Organizations can contact us regarding available Alexa integration options for their Independa systems, if that is of interest.
Support & Warranty
How do I get support?
You can call (800) 815-7829 ext. 3 at any time, and we’ll connect you with our support team. Alternatively, you can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Can I get my money back if the system’s not working for me?
Sure. If you don’t love the system for any reason, just ship it back to us within 30 days with the original packaging you received, and you’ll receive a full refund. Please request an RMA number by sending an email to email@example.com. See full refund policy: https://independa.com/return-policy/
If I purchased the one-year prepaid subscription, would I own the device after the one year is over?
Can strangers market to me?
Can strangers solicit me and want to become my friend like on Facebook?
Who can I video chat with?
Anyone that you or your loved ones set up for you. They can call you or you can call them right from your TV. No one else. You’re protected.
Who can send me pictures or messages?
ONLY the people you or your loved ones set up for you to do this. No one else. You’re protected.
Does everyone connecting to my TV also need to have a TV?
No. They can connect with your using their mobile Independa app. You can also log into the app if you like, if you have an smartphone and are comfortable adding and managing apps on it. Just search for “Independa caregiver” and download it from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.
When a video call comes in, would the TV viewer be able to hear it/see the prompt?
Yes. The screen displays the incoming video chat request and who it is from, while playing a distinct ringing tone. The viewer is given an option to Accept or Decline the video chat request, just as they would to pick up a ringing phone, or not.
What are some of the benefits and key features of Independa?
Independa provides TV-based, easy to use features such that a loved one not comfortable with computers or tablets, with software updates and virus scans and passwords, with smaller screens and gesture-based navigation and battery charge issues, can use their very own simple TV to engage the world, without changing inputs, channels, jumping to an app on an app deck, or pretty much learning anything new. Independa takes a commodity appliance everyone knows how to use and turns it into a bidirectional engagement window to the world with features like: Simplified Video Chat, Photo and Message Sharing, Med and General Calendar Reminders via a Personalized Calendar, Support for ADLs (Activities of Daily Living), a Care Journal, where family members and friends can exchange messages and questions about their loved one, Tracking of Health Vitals, Life Stories, to capture the loved ones memories, wisdom and experiences for decades and generations to come, while engaging them in this wonderful activity, and more!
What does Independa Life Stories™ Do?
Life Stories allows family and friends to easily and conveniently record conversations on specific topics with their elderly loved one, thereby preserving memories that can be shared for years and generations to come. This is done whether in person, or via a telephone call – no TV interaction is necessary and the elderly loved one is not videoed. Independa provides a repository of topics and questions developed by our expert Elder Care Team to help guide Life Stories conversations with an elderly loved one. For example, conversations can cover how their loved one met their spouse, what it was like during the Great Depression, what was their favorite trip, how they felt when they purchased their first home, etc. These moments and topics are stored by Independa for convenience but are easily shareable with the entire family via email attachments.
What’s so special about Independa? Can’t I Zoom or Skype or set my Mom up on Facebook today?
Sure you can! But study after study shows that those tools and technologies are difficult for today’s generation of seniors to embrace. By embedding those capabilities in a television—something that everyone knows how to use—and by simplifying their use to a click or two with the remote control, without passwords or virus scans or tablets or application updates or …, Independa has brought technologies embraced by a tech-savvy generation into the homes and onto the TV screens of our elderly loved ones.
I’ve heard quite a bit about Independa being a “must have.” Surely that can’t be true?
It is true, especially now with COVID. Let’s face it, if you’re comfortable and fully engaged with the world using your computer or tablet, TV-based engagement is not for you. You just don’t need it. We built Independa to bring the world to those who are not connected to the outside world via computers and tablets. And there is some very compelling research data to support that this engagement is sorely, vitally needed, with or without COVID … but sadly now, especially with COVID! First and foremost, well over 90% of seniors say they “want to stay exactly where they are.” In order to make that a reality, a remote care program must be in place that fully supports the elements that are CRITICAL to maintaining their health and well-being. When those are not attended to, a downward pattern can emerge that includes self-neglect, loneliness, depression and even physical danger. It is estimated that the negative impact of loneliness and isolation in the elderly is equivalent to smoking 15 cigarettes a day! Independa makes it easy to maintain social engagement, which is vital especially today given the social distancing requirements from COVID, while also complying with important physical distancing requirements. Reminders and alerts make it easy to be sure to catch little things before they can turn into big problems. Frequent check-ins make it easy for family and friends to maintain peace of mind, to care, even when they can’t be there. Life Stories help care recipients “be heard” as well as provide a family with a rich oral history of their loved one for generations to come.
What is the difference between Independa and Angela?
Independa is a company. We make the software and device that turns any TV into an Independa-enabled TV. “Angela” is the name we’ve given our friendly TV interface in the care recipient’s home. All are registered trademarks, trademarks and/or service marks of Independa, Inc. Other software components are the Independa Mobile App (iOS or Android).
Why is Independa so important right now, during the COVID-19 pandemic?
We’ve all heard about the directives surrounding “social distancing”, quarantines, and “social isolation” for our elderly during COVID-19. What this has resulted is that even family and loved ones, out of CARING for their parents and grandparents and elderly friends, are not visiting these loved ones out of fear of exposing them to the coronavirus. So, we’ve further isolated the most isolated, the hardest to reach, and our most vulnerable population. This leads to loneliness and clinical depression for anyone, let alone an elderly person with very little human contact in general. Independa enables those with challenges or discomfort around computers or tablets to get SOCIALLY ENGAGED, which is vital now more than ever, while maintaining PHYSICAL SEPARATION, which is also vital now, unlike before.
How can I use the system to manage my health?
You can enter your health information into the system, or your loved one or caregiver can do that for you. For example, your weight, your blood pressure, blood oxygen level, etc. You can also have your caregiver or family members be alerted when something isn’t quite right. For example, too high or too low a blood pressure reading, or you can have the system remind you when some days have passed and you haven’t stepped on the scale. You can also receive medication reminders. There are many ways Independa helps you manage your health more effectively than before, but you don’t have to have any of these right away or at all … only if and when it’s right for you.
Who gets notified when something isn’t quite right?
You can have your primary family member or friend be notified. You can also have more urgent alerts, which escalate if the person being alerted doesn’t respond right away. This gives you the peace of mind that you’re connected with your loved ones, and they have the same peace of mind, to know they’re connected with you, when something isn’t quite right.
Where do you ship?
Free shipping is included within the contiguous 48 United States. We do not ship to Alaska, Hawaii, U.S. Territories or P.O. Boxes.
We’d love to hear from you!
If you have any questions about how Independa is transforming the daily lives of aging loved ones and their families, please contact us.
3525 Del Mar Heights Road, Suite 800
San Diego, CA 92130
HOW TO FIND US
"Our guests use the video chat and photo and message sharing features of Independa to stay connected with their families. In fact this week we admitted a guest who has a daughter in Georgia and another in Italy. I spoke with the daughter about how to share photos and messages and to make video calls from her Independa device, and later went to see the guest about how it was going. She said to me "Kelly this video chat is so cool! I don't care how long I have to be in here now because I can see my daughters!" It's just amazing to see one of our guests be able to connect with a loved one all the way from Italy!"
Kelly M., Director of Rec Therapy
"You don’t need to keep calling me now to remind me, my TV just told me to take my medication!"
93 Year Old Independa User
"I love that Dad can get digital photos now. He didn’t want a Facebook account so the only time he would see any photos was when we came over to visit and we’d show him on our iPhone. Now he gets them himself on the TV all the time, and when people come to visit him he proudly shows them his photo album on the TV."
HUD Building Developer/Operator
"I’ve been using video chat and it has opened up my world – my family who live close by still visit once a week, but now I get to see them every day. I also get to see the rest of the family who live interstate and can’t come to visit. I also video chat with old friends who I haven’t seen for years. It has made such a big difference to my life, I don’t feel isolated anymore. I highly recommend this to other people; it really does change your life."
HUD Building Developer/Operator
"I live in California, my 80 year-old dad lives in Texas and my 21 year-old daughter lives in Colorado. My daughter spends all her time on social media using her smart phone, whereas my dad spends all his time watching TV, he doesn’t understand social media and doesn’t have a smart phone. Independa is great because not only does it bring us closer despite the geographical distance between us, it bridges the gap between the generations because it uses the technology they are most comfortable with."
"We use the video chat feature in the resident’s TV to get the entire circle of care together at once; we will have the nurse and the physical therapist in the room with the resident, and we will then video call their family. That way everyone who is involved in their care gets the same message at the same time and can ask questions while we are present so there is no confusion. One time when we were working with a deaf resident, we were able to arrange for her daughter to sign via video chat and translate what we were saying and the questions her mother had; it made such a huge difference."
Short-term Rehab Operator
"My dad was on the Honor Flight to DC today. An amazing trip for a veteran. I was able to meet him at the Korean War Memorial. He is a Korean War veteran. I was able to send pictures of the entire experience to my mom at home throughout the day. Mom was thrilled, and when my dad gets home he has all the pictures from his trip on his TV and can even play a slideshow. Amazing!!! Thank you!"
Daughter of Independa User
"Video chat on the TV is great! I was using FaceTime on my iPad to see the grandkids and I thought that was the greatest thing, but seeing them all on the big TV is truly incredible, it’s like they are in the room with me. I love it!"
HUD Building Developer/Operator
"When Lillian broke her hip a week before her Grandson’s wedding, she and the family were broken hearted because they thought she would have to miss this very special day. Thankfully, she had chosen Wellbridge of Brighton for her short-term rehab. “I’m going to my Grandson’s wedding” she proudly told the staff as she received the video call through her TV and was instantly ‘seated’ in the front row for the ceremony!"
"I travel a lot for work. I used to worry myself sick about not being able to be there if Mom needed me. She says the smartphone I got her is too small, too complicated, and hard to see, but she loves using Independa. Now she can see all her shows and we can video chat so I can make sure she’s taking her medicine. It’s such a relief to check in anytime and know she’s OK."
Daughter of Independa User