Practical Suggestions to Help Loved Ones Age in Place Safely
Practical Suggestions to Help Loved Ones Age in Place Safely

Managing Mail Remotely – How to Help Your Loved Ones With Snail Mail

During the time I was living overseas, my grandmother called me one day to ask me for help. She had received a piece of mail from the county tax collector, and for the life of her she could not figure out what it meant. I asked her to read it, but she had difficulty understanding and even pronouncing several of the terms. I thought of asking her to take it to a neighbor or friend to help out, but since it was from the tax collector she was a little reluctant to show it to other people. I then got the idea for her to take a picture of the document, give the picture to someone else, and have that person email it to me.

Needless to say, that never happened. I’ll now save you the long story and tell you that the notice from the tax collector turned out to be nothing important at all. But neither of us knew that at the time. We  assumed it was a notice of default, tax levy, or whatever else the tax collector has the power to impose. 

Is There a Solution?

Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a service that could receive our mail for us? Then perhaps they could scan the envelope and send us a picture of the front image so we knew who sent it. After that, wouldn’t it be great if we could tell them we wanted that piece of mail to be either shredded, or scanned and sent to us electronically, or maybe even mailed to another location such as a friend or relative’s house?

That’s exactly what Earth Class Mail does. Have you heard of it? They’ve been around for years and have virtually perfected the process at this point. Their service can help you remotely manage your aging parent’s or grandparent’s mail. Of course you will need to work with your loved one to set up the mail forwarding. That part must be done personally, but it’s a very simple process you can help them with. After that you can help them manage their mail from virtually ANYWHERE, just so long as you have an internet connection.

I’ve used ECM for years. They are reliable, efficient, and most important, trustworthy. I’ve had hard copy checks received on my behalf and deposited for me. I’ve even had credit cards sent there, and they’ve held them for me until I’ve specified an alternate address where they could be mailed. After operating for so many years, being even a little untrustworthy or unreliable would have sunk them. So they are here to stay.

How Much?

The monthly starter plan runs for $69 a month – not exactly cheap – but if you need the peace of mind and ease that comes with managing your aged loved ones mail remotely, you can hardly pick a better service.

An Overview

The front of every piece of mail you receive is scanned. That scanned front copy of the envelope is then emailed to you automatically. From there you can log into the account and specify whether you want the mail trashed (or shredded), or opened and scanned. They will scan every page, front and back if necessary.  It can be scanned in color, or in black and white for a reduced fee. If it’s a check, it can be deposited to your bank account. If it’s something you want to physically receive (like a credit card), you can specify an address and they will mail the original copy to you in a plain white envelope.

For any mail you designate to be shredded, you can always choose to have it stored on their server and/or download the scanned copy. It’s truly an amazing setup. Just think of how it would help you manage a loved one’s mail. No more confusion over not understanding what they have received. No more missed bills or invoices. No more worrying about advertisements or prescreened credit offers they receive by mail (please see my post on how to reduce unwanted sales calls and mail). And the best part is, if you need to send them something that they needed to receive a hard copy of, you simply have it shipped.

Earth Class Mail simply takes away the stress of managing traditional mail remotely.  Helping loved ones manage mail and bills effectively is another important part of enabling them to remain safe and independent at home.

As always, the suggestions and guidance on this site may not fit every family’s situation or needs. Each family needs to discuss what will best work for them according to their needs and budget. Have you found another way to help your elderly relatives manage their mail remotely? Please let me know what you’ve found to be helpful.

Hi, my name is Patrick Baker. This site is set up to provide suggestions and guidance for assisting senior citizens remain independent and at home for as long as possible. This can be accomplished through IADL care, which I've been researching in order to help my own grandmother remain independent and safe while aging in place. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or suggestions.

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