Need recommendations -- patient to caregiver alarm or alert
This is my first post on this forum. I usually scan the house forums and have found tons of very useful advice there. I only recently noticed the health forum and this caregivers one in particular and am just totally impressed by the caring, compassion, and helpful advice I've seen during just a very brief time. You all are truly angels.
I am the primary caregiver at home for my wife, who is in bed for much of the time due to cancer and its related side effects from infusions, medications, etc. She is able to get to an adjacent bathroom fairly well and she is able to shower herself. She is nevertheless rather frail and has fallen twice during the past couple of months, luckily without serious injury. She occasionally will use her walker during medical appointments when she feels especially weak. It's difficult to use the walker at home without much major reorganizing. We live in a fairly large two-story home with all bedrooms upstairs.
Although I am her 24/7 caregiver, there are many times throughout the day when I am in different parts of the house attending to laundry, meal preparation, cleaning, etc. The challenge is to find an effective way for her to let me know that she needs my immediate help. We have tried a variety of ways to communicate. She will try to call out, but I often cannot hear her for a variety of reasons (I'm too far away, her voice is not very strong, or I may be outside to let our dogs out, etc.). She sometimes will telephone our home number using her cell phone, which she keeps in the nightstand next to her bed. That usually works fine. We also purchased a pair of walkie-talkies. I carry one with me all the time. She keeps hers with her cell phone in the nightstand and turns it on only when she needs to contact me. This method works well especially when I'm outside due to the longer range of the radios, but the big disadvantage is that mine frequently needs recharging because it's on all the time. As per Murphy's Law, there have been numerous times she has tried to call me by walkie-talkie radio, only to have mine sitting in the recharger.
I'm trying to find a better way for her to contact me during times when urgency is important. My own thought would be a very simple setup in which she would wear a wristband device (so it could be on her constantly) with a button that she could press to trigger another pager-like device that I could carry in my pocket. We wouldn't need to converse as per the telephone or walkie-talkies. All I would need is an audible alert that would let me know to go to her. A workable range of about 100 yards would cover most situations.
We're not talking about the LifeAlert type systems for people who live alone. I have seen some other devices online, but the receivers are either too large to carry or are not designed to be carried, or are more like radios that would have the same challenge of replacing or recharging batteries all the time. I've seen some devices with a range of 100 feet, but that might not be enough. We've thought of whistles, but it would be a challenge for her to generate the degree of loudness to cover some scenarios we face.
-- A simple transmitter that she can wear 24/7 and activate easily
-- A receiver that I can put in a pants pocket and not have to replace or recharge batteries every day or two
-- Range of about 100 yards
Does anyone know of such devices as I have described, or something similar?
I apologize for this very long post. Thanks in advance!