Increased security for seniors living alone

joyfulguyMay 7, 2005

can be obtained eaily by wearing one of those alert system like a necklace, armband, etc.

Hooks into your phone system, usually works as long as you're within a few hundred feet, possibly up to a quarter of a mile, from your phone.

If you have a spell, fall and break a bone, etc. push the button and your phone alerts a central office, the attendant can talk to you and you ask theat they call one of a list of friends wose numbers they have on file who've indicated that they'll come to help you.

Best if they have a key, forif you're inside a locked home, they may break a door or window to get to you, lacking such.

Sounds like a good idea, to me.

Costs about $30. to install and about $25. per month, around here.

Provides not only the subject, but loved ones with an increased measure of peace of mind.

ole joyful

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I'll be 65 in a couple of months, so thoughts of being a senior (officially) are coming to mind. So, this forum just caught my attention. I'll be needing some direction shortly, such as, what to do about government pension plans etc, so I hope I will find assistance here.

Ed, I would be interested in looking into this particular device. What is it called and where can I find it?



    Bookmark   May 10, 2005 at 9:57PM
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Hi Ted,

Several of us recommended such a device to my old step-uncle, who, following three hip replacements, suffered back, hip and leg pain and kept cattle in the barn at age mid 80's. Finally he got one - a couple of months before he had a spell and died after friends took him to the hospital. I think that he'd called them on the phone.

I can't think of the name, just now - ask a local health unit, HMO, hospital or doctor: I'm sure they'll know.

Uncle's place was sold, new owner, who raises sod to peel off, haul to new homes and provide instant grass, wants the land but not the home, so I've moved from the city there. I'd spent a couple of months with Uncle after his wife died three years ago and travelled out almost every day for nearly a year to oversee the farm after Uncle's death.

I'll check out the name of the system and bring it back.

joyful guy

    Bookmark   May 12, 2005 at 12:47PM
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Hi, I am new to this forum and am looking for some information regarding this medical alarm you talk about. When I search online there are so many medical alarm companies that the information gets overwhelming. Who do I trust? Are they reputable? Are there any that you would trust or reccomend. If I come accross anything that looks good , I'll let you know. My father has fallen many times this year and just a few days ago he laid on the floor for 2 hours before I stopped over to see him and noticed him lying next to the phone. He crawled over to it but wasnt able to reach it and call me. Thankfully, he was only bruised. I sat down with him and we had a talk. He has agreed to wear a medical alarm, so now I am looking for the best one out here. Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2005 at 4:07PM
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Buy at the pharmacy.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2005 at 11:37PM
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I offer my sincere regrets for having neglected to respond to these requests, earlier.

There are two kinds of alarm, the basic one being one where you carry an armband or necklace, with an alarm button that you push when you need help (and once a month to test). If you are within a few hundred feet (possibly up to 1/4 mile with some) of the base unit connected to your phone, it sends a message to headquarters and a dispatcher phones some relatives or friends on a list.

An advanced unit allows you, after pushing the button, to talk to the dispatcher when s/he replies, allowing more information to be conveyed. Including instructing the dispatcher to call 911 directly, if indicated, I assume.

The alarm which Uncle used was administered from a hospital for seniors in this area. The people, who in our area are part of the public health system, (Community Care Access Centres - CCAC) dealing with support for seniors who are able to maintain themselves in their own homes but have ongoing medical needs know about the system that many use around here.

Good wishes to all for making use of such a service if it is relevant to your needs.

Another suggestion - if you have fallen and suffered broken bones so are unable to stand ...

... having a phone on the wall is as distant as though it were on anothr planet.

It makes sense to have a moveable phone by your favourite chair in the living room, by the bed, in the garage, basement, etc. So if you can crawl to it - a pull on the cord, and you're in business.

Good wishes for living in reasonable amounts of safety - but without getting bent out of shape over it.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   March 26, 2007 at 3:10AM
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I can weigh in on this - LIFELINE is the recommended device for seniors living alone and it's a rental through your local medical supply outlet. After a brief hospital stay, one of the conditions that an elderly Aunt be allowed to return to her apartment was to have Lifeline. It's a monitor plus a bracelet or necklace. When the service is set up, you list a first and second contact which is really good especially if the contacts are relatively closeby. A couple of times my Aunt rolled over on the necklace accidentally setting off the alarm at the monitoring station. I'd get a phone call and would go over to check and if all was okay I'd reset the monitor. In the event it was a real emergency or none of the contacts could be reached, the fire dept. or ambulance would be dispatched.

It's a real peace of mind device, and the rental fee tends to run between $35 - $40 a month.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2007 at 2:56PM
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Here in Australia there's a service offered by the Red Cross called Telecross. Volunteers ring elderly people at the same time each day to check on them. Disadvantage of course is it doesn't provide immediate help like with one of those devices you wear (which we also have here) but on the other hand if someone can't activate the device for some reason the Telecross people will arrange to check on the person within 24 hours. (I mean because the phone call is made every 24 hours . . . I mean when the call isn't answered then they do something straight away . . . oh, I hope I'm making some sort of sense.) Also I think that regular contact is important for people who might otherwise be quite isolated and lonely. When I did Meals on Wheels I could see for some people it wasn't just about the delivery of a meal but also the regular visit from another human being.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2007 at 10:36AM
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On some of those systems, it's possible to get an add-on that allows the person taking the emergency request at the alarm station to speak to the person with the trouble, I believe, and receive an answer.

Another good contact system is for some seniors to arrange a circuit of a few people, who call one another in pre-arranged sequence at a given hour each morning (and evening, if desired), according to a pre-set schedule. The first person calls the second, who then calls the third, that person then calls the fourth, etc. ... and if the last person on the list doesn't get a call by, say, an hour after the start time, s/he starts calling back through the list to see who broke the line, and then they start checking whether there's something wrong with that person.

Cost per month for 2 persons - 0 ... and for half a dozen ... still 0.

Heck, one can even have a dozen folks on the string .. all at the same price. Can you beat that?

Since everyone is paying for the phone, anyway.

They can set up a schedule beforehand, so that the sequence is changed every few days, in order that the same person isn't always talking to the same person, which gets rather monotonous.

Maybe they'd even get together for lunch, once or twice a month, which would mean a better than usual meal for several of them, and less work to prepare and clean up, as it would be shared.

I hope that you all have a lovely, innovative weekend.

It's a poor day in which one doesn't learn something!

Now ... ... ... if I could just remember what it was that I learned, yesterday!

(Repeating the message several times over ... helps).

ole joyful

    Bookmark   May 25, 2007 at 4:43PM
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OJ thanks for keeping the threads alive. I enjoy all that you have to say!!!

    Bookmark   May 26, 2007 at 2:06AM
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I second that minnie tx. I enjoy all the wisdom which is shared here. Thanks in advance to you all for sharing.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2007 at 4:29PM
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My friend Patti can barely walk. She keeps a cell phone with her at all times. She fell in a hallway, called for help. Everything was okay.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2007 at 10:38AM
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Cell phones - that one carries with one at all times, even in a bag hung around one's neck - are a helpful addition to the resources available to seniors.

If dealing only with land-line phones, it may be wise to have phone sitting loose on a table.

Suppose one fell, breaking a leg, and is lying on the floor.

A phone stuck on the wall, about 4' off of the floor ...
... might as well be on another planet.

What a job ... dragging one's self to a chair (or step-stool), dragging it to phone, then dragging one's body up on the (helper) ... without tipping it over ...

... and, finally reaching the phone.

So - I guess it was a bit better than having it on another planet.

Slightly so.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   July 5, 2007 at 5:16AM
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How did we ever exist without cell phones?? Remember the old Dick Tracy wrist radios? that was a sure sign of things to come!!

I still have a land line phone too. If I don't answer the cell DS will call on the landline.I think a note on the back of your front door is good to have too, listing who are the important people to call should you not be able to communicate.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2007 at 1:10PM
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For anyone that might not be able to afford the monthly fee for a system like the Lifeline you can purchase a dialer at Radio Shack (and probably other places). This can be set up to dial anyone you choose and that person can hear what is going on in your house. The button is worn on a cord around your neck. The only cost is the initial price of the unit which is around $100.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2007 at 10:00PM
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I'm thinking that I should carry a paper in my wallet giving the phone numbers of the few people that one could call to let them know of my sudden emergency, if I can't, with those people having my son's number, to keep trying to contact him, should he be unavailable at the time of the emergency.

By the way ... it's a good idea to let the two or three people on the calling list from your Lifeline have keys to your house, for if they get a call from Lifeline staff that you're in trouble in your home ... how do you like the idea of a broken door or window, if your doors are locked??

I hope that you're having a problem-free, enjoyable weekend.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   July 7, 2007 at 4:13PM
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With regard to friends listed with Lifeline having keys, I have another advatage, living on a farm, where there are several outbuildings. I can hide a key somewhere in one of them, then tell each of those people where the key is, so they don't need to have one to keep track of in their place ... and maybe have to go hunting for, if they get an emergency call.

It gets a bit difficult to hide a key like that in an unusual place, in the city.

o j

    Bookmark   July 7, 2007 at 4:20PM
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Hi Ned,

What's involved with the paper on the back of the door?

I don't understand what system that may be and how it's supposed to work.

Could you explain, please?

Hope that your days are going well.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   November 29, 2007 at 4:25PM
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I'm 85, going on 6, and wear my cellphone on a belt around my waist. It has been a godsend to me. I'm outside a lot, puttering in my garden, and otherwise leading an active life.

Recently, I flew to Florida for my grandson's wedding. The cellphone was great - notifying my relatives of my arrivals and uneventful departures. They were able to find me in the airport terminals when I arrived without problem. In other words, we were kept informed from the moment I boarded the plane to go, until my return home several days later.

Also - I only give my cellphone number to folks I want to hear from. The telemarketers and spammers can have the landline and I only need it to carry me to the internet/computer connections. - LOL.

Just my 2 c's.


    Bookmark   December 17, 2007 at 6:28PM
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Greetings bejay9_10,

Thank you for an interesting message that may well be useful to several.

When you say that you're 85 ...

... going on 6 ...

... does that indicate the onset of second childhood?

Jes wonderin'.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   December 20, 2007 at 3:54PM
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Another Frugal Function for people living in (esp. seniors') apts. is that the first person to go to bed on one side of an interior wall taps on the wall before hitting the hay ... and the person on the other side of that wall taps back.

Lets each know that the other is O.K. just before first person's bedtime.

Then the person goes to the interior wall on the other side of the apt. and repeats the procedure (if s/he's the first one to settle).

Then each of those two know that each is O.K just before bedtime.

Caution: For the person living in an end unit, maybe a good idea to put a large sign on the (inside of the) outside wall, saying, "Tap here before bed and again in the morning if you like ... but don't expect an answer: the squirrels don't like to learn to tap on walls".

(That's for folks who may be a bit "squirrelly", themselves).

The last one to arise in the morning on each side of a senior's apt. taps again, and the first, who rose earlier, taps a reply: that way, each of those three knows that the other was O.K. some time after break of day.



Peace of mind?

Substantial ... not only to the people themselves, but to their loved ones who are concerned about them.

When I was a missionary helping refugees get resettled ... we used to have a slogan (accompanied by some laughter) that said that part of a missionary's job ...

... was to learn how to make a nickel do a dollar's worth of work!

Inflation having been what it's been over those 55 years or so since that truce that ended the active Korean War (still no official "peace" there) ... I guess that'd be about a quarter, by now.

Enjoy your week, everyone.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   June 2, 2008 at 8:25PM
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this is an interesting and helpful thread.

when my husband died, I started putting my affairs in order. I did the usual things, poa, living will, prepay my cremation, etc.. when I finished I made a list of the poa, funeral home, with all the necessary phone numbers and put it in my wallet behind the plastic window. I made sure the "in case of emergency" showed through the window. Many people never think of that and it is important for me because I don't have family to take of it.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2008 at 2:20PM
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Hi stargazzer,

I'm wondering ... when you chose your name here, did you intend it to be "stargazer" ...

... but did you fall asleep in the middle of setting it up??

Jes' wonderin'.

I hope that you've been enjoying spring.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   June 10, 2008 at 11:51PM
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Not to put any more "just my 2 cents worth" in at this time, having offered a suggestion to apartment dwellers that could offer much peace of mind to not only residents, but concerned family members, as well, previously - and at $00.00 cost ...

... I'm just dragging this back to the top again, for some who might be interesteed and don't travel down a lot of pages of info.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   January 28, 2012 at 2:22PM
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Last visit to the top o' the heap for this message was nearly 2 years ago.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   December 13, 2013 at 6:32PM
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