Aging parent/Emergency "necklace"

<p>Do any CC'ers have experience with products that allow the wearer to send some sort of emergency communication if they fall? We have all seen the commercials (and probably made fun of them :)) but with the parents of baby boomers now well into their 80's I am hoping that someone out there has personal experience with one of the companies that offer these.</p>

<p>I have just started looking into these for my mother. One option we are seriously considering is through her home alarm company. She already has a burglar alarm (old model--20 yrs plus) and evidently through an upgrade she can have a little fob (like with your car) that she can put on a bracelet or wear on a "necklace". She is still resisting somewhat and claims that if she falls, she could surely crawl or drag herself to one of the cordless phones.</p>

<p>My mom hasn't hit her eighties yet, but she does live by herself in a somewhat isolated place. We ask her to carry her cell phone or portable phone at all times. Especially if she goes outside, where a phone might not be so reachable.</p>

<p>This winter, she slipped on the ice going out to get her mail. And couldn't get traction to stand up again (yes, she "fell and couldn't get up.") Luckily, she didn't injure anything (just her dignity!). A neighbor happened to be nearby and came over to lend a hand (after himself slipping on the same hidden patch.) but, she did have her phone in her pocket, and would've called for help if she needed to.</p>

<p>So far, that seems to be working out, and she is very agreeable that it's a good idea.</p>

<p>My mother had one in the assisted living where she used to live. She didn't use it because she didn't want to trouble anyone. Instead, the two times she fell (breaking a bone both times), she just yelled until a staff member came. :eek: </p>

<p>This is an extreme example! I think they're an excellent investment, but since I've never actually bought one, I don't know which company to recommend. My mom had a very lightweight pendant. </p>

<p>If your parent is anything like mine, be sure to make a careful "sales pitch" that emphasizes the value of having one.</p>

<p>We had Lifeline for my mother who lived alone, far from us, infirm, in her late 80's. She would NOT come to live near us and wouldn't sell her house. We INSISTED that she get it and it was hooked up to our local hospital. You could call the hospital by her to get a read on their opinion but I have to tell you, it was worth its weight in gold. She fell on two different nights and couldn't get up. (just like the ads, but its true) The poilce had to come and break in to get her but they did, thank goodness. She hated wearing it ("I feel like a cat with a bell around its neck!") but it saved her life numerous times.</p>

<p>My mother-in-law lived alone until she was in her early 80s. We got her one of these necklaces and it paid off. She did fall one time and was able to get help. She hated it, but admitted that it worked when she needed it. This service would call and check on her too. I think it was Lifeline, but I'm not certain.</p>

<p>We got Lifeline for my elderly MIL. She hates it and I'm not sure she wears it all the time. We do nag her about it. So far, has not had the opportunity to use it.<br>
Falls are a big concern though...</p>

<p>My mother had one. I can't remember the name of the company. It may have ben through the local Rescue Squad assoc. She did not seem to mind wearing it. Instead of the necklace thing, her's was on a wristband. I think that was much nicer since it was not always dangling and obtrusive. I think the cost was about $50/month (that was 5 years ago though). She took a couple falls before getting it. Twice the rescue squad had to come to the house and help her up. She was able to scoot herself to the kitchen and actually got the broom out of the kitchen pantry and knocked the phone off the wall to call 911.</p>

<p>After getting the emergency bracelet, she had two more falls and used the bracelet to summon help. In one case, it saved her life. She was taking Coumadin at the time and cut her leg on a piece of furniture while falling. She was bleeding heavily by time the rescuers showed up. They took her straight to the hospital. That service was worth every penny.</p>

<p>We got one of the emergency "thingies" for my mother. She had a bad fall but refused to activate it and "bother anyone." :rolleyes:</p>

<p>My parents aren't there yet but my next door neighbor is! She refuses to move, lives alone, etc. I take her trash to the curb every week and every week I peek my head in the can to make sure there is still trash in there and she is still alive. She has a lot of mental issues and doesn't want to communicate with any of the neighbors.<br>
So....if you can get your parent(s) to wear one of these, speaking from the neighbor point of few please do!</p>

<p>My mother, who lives alone, has one o these "thingies" (necklace). I think it is very important to have because in any sort of emergency, a person may not be able to get to the phone to get help. They can click the necklace and talk from wherever they are in the house and it is picked up by a speaker to the emergency company who talks to the person (kinda like an intercom) and calls for emergency help to come. Neighbors have keys to the house and the company knows who has the keys. I recall I wasn't too pleased that my mom only wore it at night as that makes no sense as something can happen during the day! She may now wear it during the day but I am not sure. </p>

<p>Garland, while my mother owns a cell phone, it frustrates me to no end that it is never turned on and she never uses it to receive calls. She just uses it like most would use a land line....to make long distance calls. If she is out and about, she doesn't have the cell turned on and can't be reached. :rolleyes:</p>

<p>My mom had a problem this year where she felt she was having a heart attack (she didn't) and she does have a heart condition and had to spend a few days at the hospital. She didn't use the necklace thing and called my brother who lives about a half hour away and waited for him and I thought that was not too wise and defeated the purpose of the emergency help at her finger tips and the time it took for him to get there could have been the loss of precious minutes. She was like, "what would I do if he was out of town (he does travel for work and his wife has MS and is not able to do anything in this way)?" I'm like: "that's why you have the necklace thing!!!"</p>

<p>My sister-in-law also has this same thingy as she is wheelchair bound due to MS and is home alone often. I don't think she has used it yet. But one night she did have an emergency that needed someone to come over and her husband and son were at a school concert. However, I think she had her portable phone with her and was able to call a friend to come. She is not elderly and so the issues are not exactly the same.</p>

<p>I had an aunt who did fall and break a hip, and she wasn't able to reach a phone. They were all too high. She dragged/crawled herself to the front door, got the screen door open and finally a neighbor getting the mail heard her. </p>

<p>I would think that if there is a risk of this, the pendant thing would be a reasonable way to address it.</p>

<p>We have Lifeline for my mother who is in her 80's and has severe osteoporosis. About 2 months ago she fell and broke her hip and was unable to move. Thankfully she was wearing her "help I've fallen but I can't get up" necklace and she was able to summon help.</p>

<p>The company has the phone numbers of several contacts, and the emergency operator made her way down the list till she got to me,( I live several states away).
The operator told me that they tried to call my mother, and when no one answered the phone, they dispatched an ambulance. They wanted to know if someone would meet them to open my mother's door, otherwise they would break down the door to get to her.<br>
Luckily, a neighbor has a key to my mother's house and was able to let in the EMTs and they transported mom to the hospital.</p>

<p>I was very impressed with the service and it is well worth the money. The emergency operator called me back several time to let me know what was going on, and then called to tell me which hospital mom was being transported to.</p>

<p>My friend (MS and wheelchair-bound) has Lifeline through a local hospital. While she thinks their "reminders" are a pain, I have been called when she needed help and so have others on the list. Never anything serious and we usually get a good laugh (She was pruning hedges and got her wheelchair stuck in the mud and needed help).</p>

<p>My neighbor across the street fell and broke his hip in his kitchen and waited hours before his next door neighbor came home and he could call out to her for help. (Thank God the kitchen door was open and near where the neighbor parked her car!)</p>

<p>I'm 59 and I don't know why someone elderly wouldn't wear one of these. If/when I get so fragile, I'd wear one in a minute.</p>

<p>VeryHappy, today's eighty year olds, like my Mom, came of age in the Depression and World War II. As I see it, we have to justify everything based on "if it's worth the money." </p>

<p>They also imagine more community activity all around, but it isn't always the case where they live.</p>

<p>I have the Mom who lives in a l9th century farmhouse alone, won't keep a cellphone active (soozievt, I hear you), and as for cowbells around her neck, fuggetabout it. She's independent spirited but perhaps not realistic about her physical situation. </p>

<p>So my brother showed her the costs of keeping her house going. The property taxes, heat, and so forth. This was the only way we could get her to say to herself that she might be wiser to not live alone in a rural, isolated situation.</p>

<p>She's thinking about her options, and hasn't accepted to come live with us, but at least her next location will be in a more populated building of some kind, perhaps in a small city with a friend. </p>

<p>My H's 90-year-old elders (a couple and a maiden aunt living next door) all live in the same urban neighborhood house where the sisters were born! But at least there are three of them, always visiting and arguing with each other. They're actually safer, but equally independent/stubborn as far as equipping themselves with "expensive" machinery to stay safe. They also won't accept same from their kids who'd pay for it.</p>

<p>I think the key to it is to talk money. They're from the "Greatest Generation" and every penny has symbolic meaning as to how it's spent on them. </p>

<p>They have no idea how frustrating it is to try to care for them, despite the greatness of their generation. Maybe the Baby Boomers will drive our kids crazy by wanting every newfangled machine invented each month.</p>

<p>You are so right Paying3. My mother has discontinued cell phone service (that I gave her as a gift --twice) because she rarely used it and it was a waste of money.</p>

<p>She is so independent and hates things that make her "feel" old--like using a cane now, me wanting her to get an alert necklace, and using her handicapped parking permit (that I had to drag her to DMV to get). She also discontinued her internet service because she kept track of how many minutes a month she used it and it came up in the "not worth it" column.</p>

<p>I got Lifeline for my mother at age 84. It was about $50/month. The concept is terrific, but my mother was "afraid of it" (her words). She was so confused about most things so I'm not sure it would have helped her if she needed it.</p>

<p>Now that she has passed away, I asked my dad to use it, but he is also now so stubborn that he will not. It is a shame because he fell last night and cut his head. Fortunately he made it to a phone to call 911.</p>

<p>
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Maybe the Baby Boomers will drive our kids crazy by wanting every newfangled machine invented each month.

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</p>

<p>Speaking as a recent college grad whose Boomer mother has reached old age at a young age (she's late-fifties, in assisted living, and I had to take the car away last year, unfortunately...) it's less that she wants every newfangled machine invented each month and more that she's constantly calling me to have me walk her through how to use the newfangled machines that she once was entirely proficient at using (in her heyday, she programmed punchcards for all her graduate work, and spent most of the day posting on the forums over at Prodigy)... Now, though, she can't see her cell phone and will put it on settings I didn't even know existed so that nobody can get in touch with her, she'll lock herself out of her e-mail account and not be able to remember the answers to the inexplicable security questions that she's fabricated, and heaven help me when I try to pass along URLs over the phone because she wants to see the new photos I've posted and can't get her computer to boot so she has to use the community computers, which of course don't have her bookmarks. As things get worse, she starts responding to spam mail and giving out personal information.</p>

<p>Not so sure that Boomers' familiarity with technology is going to make things easier or rougher on my generation...</p>

<p>^^Aibarr, that is really sad. I'm sorry. </p>

<p>Those assisted living places will need tech support as much as an on-site nurse, so the young adults can get some work done.</p>