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Emergency Pendants / Monitoring for Elderly Love Ones - service/product suggestions?

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  • Emergency Pendants / Monitoring for Elderly Love Ones - service/product suggestions?

    I know this is off-topic but I figured there's a lot of smart folks who are well researched so here goes...

    Can someone suggest a good home remote monitoring system (phone center ready to offer assistance) for the elderly, like Life Alert (remember "help I've fallen and I can't get up"? Ideally the system would include a wristwatch as a pendant option that can be depressed in an emergency (let's say a loved one falls and has trouble getting up) and no cameras. Links to good reviews of different systems would be appreciated. Most of the companies I see who offer this stuff seem branded very "as seen on tv" or have pushy salespeople, but maybe that doesn't mean that they offer poor quality service.

  • #2
    I have a friend who got one last year and really liked it. I will send him an email and get the brand and an update on how well it is working for you. I do know in the beginning he said his biggest problem was remembering to keep it with him.

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    • #3
      I was looking into these myself. There was one that would trip the alert if you fell and were unable to respond. I'm trying to find the name of the company again. The local COA (Council on Aging) might have recommendations too.
      312/149/150

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      • #4
        My grandfather had one many years ago (pre cell phone) that worked pretty well off the shelf from CVS. If I were going to do it today I would go with a cell phone. Here's one that does nothing but call 911: http://911phone.net/

        You can also, for well under a $1,000 set up a multi camera web based monitoring system.

        My elderly landlords both have a medicare paid for system such as you mention and you can guess where the pendants are: up on the bureau.
        Wheat is the new tobacco. Spread the word.

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        • #5
          I can't offer any particular help with what brands are good or not as good but working for the ambulance I have gotten to see these things in action. We have had a few calls where it was VERY useful in getting help to someone who needed it but I would say the majority of the time we get sent out for these its someone who has bumped the button and then not heard the people asking if they are ok. (Most of them have a base station thing and the dispatcher for the company can talk to the folks through it, but only if the old folks hear it!)

          That being said I think they are a GREAT idea and I'd rather go to 10 houses for people that bumped the button by accident then miss one little old lady or man lying on the floor unable to get up!
          Just make sure you set up the base station in the area that the person is most likely to actually hear it!

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          • #6
            I just got an email from my friend and he said he has an ATD system, set up with a pendant and a smoke alarm. He told me a story of how he wore the pendant for 2 weeks and said it has been sitting on his shelf since then. He did have an encounter where he was cooking and whatever he was cooking started smoking alot and within minutes he had a call from the company asking if everything was okay, but they needed his password in order to turn the alarm off and he couldn't remember his password (I had a similar thing happen with my dad, so this is common). Once he was able to get off the phone with them, the fire department called and he had to reassure them, then he got a call from his son. So, the system worked well at getting him attention over smoke, though nothing was done because he never remembered his password. They did call the fire department and his son, though. Had he fallen, the pendant wouldn't have helped. He told me he almost canceled over that but he figured it worked faster than calling 911 on a cell phone, and mostly any problem was personal error and that system he has was actually a good one.

            I don't know if that helps, but there are a few things to consider.
            Last edited by Roberta; 12-27-2010, 06:36 PM.

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            • #7
              I'm thinking a wristwatch is better than a necklace pendant - more likely to be worn. Researching and asking around some people recommended Lifeline by Phillips though it does seem to be a bit pricier.

              Lifestation also looked interesting but they do seem to own this review site (which I suspect they own) that is kind of spammy. Lifestation also seems to have some call center association seal of approval for their call centers, which in theory is good. Otherwise I get the sense that these systems are all useful but just have a hard time distinguishing themselves - given the lack of too many complaints/reviews online. Yeah there's an occasional complaint about a pushy salesperson but not too many about being unresponsive in emergencies thank goodness. This seemed like a pretty good site with reviews but is kind of horribly designed:
              http://www.medicalalertreviews.com/

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              • #8
                Originally posted by mizski View Post
                I was looking into these myself. There was one that would trip the alert if you fell and were unable to respond. I'm trying to find the name of the company again. The local COA (Council on Aging) might have recommendations too.


                Rosalie to Mizski or anyone who has the information, I have also been looking for the one that would trip the alert if unable to respond. If you have the contact information. Would you please e-mail it to me. Thank you [QUOTE]

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                • #9
                  Everyone knows my opinion on this.
                  In all of the universe there is only one person with your exact charateristics. Just like there is only one person with everybody else's characteristics. Effectively, your uniqueness makes you pretty average.

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                  • #10
                    My mother uses a great emergency alert for seniors. Emergency Alerts for Seniors and the Anatomy of a CST Call | Personal Emergency Response | Medical Alert, Alarms, Systems for seniors, Elderly the medical alert company behind this product is just as great as the product itself. They are always helpful and seem to really care about their customers. Great purchase and great experience.

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                    • #11
                      EDIT: I just saw how old this thread is. My bad.

                      My 90 year old MIL has one that is through our local hospital - a home health care nurse affiliated with the hospital came out and set it up. It's 31.50/month and well worth it in my opinion. She's had it 5 years and never had to use it thankfully - she is in pretty good health and able to lives alone still, my husband and I live 2 miles from her and go check on her daily and call her also - but it gives us a peace of mind that if she does fall (she has fallen once but had the phone with her so she called us) that she can get immediate help.. We had to give 3 local people whom they would contact if the alarm goes off or she doesn't respond to monthly check ins, and they call them in order (my husband and I are first,, and 2 sets of neighbors are next in line). If the 3 contacts are not available they send police/emt out to her home, and they can tell them how to get into the house (where the key is hidden). Contact your local hospital or Area Agency on Aging and see if something locally set up is available.

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                      • #12
                        I think they can be good, but you need to do a lot of practice runs to make it possibly useful. My M-I-L at 88 had one, but for her it was useless, when in stress and even slightly with dementia, they don't think to use it. She fell during the night and didn't use it. We asked her what the cord was for around her neck and she said she hadn't a clue, although previously we had done a lot of trial runs.
                        Started Primal June 2012 at 148.5lbs, and 5' 1", reached goal weight in 5 months.
                        Lowest weight 93lbs - too thin. Now stable at around 100lbs much better weight for me at my age.
                        Primal, minus eggs, dairy and a myriad of other allergens.

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                        • #13
                          That's quite common, Silvergirl. I used to be an EMT in a small town and have gone to my fair share of calls where the senior had been on the floor for half a day or longer with their emergency alert around their neck, but had never thought to press the button. Then it'd be too late for them to get stroke treatment. It's unfortunate. The best is still having a neighbor or relative check on the person daily.

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                          • #14
                            Hmm, seems like there are some spam posts here too. It amazes me that most of these products are either relabels of eachother or clones. Where is the innovation in this area? Saw one company that had a pendant with accelerometer to autodetect falls, but I think it was still in dev and looked pricey. I mean hell you can get an app that measures the movement of your mattress to record your sleeping patterns. Someone should make a smartphone app so you can put a device on your person and then it calls when a fall is detected.

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                            • #15
                              Some of the devices have a little accelerometer in them that initiates the call if the person is completely still for too long. We got a false call for that one last week! He took it off while he took a shower. Oops.

                              But I still think they are a good idea!

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