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Old 12-05-2012, 05:58 PM   #1
MOREMICKEYFORME
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Need advice on LifeAlert for Seniors (or something similar)

My mom lives alone about 20 minutes from me in a two level home and is in her 70's. She is beginning to get very forgetful and "scatter-brained". I have brought up the topic of her living with me or one of my five sisters (yes...six daughters), but she doesn't want to be a bother to anyone-even though we tell her repeatedly that she will never be a bother. She enjoys her freedom and her independence. We are all pretty local, so we all check in on her quite a bit with calls and visits, but I was thinking that it might be a good idea to get a LifeAlert necklace or something similar. Does anyone have any experience with anything like this?

The group of sisters is getting together after the holidays to discuss our options because I want to have a "plan" in case something bad should happen instead of waiting for an accident and THEN taking action.

So, I would appreciate any feedback you all have in regards to these necklaces, buttons, or home systems....

Thanks!!
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Old 12-05-2012, 06:06 PM   #2
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My husband and his brothers just went in together on a system like this for my MIL. She has the necklace with the button, and also a wrist device if she doesn't feel like wearing the necklace. It also came with the speaker-style box. It tracks her not only at home, but if she's away from home, she can still push the button and get assistance.

She's used it several times (mostly by accident, much to the chagrin of the local PD/FD). They're very good about calling the family - they have what they call a ladder call list - if they can't get the first person, they call the next, and so on.

I'm not sure if it is LifeAlert or another company, but I can tell you it was $500 for the whole shebang. And that's per year, not a one-time fee.
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Old 12-05-2012, 06:29 PM   #3
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Our local hospital runs a "LifeLine." The installation is done by volunteers and it costs $30 a month.

I do home health and encourage some of my elderly to get it. They want to tell me it takes away their independence but I try to explain to them that it lets them keep it.

I think it is a good thing but look around to see what is available. Some can be run through a home security system. If you don't know if there is any locally run system available, call your local department on aging.
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Old 12-05-2012, 08:45 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BearcatsFan View Post
She's used it several times (mostly by accident, much to the chagrin of the local PD/FD). They're very good about calling the family - they have what they call a ladder call list - if they can't get the first person, they call the next, and so on.
My mom's neighbor has one, and the accidential activations have been a giant pain. Somehow the neighbor put my mom (who is 89) on her ladder call list, (the neighbor is 80) along with all the surrounding neighbors and there has been more than 1 false alarm call in the wee hours of the morning.
You get 3 free false alarms then the fire department starts dinging you with a $250 false alarm fee. Fortunately for the neighbor, the fire department was able to determine the false alarms were caused by faulty equipment....it malfunctioned in their presence....so they have been fining the alarm company, not the neighbor.
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Old 12-05-2012, 07:06 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MOREMICKEYFORME View Post
My mom lives alone about 20 minutes from me in a two level home and is in her 70's. She is beginning to get very forgetful and "scatter-brained". I have brought up the topic of her living with me or one of my five sisters (yes...six daughters), but she doesn't want to be a bother to anyone-even though we tell her repeatedly that she will never be a bother. She enjoys her freedom and her independence. We are all pretty local, so we all check in on her quite a bit with calls and visits, but I was thinking that it might be a good idea to get a LifeAlert necklace or something similar. Does anyone have any experience with anything like this?

The group of sisters is getting together after the holidays to discuss our options because I want to have a "plan" in case something bad should happen instead of waiting for an accident and THEN taking action.

So, I would appreciate any feedback you all have in regards to these necklaces, buttons, or home systems....

Thanks!!
They just got one for my grandmother who will be 93 in January and still lives alone. She's has been in great health until the last year, but is having issues with degenerative discs in her back and so she is a bit unsteady on her feet. Her mind is sharp as a tack, though.

It makes her 3 kids feel better to have her have it and she loves her independence. She refuses to even use a walker or wheelchair.

I was a bit surprised at the size of the box they install in the house. It's the size of a boot sized shoebox.

My mom and aunt check in on her daily.
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Old 12-05-2012, 07:33 PM   #6
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Walmart has a version that's $14.95 per month. I don't know tge details, but you might want to investigate that one as well.
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Old 12-05-2012, 07:38 PM   #7
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We had one for my mom,she had a necklace and a bracelet, I dont remember the company. But do your research and call around, so many different prices, also some go to a call center first, not the actual police etc.
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Old 12-05-2012, 08:36 PM   #8
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I'l be watching this thread too. My mom had a stroke last Oct. and has been a bit weak since then. Just last week she passed out and fell down in the bathroom. Fortunately she wasn't hurt too bad but it was very scary for her. Apparently one of her meds. makes her feel very light headed.

I was wondering how much these systems cost and am having a bit of sticker shock.
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Old 12-05-2012, 08:49 PM   #9
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We bought one for my MIL and it always worked when we tested it (which they tell you to do). My MIL, on the other hand, never, ever used it even though she fell multiple times. When we were searching for assisted living places, every one of them said the percentage of elderly patients that refuse to push the button is astronomically high because they are either embarrassed or they don't want to inconvenience anyone.
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Old 12-05-2012, 08:52 PM   #10
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My DH I think has just decided on Life Alert for his mom. She is only 63 but has been disabled for around 10 years, my FIL died unexpectedly 3 weeks ago today and took care of her. She fell in October and if FIL hadn't been there, she could have laid there a long time. My SIL (her daughter!) lives down the street but is refusing to check on her she doesn't work and the only child at home is 17 year old senior in high school! Grr, sorry, it's all still new and my DH is there 5 days a week, he's there now. He was looking into several and I'm pretty sure it's Life Alert he (and his brother) decided on.
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Old 12-11-2012, 12:58 PM   #11
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I called LifeAlert for my mother. I just wanted the pricing info, but they made me give all my info - Phone number, names, addresses, etc. before they would give me any type of quote. Ok, no big deal. The price wasn't that bad, it was $99 for the unit, and then $19.99 per month after that, and as far as I could remember, that was it. I got the info from them, told then I would speak with my mother about it, and if she agreed to it, I would call them back, and hook it up. Well.... stubborn Mom way 150% against it!!! No way was she ever getting anything like that! Ok, fine. I only live about 5 minutes away, and stopped in every single day, usually 2-3 times getting her stuff, etc.

Life Alert was so horribly annoying!! They would call me at least once to twice a week, asking me to sign up. They were, for the most part, very elderly people who were calling, and they kept telling me their stories on how THEY themselves have it, and so do all their friends, and how its such a life saver, yada yada yada. Well, thats great, and I'm happy for them, however, I can't force my mother to get it. I would thank them, and tell them I'd call them, if my Mother decided to sign up.
After a few weeks of them calling 1-2 times a week, I got a little more abrasive with them. I asked them to stop calling. I said if we wanted the product, I have their number, and would call, but to PLEASE take me off their call list.
My mother sadly passed away this October in a hospital. They kept calling. Finally, I couldn't take anymore of their calls. I told them - "Shes dead. We have no need for it anymore! Please take us off your call list already!" FINALLY, they have stopped harassing us.

So if you want to go with them, make sure you mean it, because they will call and call till you do!
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Old 12-06-2012, 10:26 AM   #12
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One caveat, they have to actually wear the thing. We got my dad one and maybe a year later we got a call from the hospital. He was fine but long story short I asked him where the heck the med alert necklace was and he said.."oh upstairs on the bed post".

Great dad, if the bed falls down the stairs it's all ready.
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Old 12-06-2012, 10:59 AM   #13
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my 80 year old DF asked for one after he fell in the bathroom and could not move for 8 hours. He wears his necklace under his shirt. I was concerned that he would not wear it. Thankfully he has never had to push the button!
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Old 12-06-2012, 12:03 PM   #14
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For those concerned about their parent not wanting to wear the necklace, my MIL's system also came with a wrist unit she can wear like a watch under her shirt sleeve. That might be something to look into.
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Old 12-05-2012, 08:43 PM   #15
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Agree with others. Do some research, and it an be very affordable. My mother is only 67, but has had a number if health problems. After she broke her hip last year she was visited by a county elder care worker who gave her info about a number of services, including a life alert type service. While she had never seriously had to use it, she used it accidentally once, and I was pleased with the response and communication.
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