Need advice on LifeAlert for Seniors (or something similar)

Discussion in 'Community Board' started by MOREMICKEYFORME, Dec 5, 2012.

  1. MOREMICKEYFORME

    MOREMICKEYFORME 2 Pirates + 2 Princesses= 1 Family!

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    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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  3. BearcatsFan

    BearcatsFan <font color=green>we finally had a minute to breat

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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.
     
  4. Breezy_Carol

    Breezy_Carol Who needs doors when you can use windows

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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.
     
  5. Southernmiss

    Southernmiss <font color=green>I am hazed everyday<br><font col

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    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.
     
  6. kaytieeldr

    kaytieeldr Reserving the right to make jokes out of typos - b

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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.
     
  7. momtojandj

    momtojandj Mouseketeer

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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.
     
  8. Fly4free

    Fly4free DIS Veteran

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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. :eek:
     
  9. figment814

    figment814 Mouseketeer

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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.
     
  10. tvguy

    tvguy Question anything the facts don't support.

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    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.
     
  11. LisaR

    LisaR <img src=http://www.wdwinfo.com/images/silver.jpg>

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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. :scared: 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. :mad:
     
  12. ZachnElli

    ZachnElli <font color=green>Is it Spring yet?<br><font color

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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 :rolleyes: 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.
     
  13. aprilgail2

    aprilgail2 Guest

    Mine is built in with my alarm system- the alarm system and life alert thing was free to install and costs us 49.00 a month for monitoring. I know for sure it works because we have used it once already!
     
  14. MOREMICKEYFORME

    MOREMICKEYFORME 2 Pirates + 2 Princesses= 1 Family!

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    Thank you all for the great suggestions. I started looking into a week ago options but found it overwhelming, so I decided my Dis friends would be able to share their opinions-and I was right!

    Thanks for the ideas about Wal-mart...I didn't know that was offered, I will certainly look into that.

    Also the suggestion to look to my local senior citizens agency. I didn't think of that, either!
     
  15. MIGrandma

    MIGrandma Lives in the middle-of-the-mitten.

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    My Mom is 75 and lives alone, I suggested this to her and she's "not ready" for it. I wish she would do it, for my peace of mind! :) I do worry about her falling and not being able to get to the phone. But I can't force her to get one.

    The house next door to us (where my in-laws lived when we moved here to my husband's childhood home) has been empty for a few years now, I would love to have her move out here by us but she doesn't think she would be comfortable living in the country where houses are few and far between. She especially wouldn't like it when we go on vacation in the winter, and up to our northern property during the warmer weather months. She wouldn't want to be completely alone here on the farm.
     
  16. BearcatsFan

    BearcatsFan <font color=green>we finally had a minute to breat

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    I feel for you. A bad fall is exactly what it finally took for my MIL to agree to one. She's 87, and at first she decided she wasn't going to tell anyone she had fallen. Then she fell again. :worried:

    We'd all been talking to her for the last 2 years about getting a system, but she was strongly opposed ("It's MY life, I've been taking care of myself for years, I don't NEED that", etc.). Even after her friend fell and laid in the floor for 3 days (she had broken her arm AND hip), my MIL still wasn't convinced until something actually happened to her.

    I wish you the best of luck - it can be hard to convince someone, especially if they perceive it as giving up their independence.
     
  17. arminnie

    arminnie <font color=blue>Tossed the butter kept the gin<br

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    Biggest problem - not wearing the necklace. Particularly if it is a man.

    A better solution for us was a small cell phone that was always in his pocket. I lived with him so was home when he was showering which was the only time he did not have the cell.

    You have to have a land line.
     
  18. TheSchragFamily

    TheSchragFamily Mouseketeer

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    Please speak with your mother about whether she would use such a system. I assume most would, but, our experience was otherwise. We paid for a life alert subscription for three years and in that time, here were the results:

    1. Grandmother fell and broke her arm, life alert was ignored and numerous phone calls were made to the doctor, family members, and taxi service to get her medical care.

    2. Grandmother had allergic reaction to medication and needed immediate assistance; life alert was ignored and doctor's office was called, instead. They, of course, directed her to the emergency room. Taxi service was called.

    3. Grandmother died, and grandfather did not use life alert to summon assistance. He called his brother, who called his son, who finally called 911. She was definitely already deceased at the time he found her, so the life alert system couldn't have done anything for her, but it could have saved my grandfather a LOT of additional stress.

    In all three cases, life alert was not "forgotten"...it was simply unused, by choice. No real reason was given other than it was decided in every instance calling someone/somewhere else was a better decision. I disagree, of course, but it was clearly wasted money. Grandfather now lives alone, still has life alert, and I sincerely doubt he will ever push that button, no matter what!
     
  19. eliza61

    eliza61 http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis-sponsor/images

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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.
     
  20. ENSOCK

    ENSOCK DIS Veteran

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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!
     
  21. BearcatsFan

    BearcatsFan <font color=green>we finally had a minute to breat

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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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