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Emergency response pendants
Old 12-17-2012, 02:57 PM   #1
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Emergency response pendants

Hello folks,

This question is for my uncle, who is 76 and now age is taking a real toll. We discussed about getting him an emergency response pendant.

I searched online but there are hardly any reviews. Consumer Reports hasn't tested these kind of products, so the only way I will have to go is by the recommendations of actual users (and those who have used the service).

Not too sure how many such users are here but if you got such service for any of your relative, any information is appreciated.

If it matters, this is in NY, about 200miles from NYC.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 12-17-2012, 03:06 PM   #2
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Have you checked the reviews here:

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=sr_nr_n_...23&rnid=493964


Quote:
Originally Posted by noelm
Hello folks,

This question is for my uncle, who is 76 and now age is taking a real toll. We discussed about getting him an emergency response pendant.

I searched online but there are hardly any reviews. Consumer Reports hasn't tested these kind of products, so the only way I will have to go is by the recommendations of actual users (and those who have used the service).

Not too sure how many such users are here but if you got such service for any of your relative, any information is appreciated.

If it matters, this is in NY, about 200miles from NYC.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 12-17-2012, 03:22 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by obgyn65 View Post
I assumed the OP was referring to LIFE ALERT 21,000+ Real Customers Testimonials, but maybe not. I don't see how it's an advantage over a cell phone, though if the elder doesn't have a cell phone or won't keep it with them, I guess a Life Alert is a popular option (of course they have to remember to keep that handy at all times too). DW got a Life Alert for MIL, though she didn't want it. MIL finally agreed, and her first day she pushed the button 'just to see if it worked!!!' But I guess it gave her and the family peace of mind. Best of luck...
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Old 12-17-2012, 03:35 PM   #4
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My mother had one of these in her latter years. When she collapsed from heart failure and could not reach the phone, she used it to call emergency services. It definitely saved her life on that occasion. She never had a cell phone and if she did, she would not have been able to reach it that day.
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Old 12-17-2012, 03:43 PM   #5
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An advantage of having one of those is if the person has fallen and can't get up. Additionally, one's emergency contacts are given to the service so if an emergency did occur, the service would call the family members. Additionally, if say, a trip to the emergency room is needed, the person can just press a button the talk through the emergency intercom to the service who would then send an ambulance over. My late friend had one of these and it did offer peace of mind. Also, years back I remember one time I had come home from work when I noticed a neighbor of mine who had her door open and on the floor. I ended up helping her up to her feet, but she may have been there for some time. A pendant would have been handy in that case. Of course, some set up is required (making sure the transmitting base is hooked up to a phone line properly,for example)


A medical alert service is offered through Walgreens (not sure if Walgreens are in NY),
Walgreens Ready Response Medical Alert System, Emergency Monitoring System and probably inquiring at local pharmacies might point you to services also.
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Old 12-17-2012, 03:52 PM   #6
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I don't see how it's an advantage over a cell phone, ...
Huge advantage, I think. If someone is dazed from a fall, PUSH THIS BIG BUTTON is far simpler than... dial 9...1....1... Do I have to push send? Oh, it's on speed dial, but which button? Do I have to hold it for a few seconds to activate it? And maybe needing to do this with one hand?

These things are not so simple when you are compromised. I know a young lady who had her car spin and hit a wall. She was unhurt, but she couldn't find the cell phone that flew under the floor of the car somewhere. When a good Samaritan stopped, and handed her their phone to use, she was too shook up to dial. Just couldn't hold it and push those buttons. And this was a young person who uses a cell phone all the time.

-ERD50
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Old 12-17-2012, 03:55 PM   #7
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DW's 87 year old aunt has one of these and likes it very much:

Medical Alarm | MediPendant&#8482 |Speak and listen directly through the pendant
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Old 12-17-2012, 04:22 PM   #8
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My mother had one of these in her latter years. When she collapsed from heart failure and could not reach the phone, she used it to call emergency services. It definitely saved her life on that occasion. She never had a cell phone and if she did, she would not have been able to reach it that day.
+1 with my father. When he needed it his cellphone was well out of reach of where he'd collapsed. After pressing his button the call center sent for an ambulance and notified my sisters at work who met him in hospital.

The system he used had a very loud speaker, plus the microphone was with the emergency button around his neck so that he could call, hear and respond from anywhere in the house. He was encouraged to use it once a week as a test, and if he didn't use it the call center would contact him.
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Old 12-17-2012, 04:34 PM   #9
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Interesting story about the young person who was unable to use a cell phone. In her amazing book "My stroke of insight" (highly recommended BTW) Jill Bolte Taylor, a neuroscientist at Harvard, describes the evolution of her stroke at age 37. She was completely unable to figure out how to ask for help using the phone. Of course, she would have been an unlikely candidate for an emergency response pendant, but a 76 year old man would be a more likely candidate for a stroke.

Here is JBT's TED talk...

http://www.ted.com/talks/jill_bolte_...aign=ios-share
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Old 12-17-2012, 04:38 PM   #10
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You may have already seen this, but if not

http://medical-alert-systems-review....com/index.html (note Life Alert, the most well known/heavily advertised, comes in 12th out of 12 FWIW)

http://www.medicalalertadvice.com/index.php

http://newoldage.blogs.nytimes.com/2...call-for-help/
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Old 12-17-2012, 04:49 PM   #11
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My Mom had fallen after breaking a hip in her living room and it took her about 5 hours to make it to the phone about four feet away. After that episode, she offered no resisitance to having one (I forget which company) and also surrendering her Drivers License.
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Old 12-17-2012, 05:14 PM   #12
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After my grandmother fell and was laying on the floor of her apartment for 24 hours until someone found her unconscious (which was the beginning of the end for her) my mother agreed to get Lifeline. Thankfully she never has had to use it (other than occasional tests to ensure the unit is operating) but it give us and her peace of mind.

Hugely better than a cell phone since her emergency pendant is on her person almost 24/7, is always charged and only would take a push of a single button.
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Old 12-17-2012, 11:01 PM   #13
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(snip)Hugely better than a cell phone since her emergency pendant is on her person almost 24/7, is always charged and only would take a push of a single button.
"Always charged" is a huge plus for me. I am not accustomed to using a cell phone and am forever forgetting to recharge it now that I have one. Why doesn't the pendant need recharging, does it have an internal battery like a watch?
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Old 12-18-2012, 09:29 AM   #14
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"Why doesn't the pendant need recharging, does it have an internal battery like a watch?" I am not familiar with current models, about 10 years ago I bought a Radio Shack or X-10 version(don't remember exactly) that did not have a service but used a standalone telephone dialer. You would set up the dialer to numbers you selected, I used my cell number, sisters home and cell number. Before buying the pendant/dialer my mother fell/broke hip (or broke hip then fell) in her back yard, took her about 8 hours to crawl into house to call for help. After she recuperated she wanted to remain independent and agreed to wear a pendant. We look at services but she would only agree to the standalone unit. Short story long, she broke her other hip in a couple of years and was wearing the pendant but the battery was dead and didn't work, took her about 5 hours to get to phone. I had religiously checked the battery and tested the dialer to ensure it was operational but I didn't catch the dead battery when it was needed. I felted/still feel horrible for the unnecessary pain she endured because I missed replacing the dead battery. It did use a replaceable battery with about a couple of months usage, in retrospect I should have just replaced the battery on a set schedule, ie first of every month, etc.
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Old 12-18-2012, 10:27 AM   #15
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"Always charged" is a huge plus for me. I am not accustomed to using a cell phone and am forever forgetting to recharge it now that I have one. Why doesn't the pendant need recharging, does it have an internal battery like a watch?
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I am not familiar with current models, about 10 years ago I bought a Radio Shack or X-10 version(don't remember exactly) that did not have a service but used a standalone telephone dialer. You would set up the dialer to numbers you selected, I used my cell number, sisters home and cell number. .... It did use a replaceable battery with about a couple of months usage, in retrospect I should have just replaced the battery on a set schedule, ie first of every month, etc.
Here's that x-10 unit, I bought one for my Mom a couple years ago. I need to check if she replaced the battery. It takes a lithium coin cell, and it only activates to the local base station, so like a garage door or TV remote, it uses very little power.

Personal Assistance Voice Dialer, PA5800

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X10 Pendant Remotes are designed to operate for approximately two years when fitted with a 3V lithium cell. Since operating conditions vary from installation to installation however, it is recommended that all batteries are replaced once a year.

To replace the battery, remove the two screws and gently separate the two halves of the cabinet. Slide out the old battery and replace with a fresh 3V Lithium Cell (CR2025).
The base also has a 9V battery backup.

-ERD50
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Old 12-18-2012, 10:50 AM   #16
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One other thing I mentioned in another thread where the topic of these pendants came up....there are some that work only in your home, and others that work "anywhere". If I get one, it will be the "anywhere" variety.
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Old 12-18-2012, 11:33 AM   #17
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From the recent "phones" thread:
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RE: Emergency callers
Picked up an emergency caller at a resale shop for $3. Works well. It's a pendant thingy, that communicates with a small box connected to the phone service. Works this way.
Pressing button on pendant triggers the box to sequentially call four different numbers, with a prerecorded 15 second message. "This Mr. Smith. I have a problem. My telephone # is 555-5555. When the call is received by relative or neighbor, they can respond and will be heard by the Mr. Smith, who can then call out with the nature of the problem... "I've fallen and I can't get up."
The messages will be sent sequentially over and over. Does not involve 911.
The "Safety 1st Automatic Caller" I have, is no longer manufactured, but there are equivalent systems available on line for $50 to $100.

In our home, built in 2000... in a senior community, we have pull-cords in most rooms including bathrooms... This is a hard wired service that connected to a central emergency center. The monthly service became so expensive $30/mo. that our residents opted out, though the service can be activated on an individual basis... an option if circumstances require.
This looks to be the current equivalent:Amazon.com: Telemergency Pro-Elite 700E with Wireless Help Pendant: Health & Personal Care
Customer reviews on the website.
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Old 12-18-2012, 11:39 AM   #18
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"Always charged" is a huge plus for me. I am not accustomed to using a cell phone and am forever forgetting to recharge it now that I have one. Why doesn't the pendant need recharging, does it have an internal battery like a watch?
Yes. In fact, the first unit she had was a watch with a Lifeline "panic" button.

For some reason they changed technology and now she has a wristband type thing but it doesn't tell her the time.
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Old 12-18-2012, 12:16 PM   #19
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Just passing something along to think about.... we do not have one of these.... but....


I would want to make sure that it will work even if the phone is 'in use'... there have been a number of times that my mother does not hang up the phone and for some reason the system does not hang it up like it used to... IOW, no more beeps etc. from AT&T saying your phone is off the hook....

When this happens, we can not call her... and I bet that the machine could not call out....


Edit to add.... reading the review of it.... the pendant was not waterproof which was one of the things that I was thinking I would be worried about... a slip and fall getting in and out of the shower...
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Old 12-18-2012, 12:24 PM   #20
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My Dad had a "Lifeline" brand pendant when he came home from rehab while recovering from a broken hip. He had one that was able to "learn" his daily movements and was able to alert if it sensed that he was not up and around as expected. The range of his was all thoughout his apartment and even extended down the hall to the elevator and laundry room.

Whatever kind you get, be sure to have your plan correctly in place. He put my sister down as his first contact and me as his second contact. He fell his first night home and pressed the button on his pendant. Lifeline repeatedly called my sister who lives 10 minutes away and she slept through the call. They called me and I live 30 miles away and had given my set of keys to his home health aide who was arriving at 8am. So they called his local Fire/EMS who were the ones to get there and help him. My sister and I did not know that the 24 hour guard at my Dad's gated condo community had a master key, but the Fire/EMS crew knew that and that's how they got in. Even if I had the keys, a 30 minute drive is unacceptable.

I don't know if all emergency pendants work this way but during this emergency the Lifeline operator told me that I could call his number and he could hear me. I called and was able to hear him and he told me he was ok, just stuck on the floor. I stayed on the speaker phone with him until the EMS got in and a paramedic told me that he was ok, they would get him back in bed and check him out. Very reassuring to know that I could communicate with him.

As for a cell phone for an elderly person in an emergency, my elderly neighbor spent about 30 minutes yelling for help after crawling to the door after a fall. His cell phone was right with him and he couldn't figure out how to make the call, even though his friend had practiced it with him. He died within a week so they didn't get a chance to do it better the next time.
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