Cape Gazette
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Visiting Angels Joins LifeFone Urging Seniors To Use Life Saving Medical Alert Devices

By Visiting Angels | Jul 18, 2013

Visiting Angels, a home care company serving Southern Delaware and LifeFone, a leading national provider of Personal Emergency Response Systems (PERS), have teamed up to help educate the community about the importance of wearing a medical alert system.

The statistics regarding falls in the senior population are frightening:

  • One in three people age 65 and older will have a serious fall each year
  • By the age of 80, over half of seniors fall annually.

•   Falls account for 25% of all hospital admissions, and 40% of all nursing home admissions

•  40% of those admitted do not return to independent living

  • Falls are the leading cause of death from injury among the elderly

A Personal Alert System is a pushbutton device that summons help.  In the case of LifePhone, the device connects the wearer with live assistance, that immediately knows who and where you are, has your history in front of them, and can call a loved one, a neighbor, police or an ambulance.

David Forman, President of Visiting Angels said, “Nobody thinks they’re going to fall, yet emergency rooms in every hospital are filled with people who didn’t expect to be there that day.   Based on fall statistics alone, every senior adult living alone or with someone who is unable to assist them if they fall should have a way of summoning help.  Add to the equation all illnesses that may require immediate attention such as heart attack or stroke, and these devices become essential.”

George Wissing, Director of Business Development for LifeFone adds, "Medical studies show that your chances of surviving a fall are six times greater if you get help within one hour.  Also, immediate help increases the odds of your continuing to live independently.”

Wissing suggests three things to consider when choosing Medical Alert Systems:

# 1: The Right Technology

High-tech doesn't always mean better.  Modified cell phones are now being sold as medical alert necklaces or bracelets but how many times has your cell phone battery been dead when you needed it most?

For a safety device to be effective it should be:

  • Small, light, simple and reliable
  • Maintenance free (no batteries to change or charge)
  • Waterproof so it can be worn in the bath or shower
  • Always available in and around the home

#2: Monitored versus Un-Monitored Systems

The goal of both services is to get family or "911" on the scene. But, the limitations to a Non-Monitored service can be:

  • Will the “high tech” pendant Mom is wearing work when it's needed most?
  • Will Mom know which buttons to press when in a panic?
  • If the pendant is big and bulky, will she even wear it?
  • Will family be available when called?
  • If "911" is dispatched, can they get in the house without costly damage?

The solution to all these challenges is a “Monitored” emergency service where:

  • Mom presses one button for help and gets a friendly voice 24/7/365
  • An attendant can call emergency ("911"), fire dept., police and family contacts
  • The attendant has Mom's medical information, doctor's name and hospital of preference
  • The attendant can give instruction for "911" to access the home without damage

Remember, Mom may not want to use her "911 only" button when her nightgown is simply caught on a door handle and a family member can solve the problem.

A major advantage of Monitored service is it can help avoid costly damage to the home. Forceful entry can result in costly repair bills. A good Monitored service will contact a "key' holder" or give the combination to a lock box or garage door to emergency responders.

#3:  The Pricing and Contract

There is no reason to overpay. Service costing more than $29.95/mo. is usually paying too much.

Contractually, there are two things to be cautious about:

*  Make sure you're not signing a long-term contract

* Don't prepay for the year unless there is a refund policy

Forman says its local partnership with LifeFone is a natural extension of its home care services.

The company provides caregivers to help seniors and disabled adults live independently in their own homes.   They help with personal care, meal preparation, housekeeping, errands, transportation, shopping, and companionship.

“LIfeFone is like having another Angel watching over you or your loved one, when one of our own Angels aren’t present,” Forman said.

LifeFone offers free delivery when you call and mention Visiting Angels, whether you’re a client of the agency or not.  Forman will also help you with the easy set up in your home at no charge.  Call LifeFone at 877-330-7556 today. Be sure to mention Visiting Angels!

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