Friday, April 25, 2008

The magic button

There has been a trend over the years to help seniors remain in their homes rather than placing them in long term care facilities. Generally speaking it's better for an older adult to remain at home for as long as possible and there are several long term care diversion programs that provide services in the home. Sometimes it only takes one or two changes or adjustments that you can arrange yourself to make that happen. In my opinion, a personal emergency response system is invaluable for prolonging independence for the older person. There are several companies who provide them and, as with anything else, you will want to investigate all the options. We have had a Lifeline system for my mother for several years and I can tell you it has really helped give my mother and me a great sense of confidence that should something happen in my absence she only has to press the button on the pendant she wears to call for help.

We are fortunate that Mother is still able to manage quite well on her own for short periods of time but if we didn't have the "button" I would not be nearly as comfortable going out to do some shopping, going out to dinner with friends or keeping my Friday night date with my grandson. Mother has a cell phone but she doesn't keep it on all the time and if she were to fall may not be able to reach it or turn it on. But just a push of the button on her pendant alerts the folks at Lifeline and they are on the speaker with her in minutes. If she were unable to respond they would begin calling for assistance immediately and they would also notify me as well as our neighbor.

Before making a decision to move to a long term care facility be sure to investigate ways to enable your elder to remain at home. It might just take something as simple as some grab bars in the tub, advance meal preparation, or a personal emergency response system.

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