Which emergency alert system for elderly?

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
Post Reply
Teague
Posts: 1187
Joined: Wed Nov 04, 2015 6:15 pm

Which emergency alert system for elderly?

Post by Teague » Thu Oct 04, 2018 12:18 pm

Hi all,

I'd like to tap the impressive collective wisdom of this forum.

I have an elderly relative who will be spending some time alone and some time with a caregiver. They will need some form of emergency alert system in case of a fall or other emergency. Quality/usability is more important than cost. They are ambulatory, physically intact, and fully alert and competent. But quite old and therefore at risk for falls and such. Any suggestions are very much appreciated. Thank you.

-Teague
Semper Augustus

ResearchMed
Posts: 7489
Joined: Fri Dec 26, 2008 11:25 pm

Re: Which emergency alert system for elderly?

Post by ResearchMed » Thu Oct 04, 2018 12:27 pm

Teague wrote:
Thu Oct 04, 2018 12:18 pm
Hi all,

I'd like to tap the impressive collective wisdom of this forum.

I have an elderly relative who will be spending some time alone and some time with a caregiver. They will need some form of emergency alert system in case of a fall or other emergency. Quality/usability is more important than cost. They are ambulatory, physically intact, and fully alert and competent. But quite old and therefore at risk for falls and such. Any suggestions are very much appreciated. Thank you.

-Teague
I'd strongly recommend a device that has an automated "fall detector".

Those panic buttons aren't going to be useful if someone can't move or is unconscious.

That happened to very elderly MIL, and thank goodness she was okay. It also happened, but worse, to her best friend a few years ago, and the friend was *not* "found in time", and... that's when MIL agreed to move to Assisted Living near us.

MIL still won't add a fall detection device, and we don't quite understand why her pricey ALF doesn't have those style devices for all residents.
Odd, given it already happened to her.
:(
We may just push harder and try to *insist* that get MIL use an extra device we provide.
But she's stubborn, and that's apparently no uncommon.

RM
This signature is a placebo. You are in the control group.

Teague
Posts: 1187
Joined: Wed Nov 04, 2015 6:15 pm

Re: Which emergency alert system for elderly?

Post by Teague » Thu Oct 04, 2018 12:31 pm

Thank you very much. I hadn't been aware of the automated fall devices. Very helpful.
ResearchMed wrote:
Thu Oct 04, 2018 12:27 pm
But she's stubborn, and that's apparently no uncommon.
RM
Yes, my relative has that same personality "strength." :happy
Semper Augustus

targetconfusion
Posts: 11
Joined: Sun Aug 12, 2018 1:02 pm

Re: Which emergency alert system for elderly?

Post by targetconfusion » Thu Oct 04, 2018 1:19 pm

Never used it and cannot vouch for reliability, but Apple's newest watch model ("series 4") is supposed to detect falls, among other things. They've historically made consumer-friendly products - even easier for someone who happened to already use an iProduct.

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT208944

Teague
Posts: 1187
Joined: Wed Nov 04, 2015 6:15 pm

Re: Which emergency alert system for elderly?

Post by Teague » Thu Oct 04, 2018 1:26 pm

targetconfusion wrote:
Thu Oct 04, 2018 1:19 pm
Never used it and cannot vouch for reliability, but Apple's newest watch model ("series 4") is supposed to detect falls, among other things. They've historically made consumer-friendly products - even easier for someone who happened to already use an iProduct.

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT208944
Thanks. Unfortunately, there's really no chance this 98 year old would be able to operate anything much more complicated than a simple button to press. Nice idea though.
Semper Augustus

onourway
Posts: 1295
Joined: Thu Dec 08, 2016 3:39 pm

Re: Which emergency alert system for elderly?

Post by onourway » Thu Oct 04, 2018 1:28 pm

Teague wrote:
Thu Oct 04, 2018 1:26 pm
targetconfusion wrote:
Thu Oct 04, 2018 1:19 pm
Never used it and cannot vouch for reliability, but Apple's newest watch model ("series 4") is supposed to detect falls, among other things. They've historically made consumer-friendly products - even easier for someone who happened to already use an iProduct.

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT208944
Thanks. Unfortunately, there's really no chance this 98 year old would be able to operate anything much more complicated than a simple button to press. Nice idea though.
All she needs to do is wear it. The fall detection, including calling 911, is automatic. The real hurdle would be that she needs to remember to wear it and it needs to be charged every 1-2 days.

Jack FFR1846
Posts: 7988
Joined: Tue Dec 31, 2013 7:05 am

Re: Which emergency alert system for elderly?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Thu Oct 04, 2018 1:34 pm

I expect all the major companies will have a fall detect model. I know for sure Philips Lifeline does (they're a customer of mine). Some things to consider because of experience with relatives over the years:

Whatever it is, make sure they will actually wear it. One of our relatives left the pendant on their bedside table, thinking that they would only need it if they fell out of bed. Of course they didn't even sleep in the bed and never fell when sleeping but fell many other times. This same relative only put in her hearing aids at night so she could hear if someone was trying to break in.

Another relative had the pendant without fall detect (this was before fall detect was an option). She'd fall and not want to bother anyone, so rather than pushing the button, would lie on the floor until another relative came to check on her (sometimes 24 hours later).

I have to laugh at the apple watch idea. That's hilarious. With my relatives, I'd expect that they would think it's expensive, so lock it in their cash box so it wouldn't get stolen when people break in at night.
Bogle: Smart Beta is stupid

User avatar
tc101
Posts: 3018
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 3:18 pm
Location: Atlanta - Retired in 2004 at age 54

Re: Which emergency alert system for elderly?

Post by tc101 » Thu Oct 04, 2018 3:44 pm

I don't have an answer but am looking forward to other's input. I'm 68 and live by myself since my wife died. The chances are that I won't need one of these things as I am a pretty healthy 68, but I figure "Why Not?". Just like I probably won't need car insurance, home insurance or a smoke alarm, but I have them anyway just to be on the safe side.

So I would like to hear more about which specific brands are a good deal, which companies are rip offs, what to look for and what to avoid and so on. General consumer info is what I would appreciate hearing.
. | The most important thing you should know about me is that I am not an expert.

delamer
Posts: 6286
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2011 6:13 pm

Re: Which emergency alert system for elderly?

Post by delamer » Thu Oct 04, 2018 9:33 pm

onourway wrote:
Thu Oct 04, 2018 1:28 pm
Teague wrote:
Thu Oct 04, 2018 1:26 pm
targetconfusion wrote:
Thu Oct 04, 2018 1:19 pm
Never used it and cannot vouch for reliability, but Apple's newest watch model ("series 4") is supposed to detect falls, among other things. They've historically made consumer-friendly products - even easier for someone who happened to already use an iProduct.

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT208944
Thanks. Unfortunately, there's really no chance this 98 year old would be able to operate anything much more complicated than a simple button to press. Nice idea though.
All she needs to do is wear it. The fall detection, including calling 911, is automatic. The real hurdle would be that she needs to remember to wear it and it needs to be charged every 1-2 days.
Don’t underestimate the difficulty of getting your elder to wear the device.

Between forgetfulness and plain dislike, it was pretty useless for my mother because she rarely wore it.

You don’t want a false sense of security about your elder’s safety because you expect that s/he is wearing it when s/he isn’t.

Jelloanddon
Posts: 68
Joined: Sat Oct 04, 2014 12:18 pm

Re: Which emergency alert system for elderly?

Post by Jelloanddon » Sat Oct 06, 2018 10:28 am

We purchased a Bay Alarm system for our 91 year old mom. She wears a pendant that she will have to press in case of a fall. She accidentally pressed it while changing (and of course claims she didn’t) but that’s the only time she did it so I don’t think it’s that sensitive. There is a base unit that has a big HELP button on it that we placed on a chair and can press that.

If they get an alert and the person doesn’t respond, they will call you and others you have designated. If necessary they will call 911. You have been asked to post a list of medical issues, location of medicines, etc., in a visible location for them. Ours is on the fridge.

It does have a fall detection feature. It has to be a hard fall to activate. We did test it by swinging the pendant and dropping it. We looked into a wrist model and at that time there wasn’t one available because the technology wasn’t capable of detecting someone just dropping their arm down intentionally and a fall. Assume the Apple device has got that figured out now?

Here are some the of basics:
They provide you with a lockbox - like realtors use - you place the home keys in it and they will give the code to emergency personnel if needed. They do call you first and ask if you can check on the individual. In the case where my mom pressed the pendant, I was able to check the Nest cameras we have installed and saw she was getting dressed and was fine. (If your relative is open to it, highly recommend the cameras).

You must have a landline. Range is good. She walks in the backyard and we tested it and it worked fine. I think they have models with bigger ranges for people who walk around the neighborhood.

Pendant is waterproof so she can shower with it. Can’t remember how long the battery is good for but we test monthly.

The communication if you fall and within range of the base is like a walkie talkie - only one person can speak at a time and that was confusing at first for us.

Good for you for being proactive. We were only able to convince my mom to wear it after she fell.

Post Reply