My mother, Virginia Coley, is a spunky, 95-year-old lady who wants her
independence. She lives in an apartment near my home. She does things
on her own schedule and comes and goes as she pleases. Mother enjoys good
health, except for mild hypertension and difficulty hearing. As often
as possible, she exercises at Fitness Plus on CVMC’s campus. I tried,
for over three years, to convince mother to subscribe to the
Lifeline Emergency Response System. Last year I took her for an office visit with her internal medicine provider.
Lisa looked at mother and said, “Virginia, you NEED to subscribe
to Lifeline.” That’s all it took – hearing it from someone
other than me.
That afternoon, I called Carol Robinson, Lifeline Coordinator for CVMC.
The monthly subscription is very affordable and there’s no installation
fee. I asked Carol to put mother on the installation schedule. Josh Blanton
installed mother’s system and slowly and clearly explained to her
how to use the button and base unit, which comprise the system. She pressed
the button and within 15 to 20 seconds a response team member answered.
Josh is absolutely wonderful with seniors, especially those with hearing issues.
By pressing the button worn around their neck or the button on the base
unit, subscribers can activate the system. A response team member answers,
and the subscriber can ask them to contact family, paramedics, police
or the fire department. How to gain access to one’s dwelling can
be included in instructions to Lifeline. The benefits of the system are
huge – safety, security, quality of life and peace of mind for the
subscriber and their families and loved ones.
The button hangs from a hypoallergenic cord, with a break-away feature,
around mother’s neck. Both the button and cord are waterproof and
she wears it 24/7. The base unit picks up signals from the button within
a 600’ radius, allowing mother to visit neighbors or take a short walk.
Mother has been a subscriber since May 12, 2014. Each subscriber or family
member can choose the order in which the Lifeline response team summons
help when the system is activated. An activation could result from the
subscriber pressing the button or when the button detects a fall. If there’s
no coherent response by the subscriber, the team member makes calls per
instructions they have on file. In mother’s case, since we live
so close, the team calls us at home, then our mobile numbers until they
reach us. One of us is usually home so most likely they’ll reach
us there. Once contacted, we make a decision, based on where we are and
what mother’s verbal response was, whether to check on her or ask
them to call paramedics and police. We can, at any time, change how help
is to be summoned.
Mother’s system was activated once after 11:30 pm when the button
detected a fall and she didn’t respond, except to say, “I’m
OK”. Mother removes her hearing aids at bedtime which is why she
didn’t understand the response team’s questions. We decided
to go check on her and got there in less than three minutes. Thank goodness
she was all right.
My husband, Robert, and I now have peace of mind that mother is so much
safer living alone now that she has Lifeline.
Please contact Carol Robinson at (828) 485-2696 or by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information on a system like mother’s or the new
“Go Safe” system for active seniors which will find you anywhere in the US, even in a skyscraper
Thanks to our contributing author – Jane Matheson