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Several family members want me to get my mom a fall alert necklace. This is not a viable option for her, as she will not remember to charge it, where she put it, or to put it back on. Before you get one, make sure that it can be properly managed. These devices need daily charging, just like a cell phone.

cwille,

Yes, the product and services vary. They certainly have advantages and disadvantages.
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I've often read comments about the delay in answering monitored systems - no, they are not instantaneous but I imagine the time lags seems much greater than it is. In our case mom was supposed to test her system monthly and I was often present when she did so I saw how it worked: an alarm sounded when mom pushed the button and a person at the call centre responded within minutes asking what the problem was, if mom failed to respond or asked for help the dispatcher began going through her list of contacts, local 911dispatch being the last resort if no one else answered. From there whoever took the call would have had to drop whatever they were doing and go to check on mom to determine what needed to be done and summon help if necessary - yeah, the whole process would probably have taken half an hour but for a reasonably capable senior living alone it was much better than the reality that they could have laid there hours or days before somebody felt something was amiss. All of this depends on the senior buying into the idea, because if they won't wear the pendant or push the button it's useless (it's also useless if the person is manipulative and chooses to use it inappropriately).
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I can tell you that the one from Humana was a pain. There was a delay in answering and mom couldn’t hear it. I suppose for some people they are okay. It didn’t work well for my mom either.

One really embarrassing thing happened to us. Oh gosh, mom was fidgeting with it when I was in the tub. I left the door open in case mom needed me.

She set the thing off somehow Next thing you know I had four firemen in my house that used the lockbox to let themselves in!

That day I took it away from mom and canceled it! LOL
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My LO's pendant didn't need to be charged either. She would not have remembered to charge it and/or she would not have remembered the process of how to charge it. Hers was waterproof and designed such that she never had to take it off for any reason. We did have a good experience with the falls detection and it performed when she needed it: An unwitnessed fall with likely loss of consciousness during a short period of time when she was home alone one day. I think it's good to compare notes on what one company offers vs another. I hate seeing someone pay for something and then it does not solve the problem.
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My mother's did not need to be charged. She did not have one that automatically alerted us when she fell. I had read some not great things about them, the scariest being that, sometimes when the wearer fell, it did not register; then the person was on the ground assuming that emergency services had been notified when they hadn't.
It wasn't a perfect system, but she did fall on quite a few occasions and the was able to use the pendant.
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My mom's monitored basic panic pendant lasted forever and the company provided an optional service where you had to check in daily, if that's the only barrier to remaining in their own home the monthly fees can be well worth it.
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