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My 90 year old mom has been in respite care for one week after falling and remaining in her bathtub several hours. Fortunately she only had a small cut on her elbow and plans to return to her home soon. Before she had always refused to use any alert jewelry, insisting that she would always carry her phone with her and wouldn’t need anything else. Her phone was out of reach after her fall. Now she has finally admitted that she just might need an alert system in case of another incident.


Does anyone have any tips on what fall-alert systems work best? Mom is adjusting to living alone after we placed my father in memory care a few months ago. She is in very good health and likes her independence but refuses to have anyone but me check in on her. I live close by but work long hours.


BTW, this forum has helped me tremendously the past few stormy months.

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Too many elders are relying upon the fact they have a cell phone makes them somehow impervious to the inevitable fall or sudden need.

Mother has an alert necklace. It works...when she wears it. She also states she ALWAYS has her cell phone on her..which she doesn't. You call her and then she will eventually realize she's missed a call and try to figure out who called her.

The alert pendant has worked best for actual falls---but she has had plenty 'alerts' where she was not wearing it, or sent it through the wash.

The Applewatch my daughter wears (and has her kids wearing them too!) is a spot on safety net. I think I might suggest one for my mom. The pendant hangs down so low it whacks the bars of her walker and that will also set it off.

I do not think she could take the Applewatch off by herself. I didn't know it could be programmed to catch 'falls' but I wouldn't be surprised. My daughter never takes hers off as it's her lifeline to her kiddoes. She can track them wherever they go.

The fall pendants, while a great 'idea' in itself have proven, to me, to be much less than great for the elders in my life.
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Reply to Midkid58
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I think there are a few considerations when evaluating a medical alert system. The first, is whether your mother will wear it. Some medical alerts are either large or unsightly. Find one your mother will wear. To this end, don't get a medical alert system that locks you into a long term contract. Get one that allows you to cancel anytime at no cost.

Second, you have to decide whether you want to get her an in-home only system or a mobile system that she can bring with her anywhere. If it's a mobile system, some of the jewelry can be pretty bulky. The nicest one I saw was from Philips Lifeline. My mother used it and it was an all-in one system that hung as a pendent, but it had a fall detection, GPS, help button and and speaker.

There are also new fall detectors like the applewatch, those embedded in hearing aids and even some that you can put on a wall I read about on seniorsafetyreviews.com here: https://www.seniorsafetyreviews.com/the-best-fall-detection-systems-for-older-adults/.

Whatever it is, just make sure you can return it, so you can test it and see if it works well and your mother will use it.
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Reply to needhelp123
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Suz, it's unfortunate that a certain vulgar person chose to post on your thread.  Your question is legitimate and deserves a respectful answer.  

To avoid stating specific names of companies, I'm p'm ing you with the name of the company I used.    I chose it after calling several, including those that advertise regularly in some elder media.

My checklist included not only basics such as cost, but (a) whether or not 24/7 staffing was provided, with live people as opposed to any kind of messaging  (b)  how quickly they returned my phone request to speak with someone  (c)  what kind of motion detectors were available with the device.

The service I chose had live staffing 24/7, and I certainly verified that when they repeatedly called me after we had spent several hours in the ER.   When I returned home, I saw they had called several times.

One of the services I called took a few days just to return my phone call.   They were out immediately.  

The device I chose  was sensitive enough that it activated and produced a call from the monitoring center if my father merely leaned over.

In addition, when we had a problem with the device, someone was sent out the same day to replace it.  

When I decide to get a monitoring device for myself, it will be with this company.

(Check your messages, please.)
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Reply to GardenArtist
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I've reported "captain" 's vulgar remarks and ask that anyone who finds them as revolting and offensive as Ahmijoy and I do also report them.

There's no excuse for such low class, vulgar and offensive language, and has absolutely nothing to do with the OP's question.  If I posted on a forum and saw this vulgar behavior, I wouldn't even come back.
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Reply to GardenArtist
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we americans have many freedoms . it makes for a healthy society .
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Reply to anonymous158299
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Be aware that not every alert system works in every area. We're in a heavily wooded, somewhat rolling rural area and were unable to use the most well-known alert system (I've fallen and I can't get up) because we're too far from an AT&T tower. This was true of many systems. Seems there are 2 different "protocols" -- some work on AT&T signals, some on Verizon. Test whatever system you like to be sure it will work where you are.

Good luck to you and your mom.
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Reply to EdithHankl
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Suz123 Dec 24, 2019
Thank you!
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