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The person I am trying to set this up for is coming out of a nursing care situation to home. She lives alone, is not very tech savvy and while she says she'll do this she has no idea where to begin.

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Garden, I'll give you directions to my parents place. Drive down when you have a few hours to kill and pin a couple of these things on them for me. Let me know how it works out....

Sorry....Couldn't resist the sarcasm. This is a good disscussion, but I rather brand a herd of long horn steers than try to get my parents to do anything that makes sense. It's the CHANGE thing.....
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We have a security alarm system and it comes with the pendant for around the neck and another for the wrist. I wear mine all the time around my neck because my husband with dementia is no longer able to dial the phone. He does not wear the wrist one, I doubt if he would remember to push it if he needed it. It makes me feel very secure as I have fallen a lot and have osteoporosis. I think it is a wonderful device. It went off by accident once because I bumped it and they called immediately to see if I was ok. They call me first if the alarm goes off, if no answer they call the paramedics. I do have to know a code word to cancel the call so they will know it is me saying everything is ok.
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Lily, that's really unfortunate that the pendant failed to work properly at the time it was needed the most. I hope they gave you a credit for that month's rental!

I wonder how many others here have parents who are risk takers. That approach adds a new element to caregiving.
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GardenArtist, my mother was wearing the pendant but it would not "dial out" to the responders. She broke her hip (for the second time) in the wee hours of the morning. Her only form of outside communication was to get to the phone or wait until noon for the meals-on-wheels delivery person to arrive and report that she didn't answer the door. The alert service was provided by the local ambulance company. The device was sent back to be evaluated. They could not find a reason other than there was a malfunction.
I would add that her unit was not waterproof. Not sure if any pendants or wrist devices are so be sure to check. Each time she wanted to shower, we requested that she wait until my brother could visit so that she had assistance nearby. Occasionally she felt more than capable of doing it alone and would take the pendant off and place it on the floor outside of the shower so it would be in reach-- if needed...so he said. I still have doubts if she thought that far ahead. Needless to say, she is with me. I know she is a risk taker!
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CWillie's right in that sometimes it's difficult to get someone to wear a pendant, and sometimes it takes an accident before they'll realize the benefit of a pendant. We got ours after Dad's second fall and second leg fracture.

Lily, if your mother was wearing the pendant, why would she need to reach a phone? Or was she not wearing the pendant?

Windy, I'm wondering if your mother could put the pendant on your father's belt and just keep it there, or do you think he would remove it? Maybe you can get your father to put one on your mother's wrist, or around her neck? Maybe if each was tasked with "pendanting" the other, it could be accomplished?

Ideally, there would be some way to link it to the GPS system you use but I have no idea if that's even possible.

If it's a pendant that is position sensitive, it will activate with an alert to the monitoring service, so your parents wouldn't have to use it. But if there were a nonpositional emergency, such as a heart attack, the person would have to push the pendant button to get help.
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Getting them to wear the pendant and actually use it are both real problems with these systems. A lady I cleaned for lay on the floor all night because she didn't want to wake her daughter in the middle of the night. And even people who wear the pendant religiously during the day will hang it on the bedpost at night so they don't have it with them for those late night trips to the bathroom. One way around this is a service where they have to check in at a set time every day or the alarm is triggered. That has its own disadvantages if you are forgetful, however the call centre does contact the person with the pendant first and ask what the problem is before moving on to emergency contacts.
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Lilly's comment is interesting. I've thought about a pendant of some sort for my folks but how do you insure they wear it and remember to use it in an emergency. I understand the fall alert and that could be helpful, but I just can't imagine my stubborn, forgetful parents consistently wearing any device. I'm long distance, so I can't put an eyeball on them everyday.
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In our experience, the system failed us. My brother (RN) did the monthly checks, had it charged properly, made monthly connections through the use of the pendant button to get my mother used to the equipment operation and speaking with the responders-- yet it failed when we needed it most. My mother lay on the floor for hours until she could muster the strength to squirm her way into another room to pull down the telephone cord to call for help.
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If you are looking for ease of use you might be better off with one of the big name monitored systems, we used philips lifeline for years. The local distributor set the system up in mom's home and tested it to ensure it worked throughout the house and yard. Once a month she was expected to test the system, that also gets them used to actually pressing the button and speaking with the call centre. We just had the basic pendant with a button to press in an emergency, because we lived far away we had it set up to call neighbours first, then family, then 911.
Today the technology has advanced so much there are lots of options out there for the more tech savvy that can be considerably cheaper.
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We use the Guardian Alarm medical alert system. It's a pendant that has a clip which can be attached to the belt, so that works well for my father. Sometimes he just puts it in his shirt pocket.

There are a few buttons which indicate it's operating, but they're not anything high tech or complicated. It does have a charger and needs to be put on the charger periodically to recharge the batteries.

Basically, if the position of the wearer is changed, such as bending over (which could indicate a fall), the monitor is activated and the company initiates a call to the named responders. You can identify who would be primary, secondary, etc. I'm primary, I believe EMS is secondary, and I don't recall if there's a third responder.

We've coupled this to a lock box attached to the studs outside the front door. When I call EMS, I tell them the combination. Inside is a key to the front door so they can let themselves in.

The combination is set by the user (or you), and can be changed; it's a 4 digit code.

I chose Guardian after interviewing several, including ones that advertised in AARP bulletins. Those were eliminated because they refused to answer questions; they just wanted contact information so they could send brochures.

I eliminated a few other local ones either because they never returned my call or didn't do so the same day.

Guardian was more helpful than any, with the rep spending a good 45 minutes when I called to explain everything and answer my questions. He also was frank about the limitations of GPS and wander management at that time (a few years ago). The other services bragged about their wander management and GPS technology but balked when I asked them specifics about the limitations.

Guardian is local to Michigan though; I don't know whether it has these operations in other states but it's worth checking out.

And it's reliable; the staff has called so many times when the pendant has activated because Dad moved or bent over, including once when he bent forward to stand up at church. It has a highly sensitive movement activation.
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