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I am considering a medical alarm. Mom is 82, living alone, sister and I live in town and drop in, frequently, she stays at sisters on weekends. She is mobile capable of taking care of herself, with oversight(pill box, banking, groceries). Sister and I both work, thought the medical alarm panic button would be added safety.

Any experience feedback?

Thanks
L

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Life alert saved my Moms life 3 times! It's the best 20 bucks we spend every month.
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My father is nearing 82 and is living alone. He doesn't have much health ailments other than the usual age related problems. Me and my brother have been asking him to stay with us but n vain. Last year there was a break-in in his house and though he wasn't harmed this left both me and my brother worried. So we installed Personal Panic Alarms at his home in Canada. There has been no break in since then, so I can't be sure but I believe that my father is safe now. We are planning on adding a medical button too for added security. We got our device from AlarnCare you can check out their website myalarmcare
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I decided to move in with my 94-year-old grandmother (referred to as "Nanny" going forward) about six years ago. My step-grandfather had passed away several months before that and, within a 12-day period, she fell THREE times! Amazingly (and miraculously) she didn't break anything, but she was taking Coumadin (blood thinner) back then and she was covered in black bruises over at least 50% of her body! My mom (her only child) demanded that she move in with her, but living with my mom was Nanny's worst nightmare and she was devastated and terrified by the idea of spending the rest of her days anywhere other than her own house. I had just been laid-off from a high-pay but very high-stress job (80-90hr weeks) and I had decided to take at least six months to regroup and figure out my next move.

She continued to fall on a frequent basis, primarily because she refused to use her walker or even a cane, despite orders from the doctor that she was NEVER to take a single step without the walker, I did the best I could to keep an eye on her and did everything possible to reduce the risk of falling inside the house. The falls became less frequent and usually caused less injury than in the past, but she still got really banged up a few times depending on how she fell, if she tried to break the fall, etc. I finally had to accept the fact that I kept an eye on her as much as humanly possible and I did EVERYTHING around the house that the experts advised to make it safer. BUT, being a realist, the odd were that she would continue to have falls in the future and there was nothing else I could do to prevent them!

I can do about 60% of my job from home, but I spend at least 40% of the week on the road. When I'm out of town, I may be as far as 800-1000 miles away and I often spend one night in a hotel. I can be away for 36+ hours and I usually have a schedule of friends and family checking in on her while I'm away, but I was still worried about her falling and knocking herself out or just being stuck on the floor/ground until someone happens to stop by and find her!

A few months after I moved in, I started researching various Medial/Emergency Alert Systems. It took a couple of weeks to research company and product information and customer satisfaction levels, but I did it! I also compared pricing and feature content (any $ due up front?, monthly fees, specific features included) and I was surprised. The name brands that I recognized were very expensive and often require the homeowner to sign a contract to keep the service for at least X months (usually 12).

Choosing a Medical Alert System shouldn't be done based on a price comparison alone. While I agree that keeping costs under control is important, especially for seniors on a budget, the safety of my loved one was far more important than saving $8-10/month....

I finally decided to go with a company called LifeSttaion, which I had never heard of until I really started searching. There were only a few online reviews for them on sites like Yelp, but the few that I found were all overwhelmingly positive.

There was no up-front costs of any kind, hey shipped the main control unit and a wrist mounted button to wear and press anytime she needs help. It costs about $27/month for the basic single-button system and they offer some very useful add-ons at very low prices if you need/want any of them.

From the moment I called to order the system, I was impressed by how polite, sincere and knowledgeable their employees appear to be. LifeStation allows the person setting up the account to define the "call list" that determines their actions anytime the button is pressed. They ask whether you wish for them to contact a family member or friend first OR go ahead and call 911 to get an ambulance dispatched immediately, then start calling all the names on the list. Obviously, I wanted it to call for an ambulance first, then me, my mom, my little sister, Nanny's best friend and her pastor are to be called and notified that she is on her way to XX Hospital.

The main control unit has a large 'panic' button on it that can be pressed to call an operator as well. The unit has a two-way speaker that allows the LifeStation operator to speak to you AND, if you're conscious and able to speak, you can respond to their questions. One of the selling points for me was that two operators handle every 'button-pressed' situation from start to finish. One of them tries to establish and maintain verbal contact with the customer. If there is no response from the customer, the operator will continue talking via the speaker until help arrives on the scene. The second operator starts making phone calls per the instructions on file- in our case, they'd call 911, my mom, me, etc.

Nanny started having numerous falls (and plenty more near-misses) in early 2013 and I decided to install three wall-mounted call buttons in addition to the one she wears on her wrist. She has a bad habit of taking off the wristband and not putting it back on until I notice that it's gone and make her wear it. I put one of the wall buttons on next to toilet, about 12" from the floor, another one at the foot of her bead (on foot board) also about 12" from the ground and the third button is mounted on her walker. I pay $9/month more for those three extra buttons.

They also have some interesting extras that I don't need (at least not at this time) but could be very useful in some situations. You can get a lockbox for the door that only stores a spare entry key for paramedics that they can access via a 4-digit code given to them by the LifeStation operator. LifeStation also has a program called Activity Assurance that will contact your loved one once daily (at a time of their/your choosing) and ask for a verbal confirmation from the customer.

One final item I'd like to mention is that the service no longer requires a land line (traditional phone line). The system can operate via a cellular connection with no problems.

I couldn't be happier and I'm very pleased that I chose LifeStation! =)
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I had no idea, thanks PS.
L
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If her MD orders one, it is covered under Medicare part B
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