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I have been caring for my elderly father in his home for 6 years. I have a few of my own health issues lately. I am worried that if something happens to me, I don't come down in the morning or I collapse or pass out, he will have no way to contact the outside world. I am looking for a device that he can use that is 1) SIMPLE 2) just dials 911 3) gets someone here fast. God forbid that happens, but it could. I have no issue paying for a service, but it must be simple. My dad had a stroke and is incapable of dialing a phone or speaking. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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Reply to Candyapple
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"Do you have a keysafe/lockbox so that the emergency services can get in?"

Some people aren't aware of what a lockbox is (not saying OP doesn't or anyone who has responded, just clarifying for any other who come along and may benefit.)

These are security boxes that are secured outside, generally with code and/or key access. Inside the box is the house key. Real Estate use these to have access to the home.

There are also door locks that can have code and key access. YB installed one at mom's condo, and when I changed her phone service to add wi-fi, he was able to access it remotely (he programmed it to automatically lock at a certain time at night, could monitor it from wherever, and if needed, could unlock it in emergency. I generally used a key - too much to remember already without having to memorize some code!

But if you have trusted friends, you could give them the code and add them to the call list if you get the alert system. Door lock code would open the door, lockbox code would give access to the house key. If you trust your FD, they could have the code in your file to give to the EMT dispatched. Sometimes police are sent first, as a wellness check, so they could use the code.

Generally these CAN be reprogrammed, so should for some reason EMT or PD comes in, maybe false alarm. and you don't feel comfortable, you can change the code (just remember to update those trusted people!)
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Reply to disgustedtoo
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Imho, perhaps he can use a Life Alert pendant or bracelet. Or better yet - perhaps YOU can get the Life Alert system. Prayers sent.
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Reply to Llamalover47
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If monitoring cameras were installed is there anyone willing to check in several times a day from their phones? We use NEST cameras for my aunt to monitor her care and night time when she is alone. Amazon sells these.
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Reply to InFamilyService
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Great Call 5 star alert device should work for him. All he has to do is push a button. They have his info on hand based on what you enter online. So when you record he can't speak in his medical info, they will know. You also give a list of phone numbers to call and in what order. So, if you have an immediate neighbor with a house key, that could be person number one. If no answer, they can dial 911. I would highly recommend to list yourself as one, neighbor w/key as number 2. If 911 has to be called - it would be best if someone could open the door w/a key to get in so they don't damage a door and have to leave it that way to take you/him to a hospital. I like this one best because of price and the fact you don't have to be near a base for it to work. It has gps, so if dad wandered, for example, you could look it up to see where he is. My mom puts hers on charger each night next to the bed and has become habit to wear it all the time.
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Reply to my2cents
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I have the same issue. An alert necklace or bracelet would not work for my husband; because of his memory/dementia, he would not remember or know what to do (dialing 911 would be out of the question too). A better option is an alert necklace for you - once that activates if you fall. If something other than this happens to you and you are unable to push the button, then having someone to check in with you daily, such as a phone call, would help. And if you don't call them back in an agreed-upon time, they could send you help, or come by to check on you. Hope this helps. All the best.
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Reply to Care4JMC
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There are numerous companies out there who give you a pendant on a chain around your neck. All you need to do is push it and help is on the way - depending on what options you choose. Or same for a wrist bracelet. This is commonly used for people who need help.
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Reply to Rusty2166
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What about a system to monitor you?
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Reply to gladimhere
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I have a similar situation - caring for my husband with stage 5 Parkinson's, dementia, and blind. I slid (but did not fall) in the shower the other day. I thought I better start doing what I tell my single friends (living alone) should do - carry a phone with them or put one in the bathroom or near the shower. It's not a great answer. I realized it was time for me to get 'something' as well - as my husband could not be of any help - if something happened to me.

I do have a single friend that lives alone. We email or text each other every morning - to let the other know we are ok. If we do not hear from each other by 10:00 a.m., we call the other person, first on their home phone and then if necessary on their cell phone. If we couldn't reach each other - we have the garage code, key and alarm code to enter each other's home. Around 10:00 each night, we email each other a simple good night - so we know each other is ok. It doesn't take long and is not intrusive. Not the greatest plan, but better than nothing. It could still be twelve hours before communication.

I would like to find something - like the questionnaire inquired about.
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Reply to LexiPexi
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As others have noted their are medical alert devices that will respond, even if someone can not speak. The company has the person's medical issues in the records, when the call comes in.

Some services will contact the person if they are not moving for too long, during the day, or if they are in prone position.

Use a search engine to research and find the alert product that best fits your needs.
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Reply to Heather10
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I believe they have a necklace to wear and or a watch that you just push a button.
I Beverly it's called First Alert and after the button is pushed, if no answer to the Are you OK Mr whatever your Dad's name is. Then an EMT will be called to go out.

You should leave a key to the house for an EMT to find
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Reply to bevthegreat
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My dad used Great Call as a life alert type service and wore a pendant around his neck. There was only one button to push to summon help. Their operators will call whoever you want in a descending priority order. When they alerted 911 his adult children were then called in quick succession. My mother had a huge stroke, I know how hard this is, and wish you the best
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Reply to Daughterof1930
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If you can sign up for Meals On Wheels for your dad, that would help. Along with delivering food Monday through Friday, the Meals on Wheels is meant to be a well-check system. You just have to remember to cancel the meal if you plan to be out of the house for a doctor's appointment or something.
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Reply to lynina2
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We used the Freedom Alert call button when my mom was with us. The cost was a bit more than others up but no monitoring company fee. I think you need a landline phone, but not positive about that. I had it programmed to call me first, then a neighbor and then 911. If I didn’t pick up, it dialed the neighbor, if the neighbor didn’t pick up, then it went to 911. My cousin who is an NP with homebound patients recommended it. I think you can program it to call 4 people. So if a neighbor picks up, and even if Dad can’t talk, they’ll see the caller id and know to go over. It has a speaker on the pendant which is pretty loud. Might work for your situation.
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Reply to caroljnorris
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It sounds like you need a life alert system for yourself.
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Reply to Chellyfla
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My mom uses a life alert necklace and it does not require speaking. It buzzes the front desk where she lives. I am sure you can locate something similar for your dad.
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Reply to InFamilyService
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There are services that provide a daily check-in call. You can tell them how many times each day you'd like the call and then when they call you press "1" to check-in as ok. If you don't answer or press the "1" then they will try again multiple times over an hour and then will contact emergency services and the people you've designated as emergency contacts. It's not an immediate rescue attempt but it does give you piece of mind that you and your dad are not totally forgotten. Also, using the LifeAlert and Greatcall devices you don't actually have to talk to anyone, you just can press the button and they will send help. I'd probably want to use a combination of these services in your situation because if something did happen to you your dad may be so flustered he'd forget to push the lifealert button or, in my dad's case, he would be unable to find it.

I also would suggest posting two envelopes on your refrigerator, one for you and one for your dad, with all your insureance, medication, medical information, emergency contact info etc. Our local Fire and Rescue department handed these out and they are trained to look for them when they come to a home and there is no one able to provide them information. I actually found it useful when I had to take my dad to the emergency room and I could just grab the envelope on the way out and I had all his insurance, medical, etc information right at hand.

I'm assuming you have the house phone set up with the emergency numbers on speed dial for your dad. If those numbers get dialed and they don't get answers to their questions they will send people out; they don't just dismiss the call as a wrong number (Don't ask me how I know this.)
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Reply to jkm999
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Caregiver23 Jan 14, 2021
Thank you for your reply.
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This is difficult.
If he can not dial a phone If he can not speak
there are "medic alert" companies that all you have to do is press a button and they will summon help.
It also might help if you wore one so that if something happened to you you could call.
Alexa if you have one can be programed to call an emergency number. Since they can be placed in almost every room it might work for you.
There are Tablets that can be programed with words or phrases that might work if it can be used to call 911 as well.
This is one of the frightening things about being a caregiver. I used to wait to change light bulbs until the Hospice Nurse or CNA came so that I would not be lying on the floor for who knows how long if I fell off the ladder.
My neighbor also a widow sends me a text every morning and I respond. If either of us do not get a text from the other by 8:30 I call her. (I even called her daughter once because I could not get hold of her.)
You might even want to contact your local Fire department or rescue department and let them know of the situation and see if they have any ideas or plans for something like this. (I am sure they would also like to know of your circumstances so they can be prepared)
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Reply to Grandma1954
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Caregiver23 Jan 14, 2021
Thank you for your reply.
I do like your suggestion of a friendly daily text from a neighbor or friend just to check in. We have a great neighbor that used to check on us daily, but the politics of the last four years have strained that relationship a bit (who knew?). That is a great suggestion and will incorporate it into our emergency plans. Thank you.
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You need to record his details on your own information databases too, so that if you get hauled off in an ambulance the records show that your father is your dependant and will need immediate support.

Keep an ICE (In Case of Emergency) card in your wallet/purse, too; you might be able to find good ones online, but in any case your card will say something like

"I am primary caregiver to [name]. In case of emergency, please contact [name] on [number] and let them know what has happened."

The named contact must be someone who has or can arrange access to your home. Might be worth seeing if your local Area Agency of Aging runs any kind of caregivers' or families' network or hub for this purpose.

Do you have a keysafe/lockbox so that the emergency services can get in?
Do you wear a falls alarm yourself?
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Reply to Countrymouse
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Caregiver23 Jan 14, 2021
Thank you for your response.
A few of your suggestions will be incorporated into our emergency plans.
I really like the idea of details to the information data base to make sure if I am hauled in someone is notified that he needs immediate assistance or help. Wherever I go, he goes so I am more worried about an in home incident. He cannot even get out of bed by himself so I worry he would be waiting for me for hours to come and get him out of bed and me not coming. The sense of panic and helplessness he would feel has me more worried than my own health issues. They are not that bad, but you never know.
Thank you for your response.
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If you are willing to pay a monthly fee there are monitored systems (Lifeline etc) or there are medic alert systems that can be purchased. Most options allow for 2 way communication but it isn't necessary to talk, after all when a senior has fallen or is in medical distress they likely aren't talking either.

I just want to add that having regular contact with the outside world can be the best way to ensure the scenario you are imagining doesn't happen; friends, neighbours or family members can make a point of watching out for each other and checking in daily.
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Reply to cwillie
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Caregiver23 Jan 14, 2021
We used to have regular contact with the outside world, but with Covid we have become rather isolated. We used to have a neighbor that would check in daily, but the politics of the last four years have strained that relationship (who knew?). I have friends that stop by or call to check in every two or three days, but I am not sure they would even recognize the signs of an issue inside the house if something had happened. So bringing them up to speed on that issue would probably help.
My father cannot even get out of bed by himself. He is paralyzed on one side and has extremely limited mobility. My worry is that I do not come downstairs one morning and he has no options to contact the outside world himself. The despair, panic, and helplessness he would feel concerns me more than my own health issues. And the idea that he would have to be in that state for a day or two before anyone even noticed breaks my heart.
Thank you for reaching out. It is greatly appreciated.
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