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I asked this question on the forum but probably didn't post it in the right spot. My dad is 76 and mentally sound but is physically crippled. He can get around ok but slowly which he is ok with. I have found a monitoring system that only costs about 100 bucks a month. He would not have to do anything but it lets me know if he is having trouble or is inactive. He lives about 2 hours away. I was thinking this would be a good first step to helping him and helping me with "keeping a hand" on him without intruding on him.
Does anyone have any experience with this type of device?
Thanks!

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Take a look at electroniccaregiver. A team of doctors is behind the system design that provides 24/7 EMTs answering calls. A waterproof wrist pendant is provided so there's no need to take it off. They push the medical alert button on wrist pendant and can discuss issues with EMTs or request emergency help. Provides medication reminders daily. No contracts. Free equipment. Inactivity sensor provided-notifies family if no motion is detected. 1,000 foot range. $49/month--price never increases. Terrific customer service. Electronic Caregiver gives us a huge sense of relief knowing our Mother can get help or talk to EMTs 24/7. We were so dissatisfied with another company that provided a neck pendant that our Mother took off to bathe & never remembered to put back on. Their price kept increasing. This system is well worth the $49/month. It even reviews medical bills & gets us refunds of any unnecessary charges. Monthly cost is 100% tax deductible.
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@FriendlyBedGuy - yes, you are correct. His problems stem from mobility problems. Things like preparing meals, putting dishes away, and other daily type tasks. I would like to contact you in regard to your ideas for suggestions and will contact you directly. We have spent the last 2 years making slight changes around the home: bars in the shower and by the toilet, moving furniture, help by the chair he sits in to watch tv, and mail and newspaper delivery. We have maintenance and home cleaning services for him now which take care of the main functions for upkeep. One thing I like about the system that I'm considering is the information that I get daily. My mission is that we take the conversations more to "what's going on today" versus "focus on his well-being". If we know he is ok, then we don't have to enter that topic thus we get to focus on him and what he wants to do and his activities like physical therapy and having fun at it. He goes to the Y 3 times a week to do his water exercises. They have the lift gear to get him in and out of the pool with supervision. This has been a huge help to him in all aspects of life. He meets with friends weekly to have lunch too. I think if he can continue to have confidence with some monitoring then his ability to continue to stay at home and live like he wants to is getting met. I'll reach out to you for your suggestions. I am very interested. Thank you.
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MMC- can I go back to your comment of the physical issues of your father? Getting a medical alert of some sort is great but please consider assistive products that may help him avoid the reason for the alert. It sounds like he has mobility problems and I would be glad to offer suggestions if you want to contact me- I see items at national tradeshows most people don't know exist. I am 100% behind keeping people at home as long as it can be done safely.
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It is great that your dad is still in great mental shape! Many seniors who are of sound mind find it difficult to admit that they may need a little extra help. It sounds like you’re considering setting up a personal emergency response system (PERS), or what some refer to as a “help button.” These devices are programmed to monitor the client 24/7 and will alert a call center if need be. They are easy to use and install, but it’s not so easy to convince someone that is otherwise independent that they may need one. In conversation with your dad, try comparing the device to a fire extinguisher. This is something that everyone should keep in the home, not because they are EXPECTING the house to catch fire, but in the case of an emergency, you will need it.
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mmcgibbony, thanks for the info... sounds like the batteries recharge themselves if the call center box is plugged into an electric outlet... that's good to know. I was just surprised when I saw on some of the medical alert type of websites that they sold batteries. Thought that would create some problems with some elders who aren't battery savy, like my Mom.
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@freqflyer, the batteries on the monitoring system that I looked at say they last for about 3 years on average with some lasting up to 5 years. I'll get more information as I learn more on what my research unfolds. Thanks for your thoughts. I'm glad you asked this. I didn't.
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These answers are a great help. The system that I've looked at was suggested by a home caregiver company. They suggested it because they don't have the staff to do a "go by and check" service. I love the ideas for the lockbox. I think that is a great idea. My dad has already agreed to the activity monitoring; he likes that better than a person. I do have a neighbor that checks on him but she also said it would be great to be notified if something happened. The system that was suggested to me is called GeronIQ. It's a new company. The question about the power outage is very valid too. Thank you. I'll post more here as I learn more about the system. The system does not have a contract term and the reporting examples that the company showed me were pretty informative. They showed how a person who lived alone had activity patterns that helped their families with how much they moved about. I LOVE THIS FORUM!!!!!!!!
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So what happens if the monitoring system has a power outage? I have no idea what system this is, but for $100/mth, hire someone to either check on him in person or exchange room and board + $100 to live with him. With his mind still being okay he has a right to accept or deny any help. Men of this age usually think they can still do it all. Good luck!
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Great answers here. I wanted to suggest taking a trip to your Dads house and having security cameras installed. We have them in every room and outside (not the bathroom of course) When I am out, I can use my cell phone to check on my LNA who is taking care of my Mom. She knows and is fine with it, if she wasnt fine, somethings wrong, lol. You could peek in on your dad whenever you wanted to on your phone or computer. Security companies have smoke alarms and thermometers that will alert you if his house gets too cold, or hot, and if there is a fire also. Good luck
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My parents have Lifeline at about $50/month, and I want to change it. Because, they got snookered into a yearly contract, and if they die they are locked into a whole year's payments, and to top off all that, they (me) will have to mail the eqipment back to Lifeline or be liable for hundreds of dollars (lifeline owns the devices and pendants).
Freedom Alert sounds like the way to go --no contracts, and no need to mail it back. In fact, some other senior could make use of the device in a few years. Plus, I would rather have my folks talking directly to our 911 operator (which is a good one, not overburdened) than to a "call center". IMNSVO the contract pendants are like a toll highway on the way to help. Why not just get to help, and save the toll?
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Whatever system you use, you can buy a lockbox at the hardware store, put a key in it, and give the combination code to the local police and the alarm company.
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The Freedom Alert one has a rechargeable battery in the pendant plus one that is being charged in the base unit. About every three months the pendant says "battery getting low" so you have to "flip-flop" them. The base unit also have four batteries that allow it to remain working (for a day or two) in event of power outage (phone lines still work during power outages).
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I noticed some alert systems is only for falls and sudden illnesses. Others systems include fire and CO gas alerts. And home break-in alerts. That could be where there is a price difference per month.

I also noticed some of the emergency alert base stations and pendants/watches take 4 rechargeable batteries, and the pendant/watch also needs battery replacement. If the elder is living on their own, how often do these batteries need to be recharged? Why I am asking is that I have a EMT/fire hand held scanner that uses rechargeable batteries and I am recharging those batteries once a week. Just curious.
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Cost of $45/month seems pretty high. I have had good experiences with the Freedom Alert brand that is less than $300 (one time cost). Hooks into a landline and you can program up to four numbers into it (neighbors, relatives, friends) first before the emergency number. If no one answers a number it just goes to the next one- and finally calls your local 911 (or you can have it call 911 first). It acts as a small cellphone with two way communication. A second pendant is about $95 so an elderly couple can each have a pendant for a total cost of less than $400. Google "Freedom Alert".
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Have you considered a lifeline alert system? We pay $45/month. Mom has to wear a pendant. She's had it for 4-5 years and has had to use it 3-4 times to request the help of folks on her call list (neighbor, me, my sister). The lifeline company knows where the spare key is (hidden outside somewhere), so they would give that info to emergency services so nobody would have to break the door down.

The lifeline company initiates a monthly check to ensure her lifeline system is working. As a bonus, when there is an incoming phone call, Mom can answer the call with her pendant after the 2nd ring, so she does not have to try to rush to the phone.

Perhaps this would be an easy first step for your Dad especially since he is mentally sharp. I believe the alert button comes in bracelet or pendant form. There is also an emergency button on the lifeline device next to the phone. Of course, he'd have to wear it 24/7.

As Zdarov pointed out, it would be good to have a neighbor on his call list. But if the lifeline company can't reach anyone on the call list, they will send emergency services to at least do a 'health check'.

My mom would not agree to a remote monitoring system since she thought that was intrusive, but she was very happy to agree to the lifeline alert. And even though I live with her now, we still keep it here. It's some peace of mind.
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i have heard a few people talk about this, but i believe if your father is still mentally sound, you have to have his permission to do this, can anyone comment?
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Mmc, I'll respond to help push this into others' inboxes! I've only researched products so far, which one did you go with? I was focused on ones wth a lockbox for the front door, so rescue responders don't have to kick the door in, and two-way communication to the dispatch person. Some have an extra big button you can mount on the wall in case they didn't have the pendant on. Is there also some trusted person who lives nearby, to go over in case you're worried?
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