Hi Everyone,

First-time poster here, so thank you for all you do (I'm looking at you, the one who responds with the wealth of knowledge you're willing to share).

I'm 50, a retired fire captain, and in my first year of law school. Youngest of six. I invited my father to move in with me...he came from the Boston area to South Dakota after his wife passed a couple years ago. He's 81, has all his faculties, is mobile enough to walk his small dog every day, and still drives and is good at it. He's been here since October.

After a month of settling, I brought up the topic of monitoring, to which he replied "I'm don't think I'm ready for that yet." It's definitely a pride thing for him...but today, all that changed. He slipped on the melting ice and cracked his nose, then passed out and fell again two more times before he made it to the house door. His nose was hamburger, but otherwise, I did a quick paramedic assessment on him before we went to the ER. All the tests checked out OK.

I would like to find a product that is preferably a wristwatch design that does not look like a giant first aid symbol - something wearable that will not draw attention to the fact that it's a monitoring device. It needs to have fall notification that comes directly to me, and preferably a GPS signal for location - although that would not be a deal breaker. A 911 button would also be good if it's something that exists away from the home.

Since I am new to this caretaker stuff, any other suggestions or options you might be able to give me would be much appreciated.

I'm home with him every day at various times. My walk to law school is less than eight minutes, or a couple if I drive.

My dad's muscles are weak. He has been to physical therapy, but basically refuses to strengthen his legs and upper body to the point of becoming more capable of living safely. Will not do Silver Sneakers or anything like it. I know from decades of fire/EMS work that one bad fall - especially a broken hip - could spell the end of life as he knows it. I'll take it to the wall to keep him home, but we're in a new phase, and from here on out, unless he changes, this will be a slow slide to less and less stable mobility, and more and more assistance.

Thanks in advance.

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You could do a camera system that links to your phone. You could monitor him without him even knowing.
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My dad used GreatCall for fall monitoring. He wore a pendant around his neck, kept under his shirt. When a fall was detected or he pushed the button we were called in an order that would get help in time. The operators also spoke to dad to assess whether calling 911 was appropriate. We also installed a KnoxBox on the house with fire/paramedics able to access. My dad had the weak legs issue for years, became very dependent on a rollator over time. We went down the physical therapy and attempted exercise countless times, nothing improved. Sorry to be a downer about it, just know we exhausted all options to help the weakness and for him it didn’t happen. Your dad is blessed to have you in his corner, wish you both the best
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maitai11 Feb 2021
Thank you very much...that's very helpful!
Welcome to the forum.

Your dad is a fall risk. As you are well aware of, falls can cause serious injuries.

Why don’t you call Council on Aging in your area to see if your they can sit with your dad while you are at school? They will do an assessment of his needs to see what level of care he needs.

My mom had a monitor. We had the lockbox outside with a code for the EMT firefighters.

Her device was through her Humana Gold Plus insurance. It was the necklace type but did have fall detection.

Mom couldn’t hear well so it was practically useless for her.

It was a nuisance for me because there was a delay in the response feature.

So, it was easier for me to just use 911.

How often are your classes? Can you hire someone from a caregiver organization?

Do you think he should be in a nursing home? What about a rehab facility?

I don’t think it is safe for your dad to be left alone if he is a fall risk.

It is wonderful that you will be attending law school. Congrats!

The timing of school with caregiving may not gel though.
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