Is one-way communication in assisted living common? - AgingCare.com

Is one-way communication in assisted living common?

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My father is in Assisted Living. He wears a pendant to call for assistance. The problem is, when he pushes the button, but there is no communication to let him know his request has been received. The wait time can be up to 20 minutes at times. Is this common? I have discussed with Nursing Director. The facility does not seem interested in getting two way communication . I wonder if there is something I could get for him. Maybe a Life Alert and they call the nurses station? I am serious! What have others experienced? Thanks

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My Father is in a SNF now and they have a one way system. He complained that they never come when he pushes the button. I asked the Case Manger what are the expectation that he should have. She said 5-10 minutes. Once he knew that, he's been more tolerant. Also, when I visit I test the system to see if someone arrives within 10 minutes. They have always arrived within 5 minutes.
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Its usually a one way system. An AL has a limited number of CNAs. The residents are not suppose to need 24/7 care. If that kind of care is needed, then it may be time for a SNF.
An alert button can be set up to call someone else before 911. So in the instance of an AL, the desk would be called first and the decision for 911 would be left up to the nurse on duty. I always had Moms service call me first.
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When my Dad moved to Independent Living he was given a medical alert pendant since he was a fall risk. Dad was a tumbler, he could be tying his shoes and roll right out of his recliner, so he will alert the pendant. His problem was just standing back up, no injuries.

Dad would tell me it took some times before anyone showed up, but when I explained the nurse/aides probably had a triage set-up, they were with a resident who had a serious medical condition. Dad understood that and was more patient about the wait times.

I wouldn't be surprised if residents used the medical alert pendant if they couldn't find their TV remote, or couldn't reach for something in a closet, or will there be thunder storms tonight.

As for the 2-way talk system. Unfortunately as one gets older their hearing starts to fade :(
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I know someone who works at an AL where they had a resident who kept their outside alarm pendent service when they moved in. After EMS showed up a couple of times he was given the choice to stop using it or move.
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Two way communication would be ideal! I am unaware of any ALF or Skilled Nursing Facility that has anything other than the standard one-way pendant. Regarding the wait time, check your state regulations; I am in Florida and our statutes require a response to the pendant within 10 minutes. The ALF we use has a check system so when inspections are done, they are held accountable. Nonetheless, there are times MIL is kept waiting longer than requisite 10 minutes and that can seem an eternity to them.  Be politely persistent about getting the response time adhered to for your Dad.  Good luck.
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I have not seen a two way communication system in an Assisted Living Facility.
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