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What is the point of my mom wearing a "panic/fall button" when she bangs the thing into everything she walks by (including but not limited to her own walker??) She is bent pretty much in half, due to osteoporosis and just refusing to do her exercises. So she walks bent over, the button hanging on the string and it gets bumped and often sets off the alarm as if she has fallen. Then the calls begin. First a siren goes off in her apt, and someone comes on the line to ask if she's OK. She often doesn't respond. Then they go down the calling list. First my brother (with whom she lives, so luckily we've avoided about half of the calls--) but if he is not home, then they call my sister who is a good 25 minutes away, then me, I am 5 minutes away. Even if they shut off the alarm and my brother assesses her and tells them she's fine, the co calls all the people on the list and tells us she's had a fall but that she is OK, or in just one instance, taken to the ER. My poor hubby--the phone is on his side of the bed and he has answered quite a few of these calls. I hear the phone ring at 3 am and my heart starts to race. Turns out she got up for a drink and smacked the button on the counter top. So at least 5 people are awakened several times a week for nothing more life threatening that the fact she won't tuck the thing inside her nightgown (she likes people to see that she wears one...she's a little theatrical about these things to say the least). My sister set this up and she is not even ON the list of people to be called. Funny thing, she sent it through the washer AND dryer and it didn't go off. I asked my bro. is he thought maybe she is looking for more attention by deliberately setting it off and not responding to the person who calls her...and he just sighed and said "That's entirely possible". Anybody else have this situation? After the W/D episode, I began to wonder if she isn't showtiming a little for us? She is quite passive/aggressive--and she's manipulative enough to do just that for attention. I rarely see her..actually am taking a month off for my own sanity--but my heart goes out to my brother!

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My parents have a subscription service (Life Alert) with Fall Detection, and have had several false alarms. And yes my out of state sister set this up, and yet isn't on the call list. Its very expensive, compared to a one-time purchase (I'm looking into non-subscription pendants). They both carry their cell phones with them at all times, only wish there was an app for fall alert instead if a separate device (with a separate bill).
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CM, LOL! I have talked to so many about implants and I hear so much about invasion of privacy, etc. But these people don't think that we are watching them with our internet cameras?!

One more thing on falls. On July 26 my 93 year old MIL had a heart attack, stroke and fell/collapsed in her independent living apartment. She did not have a fall alert, cameras, or someone checking on her more than once a day. By the time people are in their nineties they need more than once a day checking. She lay there for about 18 hours before she was found. The fall could have happened anywhere, but because she chose independent living, we want to blame ourselves or the facility? No, I do not agree with that. Instead we can choose, yes choose, to realize that this fall was not our fault or anybody else's. It is one of those things that happen and often.

MIL spent the following week in hospice care and passed peacefully a week later. She went on her terms and at her time. It was nobody's fault.
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I found it! Pocket Finder, a pendant the size of an oreo cookie with GPS. For cell phones, Verizon Family Locator. ADT calls it Chaperone. You create a "safe zone", e.g. the house and if they leave it, you get an alert via text or email. $10-40 per month.
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CM, you don't have to bribe anybody. Now some police departments are giving families the ankle bracelets that used to be used for house arrest. If grandma wanders out the door, an alarm goes off, with GPS tracking. Immigration uses ADT to monitor selected individuals.
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I have heard of "tech houses" for the elderly. The one I read about was a concept house, not a real thing quite yet.

There are webcams throughout the house at floor level. Whomever is checking on them can see if they are walking around, fallen, haven't moved out of the chair or bed, etc. But the cameras wouldn't show them nude or anything indecent if they were standing or sitting normally.

The lights were all on timers and remote controlled. There was an intercom. Remote door opening & locking (like OnStar for a house). I think it had other automation put in to turn off the stove or shut the fridge. It was really "Jetsons" ready!
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I think we share the same Mother!!! My mom is 98 with dementia and in good health. EVERTHING you wrote is EXACTLY what I've been going through!! My mother has always been a NEGATIVE person, complaining about EVERYTHING. If you ask her how are you doing?.....she'll go on for hours explaining how horrible her life and health are!! Even her doctor said she will outlive us all!! I had to sell my restaurant business two months ago because she was constantly calling Life Alert because I couldn't answer her phone calls while at the restaurant because she wanted to say "Hello". She would call my business, tying up my lines upsetting my employees; yelling that I was ignoring her and she is going to call the cops (which she has done MANY TIMES). Sorry, but if you are calling me during lunch hours, I was too busy cooking!! I have had MANY conversations with her that I will call back when things simmer down....but that never appeased her. When she calls.....she wants an IMMEDIATE response. She will call my cell phone OVER AND OVER AGAIN leaving messages filling up my voicemails to the point that no one else could leave a message! At times, I had to block her number from incomming calls. All my life, she WANTED and WAS the center of attention and believe me.....she was a drama queen!! She always felt she should come first... before my husband and children. When she wants to get attention, she brings on the tears; which is not effective any longer because I know she is play acting. I had one sister (who died several years ago) who went through this before me and after her death, my husband and I thought to let her move in with us. We made our house into a Mother/Daughter home. Never did I think she would do this to me!! If it weren't for the many people who have witnessed what I'm going through, they would have thought I was the worst daughter ever!! Thank God, they see what I've endured. Being that now I am resorted to home, I probably will be cancelling her Life Alert so this will not happen again. I'm always going in several times per day to check up on her assisting in anything she needs! So, to the people here who have wonderful parents who have been loving throughout their lives.....KUDDO'S to you.....I envy you because not every child has that and believe me.....it hurts having a selfish mother who always thinks she comes first and will do ANYTHING to get the attention from their children annoying and disrupting everyone's life around them!! Thanks for hearing me on this and sorry you and your family are going through this as well!!
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Oh Glad! An implant! Wow!!! You're a genius. And I could have a little screen for following her tracker with… Oh happy day.

There must be a black market in surveillance gizmos and a dodgy surgeon I could bribe, surely..?
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I agree with sandwich42plus---we ARE doing the best we can and this forum does allow us the "space" to "complain" because we are all in the same boat.
I am so sorry for your loss, pvgdg..but sandwich is right, we can't play the "if only" card. Our loved ones will fall, whether we're standing next to them or 3,000 miles away! They'll do things we'd rather they didn't and they will make choices we don't understand--it's sadly all part of life and the declining state of our loved ones.
I think all of us are trying to find the best "product" to help notify us of falls. Sadly, even with the alert system on, my mother still falls. Your mother likely would also still have fallen. I personally HAVE done all the things you mention, to keep mother safe, but still find she has snuck throw rugs back into her place, still forgets to wear her panic button, etc. I refuse to feel guilty that I haven't "done enough"....short of forcing her into AL, I'm personally doing all I can, as are most of the people who commented on this thread.
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PGVDG1500 = I am so very sorry for your loss. It's not fair what happened at all, but you have nothing to feel guilty for. You didn't do anything wrong. Please don't beat yourself up. You have absolutely no reason to.

We all just do the best we can with what we know at the time. Hindsight will always be better, but it changes nothing.

My mom had all that and STILL fell and hit her head, suffering some pretty dramatic cognitive decline as a result. She was on a flat floor, in a senior apartment/care center, and still fell. Fortunately her med nurse found her. We still don't know how long she was on the floor and never will.

Someone told me we can drive ourselves crazy with "IF". "IF" is not a productive path to go down because we just can't change the past.
I am so very sorry for your loss. I hope to be the kind of mother my children miss when I'm gone. She must have been a very special lady.
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OK everyone, keep complaining. Go into the bathroom and scream, scream filthy words and curse. It's good for your blood pressure, it's good for your soul, but then do the most you possibly can to keep your loved one safe.
I had not even thought of an alert for my mother, and I do so wish I had. My mother had a slight stroke and she fell down a flight of stairs, fractured her ankle and had a head wound that almost killed her. I don't know how long she had been on the floor before I came to the house to bring her for dinner at my house, but it was way too long. It took the EMT's almost half an hour(the trip to the hospital) to stop the bleeding, and then she had 16 staples in her head to close the wound. After a stint in rehab, she came to live with us for four years. Her brain had changed, our lives changed. I was fortunate enough to be able to have help 5 days a week thanks to the money Mom had put aside for a "rainy day" while my husband and I both worked, but I still moaned and groaned. There are no siblings, so it was all on me. My mother died five years ago this December and I miss her every single day.
Get a wrist alert system that automatically, most of the time, lets the company know when you've fallen. If you can't talk they'll call for help. They are waterproof; make sure your parent has it on all of the time. Get in touch with your local Council on Aging and they'll tell you what is available in your area. We can get lock boxes to put by the front door so the police/EMTs can get in the house without breaking down the door. Get grab bars for the bathrooms, have your parents use walkers. Have first floor bedrooms, pick up the scatter rugs, have someone come in and evaluate the surroundings. And remember, as we get older our brains change, we get more fearful, of everything. But, probably mostly of being forgotten and being left alone.
Do everything you can because guilt at having done nothing is a very heavy burden.
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I just cannot see or understand how any of these systems could possibly work for anybody in mid to late stages of dementia. Nothing is completely foolproof. I just do not think it is possible. The person being monitored would be REQUIRED to be able to learn a new skill and we all know that this is not possible with most of our loved ones.

Maybe if there were a way to implant a device into their bodies. But I do not see that happening either. We can implant chips into our pets, but not into the people we love that are just not capable of doing anything for themselves and do not even remember who they are?!
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Another day of finding out that they do and they don't work: busy burying the cat out in the back, I'd left a notice taped to the front door saying do NOT knock at this door, call this number. Mother has strict instructions that if someone comes to the door (she can see out through the window) she is to call me. Anyway, the alarm went off while I was in mid-dig, so much effing and blinding, I took off my muddy gloves and cantered back indoors, to find mother making her determined way to the front door and the horrified delivery man shaking in his shoes because he had read the notice and, honest Guv, he hadn't knocked. I escorted mother back to her chair with some well-chosen words, amongst which were "and what's wrong with pressing your alarm?"

Oh, she forgot. Yeah, she always forgets. But the pressure pad on her armchair gives her away every time.

Last time she pulled that one she broke her wrist. Any system that relies 100% on compliance seems doomed.
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We have though of the surveillance cameras too. Since we got her Parkinson's meds straightened out she has not taken falls for over a year. The one the other day was because of the $#@! rug I had double sided taped down to avoid this. I found out she told her helper to pull up the rug and get rid of it and the tape. She told the little gal she wasn't going to use the rug so it was put in the trash, which as soon as the helper left she pulled out and put back in the bathroom. Mom's a manipulator, sneaky, and lies when she "thinks" it will benefit her. Needless to say the little helper was horrified when I told her what mom had actually done. Mom should win an Academy Award for her "Showtiming" performances.
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This "panic button" seems to be a hot topic! I think the co that sells them is providing a good service, but they seem to be unaware that one size doesn't fit all! Mother can't press the button, won't put the thing under her clothing so it smacks into things and goes off--forgets to put it back on after her shower....etc. They are only as good as the person wearing them, I think. I am really glad mother doesn't live with me. If it were up to me she'd be in AL, for sure, but it's not. We are meeting as siblings soon to talk openly about her condition, her finances, her manipulative behaviors, etc. She treats each of us so differently and tells us all different stories. I realized I didn't even know who had POA for her--and I still don't.
RatherbeFishing--yep, my mom would think that buying birdseed would be an emergency--and falling down in her bathroom and lying there for hours with a wet diaper around her ankles isn't....I have no idea how her mind works. I will broach the idea of a nanny cam with my brother. I'd think it was an invasion of privacy, since it would have a camera in her bathroom, but she ALWAYS uses the toilet when anyone of us visits and leaves the doors wide open, asking us to stay to help wipe her and get her up. I doubt the presence of a camera would upset her at all. She'd probably like the "attention!" Maybe a video security system would work better for you too.
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This is a timely post for me. We put a small cottage next to our home for her on our acreage to have her close but still give her the feeling of independence. I set my mother (91) up with a cell phone on a neck rope. I thought this would help in case of a fall and she wouldn't loose the phone (this didn't work). It also has an emergency button on the back, which dials my phone automatically when pressed. I showed her how to use this safety button. WHAT WAS I THINKING!
She now uses the emergency button at all hours day or night to call me. The latest call made using this button was at 2:13am to ask me if I put kitty litter on the shopping list. Needless to say my heart was racing, and neither my husband and I could get back to sleep for hours.
Now the other day I go in the house and there she is on the floor of the bathroom. She says all night long (with the phone around her neck). After we got her up safely I asked why didn't she use the emergency button. Her response was, "I didn't want to bother you." But in her mind kitty litter on the shopping list constitutes an emergency. UGH! I was seriously thinking of putting 911 for the button but I value our emergency service people too much to have them deal with her Dementia.
Good luck with trying to figure out what is going to work for you in case of falls.
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take your time off and let them see what you go through.... my mother in law lives with me and her family has no idea ...and could care less! i would give anything to take a month off...enjoy it while you can
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Yep, I agree. Waste of time and money. My sister feels like she did something good for mom but it hasn't helped one single time.
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Heck, we paid for one at mom's house, which she never used one time despite many falls. We paid for another one at her independent living apartment that also never got used despite a serious fall. I pretty much think they are money wasted. The person wearing it has to be cognitively able to use it correctly for it to work as advertised. My mom's did not have fall-detection, but even if it did, she hated wearing it, so it was always on the night stand and not on her person. *sigh*
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My brother built an addition/apartment on to his home 17 years ago--at that time we moved mother and daddy into that apartment. Daddy had Parkinson's and required 24/7 care. Mother, my brother and I took care of him until his passing in 2004. Mom has been OK until last year when she started having these falls, and then my oldest brother died--totally unexpectedly, she took it really hard altho she had not seen nor spoken to him in literally years (3? maybe) After that I know my brother and I were a lot more "aware" of her, she really got depressed, as you would expect. Then her hip went and she had the hip replacement. Since then, she's completely downhill.
My brother's wife has pulled triple duty for years, raising a young family, dealing with elder care issues under her roof and also (more recently) working 2 jobs to help ends meet. I know my mother pays for their electric and cable (internet) and maybe chips in a little for groceries. My SIL had to step away from caring for my mother a couple of years ago as it was burning her out and mother was being kind of nasty to her. They live under the same roof, but my SIL really never speaks to my mother. The kids come and go, but they are all busy with their own lives and there is no reason they should play nursemaid. They are sweet to her and check up on her, but they shouldn't be changing out her diapers and cleaning her apartment.
My brother is an EMT, so he works shift work. He is off only 3 nights a week, so if she falls at night, he's 40 miles away. Why should my sweet, LONG suffering SIL be awakened night after night to go check on mother? Hence the call system the way it is. SO far, the calls have always been when my brother has been home, so that is why I think she is deliberately setting them off. I haven't had to jump in the car and run up there yet. I would, of course, if that was the need. My sister who is now #2 on the list us a good 20-25 minutes away. She has stated she will call 911 if she gets a call. I wish I could get a family mtg together and discuss this, but nobody wants to talk about it. Easy peasy for the 3 sibs who are not "involved"...when my brother, the main caregiver decides he needs help, he'll arrange for a mtg. He has stated over and over that he is in this for the long haul. (I guess until Mother dies). There's no money to inherit, so he's either a saint or a martyr. (Oldest brother cleaned my folks out years ago--another sad tale for another day). Sorry such a long post, but this is cathartic for me...my hubby will not talk about mother with me at all...so it's nice to have people who "get it" listening and adding their viewpoint.
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Midkid, so Mom is living with a brother, not alone? Why would there be a need to call you ever? Is she paying rent to your brother?
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I honestly think my mom has not given POA to anyone...my younger brother? (Not the one she lives with.) I know he has his name on her checkbook, all financials, etc, so she can't be spending out of control, but as far as making decisions on her behalf..I don't know. She'd NEVER give it to one of us "girls" for sure. If it's my younger brother, he would NEVER have mom declared unable to live alone, etc. He doesn't make waves.
As I have said, when I thought it was time for her to move to assisted living and I made all the appts and checked out the places..then ran the idea past the other 4 sibs I was blown away that none of them thought it was a good idea. Even the one with whom she lives, so I will not be the one to bring up that hot topic again. I TRULY do not think that the 2 sisters and 1 brother do NOT see what I see and the brother with whom she lives---he has some kind of martyr complex, plus he does gain financially from her living with him. Truthfully? I am not really a "player" in this at all. My opinions and voice don't count. Now that I see this, in the clear light of being non-involved for a couple of weeks, I realize that I am stressing over nothing. I have no say in her care, and I am not going to, unless asked. I think I will find out, just because I think I should know, who does have POA for mom. Just curious--
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They can fall anywhere. And if Mom cannot push a button, or remember to she should not be living alone. Does the POA state that residental decisions are made by the POA? Or does it say that placement has to be unanimous? I suspect that POA alone makes residental decisions. Time to get your name off the list and let siblings be the ones that are called and respond when Mom needs help.

Remember, that your Mom put the POA's in place, hopefully when she was competent. That is what she wanted for herself. And the one holding it is the ONE that is to make those difficult decisions that are based on mom's instructions.
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Or the falls chip what they may, alas…

People who loftily delegate are a particular bugbear of mine (married to a narcissist for too long, I've become allergic). Please do put a stopwatch on your sister and let us know how long her u-turn takes. I think you're right, we'll be able to hear the screech of brakes from here.

Canadian? I'm flattered, but no - 'here' is the UK. You get all sorts on AC, that's one of the many things I love about it.
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Thanks, B8alou...I agree, mother needs more supervision, hence my desire to see her go into AL. However, I was the single "yes" vote on that, and it has to be unanimous or she stays where she is. My brother insists he can give her the care she needs, tho obviously, he can't be there 24/7. None of us can. So we are just going to let the chips fall where they may--no pun intended.
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With regard to falls, I'm going to tell you what the disharge nurse told me last year, when I was feeling awful that mom fell in AL and broke her hip with three aides in the room. "Honey, my mom broke her hip with three RNs in the room and one of them was me. you get to that age, and bones break no matter what". I repeat this to myself often.

If you mom falls often, she needs a higher level of supervision and care. Period.
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Countrymouse--I didn't see your response till just now...a nanny cam might be OK. Small apartment, she doesn't move around much, maybe that's the answer. The fall button is a joke, just stressing everyone out. Loved that term: beetled around, you must be Canadian!
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I really think that I will call my brother (who has POA) and tell him to put my youngest sister as the 2nd call. She'd change the way she feels about getting mom into an ALF pretty fast if she ever had to do anything for her, besides mail her a card once every other month. She is not in the least inconvenienced by mom's antics. Oh, plus we have the dynamic of mother telling each of us a totally different story about whatever has happened. Nobody is around when she falls (except for one spectacular one she did when out with friends who were supposed to be "supporting her"--she "falls" and then tells each of us a different twist on what happened. None of us knows the truth, I'm sure.
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This is the bit that made me hoot with laughter: "My sister set this up and she is not even ON the list of people to be called."

Oh, smart move there, cookie!!!

I'm sure she *meant* well, as my mother would say.

Don't know if this is of slightly more help: my mother wears her pendant wrist watch style, on a piece of elastic fabric with a little clip to it. It's not connected to a remote call centre, though: I have a portable monitor and she's supposed to press her alarm to call me when she wants to move around. My big problem is that wild horses galloping through the room wouldn't make her use it. And, yes, she has in the past pressed it in error, meaning to turn on her bedside light, change the TV channel etc etc etc. No system is foolproof. Or, rather, dementia + independent soul proof.

I look at it this way. "What we call progress is merely the exchange of one nuisance for another nuisance." (Walt Whitman, I think) You pick your nuisance. No personal alarm system, you lie awake hollow-eyed wondering how long you leave it before you go round to her house and check she's not lying there with a broken neck of femur. Personal alarm system, you chase your tail on nine occasions out of ten. And in my case froth at the mouth uselessly trying to persuade her to use the beep-beep thing as she's meant to (I'm trying to stop doing that).

Ah. I see just now that your mother can't use a push-button alarm. Nanny cam? Motion sensor that warns you if she hasn't beetled around for a given length of time? Have a good look at the product catalogues, because they really have done their best to think of everything. Best of luck.
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mom is in an ALF, and they don't use the fall detection because of false alarms, so mom pushes the button just to see how long it takes them to get there.
When she lived alone, we told the service to call 911. Of course, what would the neighbors think? She was embarrassed to even consider it. Getting US to run around would amuse her endlessly, so we said "call 911"
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