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Who can you call to pick you up if you fall at home? Sounds like a silly question, but do you have to get a bracelet with a panic button? Are the other options?

My dear mother has fallen twice at home in the last few months and my father cannot pick her up. So each time he called 911, they sent an ambulance, the drivers took her to the closest ER, then she spent 2 days having cat scans and blood tests that showed nothing. This routine is likely to continue unless I can suggest a different course of action.


Thanks for any input.

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In my area, the EMT's really don't mind getting calls for "lifts" when someone falls. It gets them out of the building on a slow day.

Now, regarding falls and head injuries. Sometimes the elder doesn't want to be a bother so the elder won't tell the EMT's that a head bump had happened. Head injuries in the elderly can be quite serious. And some head trauma cannot be seen outside of the skull.

One time when my Mom went to the ER, an scan showed she had a brain bleed prior to the current brain bleed. Oh gosh, apparently Mom had a previous fall that Dad didn't tell me about. Sadly the current fall caused Mom's demise a few months later. Oh, if only Mom would have used a walker, she refused big time.... [sigh].  Mom kept saying "oh, Dad will catch me if I fall"..... yeah right, Dad was unable to get out of his chair for at least 5 minutes due to mobility issues, how was he going to stop a fall from across the room [rolling eyes].  Denial.
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But then, how is the help going to get into my locked house, with me lying helpless in the basement laundry room? Hmm ...

JeanneGibbs - get a lockbox for your front door. It has a combination lock that someone can open and it has a front door key inside. If you have to call the paramedics, you can tell them the combination.
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These guys should be in assisted living. This was my parents exact situation 2 weeks ago. Mom had some bad falls, cousin found her beat up and bleeding.

She went from hospital directly to assisted living and I moved Dad in 3 days later.

Just about the toughest few days of my life but it had to be done.

I was totally burnt out with all the worry and trying to keep their ship afloat.
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Great question! I'm thinking about it now for myself. I'm not a particularly high fall risk, but I do live alone and am getting older!

I bought a leather pouch that I carry my cell phone in all day. (Women's clothing can't be counted on to have pockets.) So, as long as I am conscious I should be able to summon help. So far, so good, right?

But then, how is the help going to get into my locked house, with me lying helpless in the basement laundry room? Hmm ...

I need to be sure all nearby family members have keys. Even if my petite granddaughter couldn't lift me, she could at least let the firemen in.

The one time I got called by my mother's alert system, her door was locked. I got the apartment supervisor who opened the door with a pass key. But then the chain was on! He had to go find a bolt cutter. Having someone come is the first step. GingerMay, your father is home with Mom and he could open a door. But for people who live alone, the other important step is how is that person going to get in?
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Jeannegibbs you can give The Police Department the code to your lockbox, they will keep it on file..when my mom was still living at home, we put a lock box at her back door after she fell and broke her hip. Fire Department had to break open other door to get in. So we put the lock box on when she came home from Rehab. One morning as I was driving to her house, she called me, she slipped on to the door from bed. I called police department, told them box code. By the time I got to her house the EMTs had mom back in bed. ENT’s said they put her code on file..
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My MIL (who should not have been living alone) had a panic pendant, which would first call a family member. If one was available they would go to her house to help her up. If nobody was available the service would call 911. Once the medics got there and helped her up she would refuse to go to the hospital. This happened FREQUENTLY, and frankly I think a waster of taxpayer dollars when it happens multiple times a week.

So if you have a family member, or friend, who lives close by the pendant service could call them to help her up. And if 911 is called, she can refuse to go to the hospital.

But it might be time for a different living arrangement, where there is somebody nearby at all times to help.
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This happened many times with my parents when my brothers could not be reached. My sister who lived with them called the fire department. They gave her a special number to call so they would not send a truck with sirens blaring. Two burly firemen in a regular truck would arrive to get them up. Of course they were called only when it was certain that there was no injury, for example, sliding out of the chair onto the carpet.
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We call the Fire Department in our town and ask for a "lift assist." They send 3-4 Firemen to get Dad or DH (yes, I care for both of them) on their feet. If they seem uninjured, we refuse the ambulance that they offer.
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When you call 911 you ask for a "Lift Assist"
When the paramedics arrive you just ask them to lift the person up, place them wherever you want, wheelchair, bed.
They will ask if you want or need transport to the hospital.
Decline further medical care. (Unless the person is obviously hurt) they will ask you to sign off on papers showing that they were there, you declined transport to the hospital.
I had to do this about 9 times over 4 years and I never had a problem and I was never pressured into a Hospital transfer.
The Paramedics are trained to help lift someone and it is safer for them to do it than for you and another family member or a neighbor.
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I was told to call the Volunteer Fire Department. I was also told that if I call 911, explain it is just to get a 96 yr old off the floor and to ask for the fire department.  Where we live, every ambulance call is $600+ and not covered by Medicare.

So far I have managed to get him up - but I know the day is coming.

Lifts are not cheap but they are available and it might be the way I go instead. Hospice will supply a Hoyer Lift but my DH isn't on Hospice yet.
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