Saturday, October 6

SecurTek's Medical Alert for Elderly Parents Allows Caregivers to Take Holidays

When writing this article on fall prevention education lately, I asked myself how many children of older parents don't leave town for holidays for fear of what might happen to their parents while they are away. Everyone needs a holiday, but it's not a holiday if you spend it worrying about how your mother or father is doing at home.

Fall Prevention Education Helps Reduce Risks of Injury at Home

Educating families and caregivers about the risks and consequences of falls in home settings is one of the best ways to keep North American households safe, according to safety experts. Fall prevention should also include discussions to establish protocols and signals on how to react in case falls and injuries do occur.

"Find something that works" says Michael Brenholen, Director of Operations and Client Services for
St. John Ambulance in Saskatchewan. "Make sure the people who know about the signal, know what to do when they get the signal and follow-up if something does happen."

Brenholen has delivered injury prevention training for years. He points out that -- whether the victim of an accident or providing assistance -- knowing one’s limits is key:

"Getting help is a primary goal in any emergency situation where somebody gets hurt, calling 911 as soon as possible can be critical. We don’t want people dealing with a situation on their own, if it is above what they are capable of doing. There are a number of issues that need to be adressed. If they can’t reach the phone themselves, somehow that help needs to be recruited."

While he emphasizes the need to maintain safe home environment, free of obstacles or features like sharp drops on the floor, Brenholen recognizes the role communication systems among neighbours, family members or through paid monitoring services like SecurTek’s Medical Alert can play in emergencies. "It is good to have back-up plans. Most people haven’t thought it out or don’t have a plan," he notes.

According to the
Public Health Agency of Canada, one-third of people age 65 and over have a fall every year, with half of them experiencing more than one fall. Falls are the most common cause of injury among seniors who are nine times more likely to be hurt in a fall than someone under age 65. Nearly two-thirds of injury related hospitalizations for seniors are the result of falls, and roughly half of all falls occur in a home setting.

Jeff Beer knows first hand the toll falls take on seniors and their caregivers. He runs
Independent Living, a supplier of mobility aids and personal care products to the elderly and persons with disabilities:

"We all too often see people walk into our store after they have sustained an injury. Their bruises tell their story more vividly than anything could. They are often accompanied by a family caregiver, concerned about ensuring their safety and limiting risks of greater injury down the road."

As a result, Beer started offering
SecurTek’s Medical Alert to his clients. It is a monitored solution available 24 hours a day to respond when help is needed. The client wears a communication bracelet or pendant linked to a control panel in the home, equiped with a strong two-way speaker. In the event of a fall or personal emergency, the wearer presses a personal help button which will prompt immediate response by a trained attendant who can call family, friends or the appropriate emergency services, depending on the client’s needs.

For someone who is unable to pick up the phone to call for help, Medical Alert provides that extra peace of mind. For the growing number of family members and caregivers who worry about a loved-one’s safety. Systems like SecurTek’s Medical Alert provide that extra reassurance that they will no longer be alone in times of need.
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