When seniors were polled by an independent agency about their fears, the number one most frightening incident was loss of independence. And rightfully so. Our parents were raised in an era where independence was not only a valued thing, but also earned and a times, a matter of survival.
Most of our elders were raised on the simplicity of life where you made do with what you had. If you needed help, you called on a family member. In their younger years they had to work hard from dawn to dusk to provide the necessities of life. Independence, to them, was valuable and when the loss of that attribute happened, the result was seniors who simply gave up.
This mindset is hard to overcome, especially in a modern society where computers and cell phones reign. Our seniors have little or no knowledge of the world’s technology and frankly, it frightens them to depend on a technology they don’t understand.
Modern technology has provided a number of safety gadgets that when used, offers seniors the opportunity to remain as independent for as long as possible.
PERS (personal emergency response systems) have become one of the highest rated safety options for today’s seniors. A personal emergency response system is a small button attached to a necklace and worn by the senior at all times. In the event of a fall or illness the loved one can press the button and call for emergency assistance.
Many have seen the television commercial “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” The product this commercial advertises is one of the most valuable assets in which a senior can invest. Most PERS are small remote buttons that, when pressed, activate a monitor which dials an emergency call center. Once the call center is notified, a representative’s voice comes across the monitor. If voice contact can not be made with the senior, pre-designated emergency steps are activated and help is immediately sent.
PERS services range in cost from $30-$50 per month and the service is worth every cent. Seniors who wear PERS are able to stay home alone without the fear of being injured and not being found. PERS units provide an almost instant assistance for seniors in need and for their families, a peace of mind that cannot be found in other situations.
These small, unobtrusive devices are one-step-simple and help re-establish a confidence in seniors that encourages them to remain active and live safely at home.
The harsh reality of modern technology and medical assistant devices is convincing our elderly to use them. Having a PERS unit does no good, if the senior refuses to wear the button, just as having a walker to help maneuver through a house is of no use if it remains in the corner unused. As family members, it’s our job to lovingly and gently introduce our seniors to these devices, encourage their use and reassure our loved ones that use of these products provides a security and peace of mind for them and their family members.
Many insurances will pay some or all of the cost of a monthly PERS unit when accompanied by a prescription from a physician. They can be obtained through home health agencies, hospitals, drug stores and local independent dealers.
Introduce your senior to a simple and cost effective device such as a PERS unit and help ease the fear of losing their independence.