Medical alert systems provide peace of mind for users

Published: Feb. 9, 2021 at 5:16 PM EST
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BREWER, Maine (WABI) - Medical alert systems allow anyone to call for help at the push of a button.

A help button on a lanyard can be a lifesaver, especially during the pandemic.

Linda Taylor has lived in a retirement community in Brewer for several years.

”I’m very unsteady on my feet actually.”

For most of that she’s had a button she can use to call for help.

“I feel so much safer with it.”

Cindy Smith is the program manager for LiveSafe through Northern Light Home Care and Hospice.

“LiveSafe is our medical response service.”

She says buttons like the one Linda has are more important than ever as COVID-19 has amplified the problem of isolation. Neighbors and friends are less likely to notice an absence.

“The isolation with seniors not only in the winter but during the summer and spring. If something happens you’re able to get help sooner which keeps you independent.”

Linda says she worries that without her button, even if she fell in her apartment at the retirement community, it could be a long time before help arrived.

“Just being out there forever, nobody knowing it. No place to get up.”

She experienced this first hand when she tripped on a tree root outside.

“I’m sitting there thinking how am I going to get up, what am I going to do. Finally I said well I gotta push the button.”

Instead of a 911 call where the dispatcher has to be filled in on everything, the person on the other end of the line picks up knowing Linda’s name, location, and more.

Help buttons are a big industry, and Smith cautions seniors to be sure they are getting a service that will work for them.

“With Northern Light LiveSafe we want people to have a button when they need it so we don’t have a contract we just do month to month.”

Smith says she has clients who range from just children to over 100 years old.

“It’s not about age, it’s about safety.”

Linda says it’s helped her peace of mind, and notes that it doesn’t only benefit her.

“It’s also there if you’re with somebody else and they fall or they have an emergency, you can also do it and bring help for them.”

Northern Light also offers a “Caring Calls” program that checks in with participating seniors by phone daily to see how they’re doing.

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