Wrist alarms for aged Ps ... Good idea or waste of money?(15 Posts)
My folks are in their late 80's and live in a rambling old house. My Dad in particular is thoroughly wobbly on his feet. I live in the same village as does my brother and we see them most days and do the shopping and what not. I'd like to get them wrist alarms in case they need help when I'm at work or on holiday or whatever - Dad was initially quite keen but has gone off the idea after reading the leaflets I got them ... Any of you MN Vipers out there had any experience of these gizmos? I don't know whether to push it or not ...
They're very good (falls etc) but ONLY if they are worn. Lots of older people I work with have a fall but can't summon help because they left their blooming pendant alarm up on the shelf!
It's good that your parents have each other, but I guess you're concerned about the size of the house and them not hearing a disturbance?
It's very hard to think of a solution that's not totally over the top (like alarm pull cords in every room).
If they are, on the whole, very active and physically mobile then the best solution is to look at the environment and try to reduce the risk factors for falling (rugs, cords, clutter, good lighting, hand rails etc).
Ooops, hang on, wobbly dad... It's really important to do the environmental things. Maybe you could convince him to keep it in a pocket rather than wear it? Not perfect solution, but better than nothing.
Quick Google.. They now do belt clip monitors. Would he consider that?
PILs similar age. Local council run a scheme. Initially they refused, saying it was unnecessary and intrusive, and they baulked at the monthly cost - about £16. Couple of years later they now both have one, almost as a condition of staying in their own home. They have had 2 types. The first type was worn on the wrist or as a pendant. The newer type is worn as a pendant, with a button to press. It contains an accelerometer, which is VERY sensitive. It can go off when they are just moving about, or bump it. They have both got used to the call centre staff asking if they are needing help. Call centre staff are very patient I don't yet have a story about it saving a life, I'm afraid.
PILs both have mobility problems. Until recently a shouty argument ensued whenever DH tried to remove a rug. DM is very houseproud and likes to keep up appearances. More recently he just removes the rugs and although PILs object at the time, they quickly forget - both have dementia now.
Bear in mind that although they may send someone out from the council to check on them, they are just as likely to call you first.
My Mum had a local council one too. It was great for whilst she was on her own. We had a couple of false alarms but also times when it was needed - not for a life threatening fall but she needed to be picked up off the floor and taken to minor injuries for a check up.
Worth it for peace of mind.
My parents were resistant to them, but as mum has dementia the Dr felt it was important (thankfully, they listen to them!) as mum couldn't phone an ambulance herself.
The first time it was used, dad woke up to hear the call centre asking if everything was OK - mum had collapsed upstairs and he didn't even know. It has unfortunatly got quite a lot of use. I'm not local, and they don't have anyone around to be called out, so they have a keysafe and the ambulance people can get in that way.
Really good. I persuaded my elderly neighbour to get one, I and another neighbour re key holders. It gives us all and her family who are miles way peace of mind.
Although as PPs have said, it only works if they use them! I keep catching her with it on a hook and she says 'I would get to it somehow if I needed you!' Grrr!!
They are great, if they are worn. The number of older people I know who keep it on the mantle piece! It's useless unless on the body.
My Grandma had one, she used it once when she fell and fractured her hip so it got her help straight away, she had surgery on that and came home with help. Sadly she had a stroke and fell again and she pressed it then too, she died a few days following that stroke so although it didn't save her life it was the difference between a cold night on the floor alone and getting medical and family help there with her in a comfortable bed.
She did however live alone when she had one, she and my Grandpa refused when he was alive as they said they would look out for each other.
My 96 ye old MIL has a wrist one. She was very resistant to it at first but it's the only way she can stay in her own home.
She pays around 20 a month for it and has only used it once - her stairlift broke down and she was stuck halfway down, the called me and u went straight round. She is good at wearing it all the time though.
Definitely a good idea, DM has had one since DF died. I would have one myself if I was alone in the house (I'm 51). Just to have that knowledge that someone was at the other end to help if something happened gives piece of mind.
Get a proper assessment from an OT, they will advise on all the environmental stuff and other possible solutions too. For example, rugs, wires, slippers, placement of furniture, lights etc are all really important in terms of managing risk.
You can get all sorts of those alarms now - pendant, wrist, falls detectors that you clip onto a belt, seniors in different places which work out if the person is taking too long to go back to bed having got up for a wee in the night.
They are a brilliant idea and so much cheaper and less restrictive than other options.
My grandmother had one & didn't wear it. She got stuck in the bath once for 3 hours when the system which was supposed to help her out failed. You'd think she'd have worn it after that but another time she fell in the loo & got stuck for 40 minutes. They need to accept the need & benefit of it.
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