Tips and Technologies to Help Seniors Remain Safe and in Their Homes Longer: Part 1--the PERS

How can I make senior independent living safer for my loved ones, you ask?

seniorsI must admit, I’m a bit of a geek!  I love all things technology.  I have had some type of home automation for over 30 years.  A few years ago I enabled our home automation via the Internet.  Recently I added web-cams so we can check in on our dogs when we are not at home.  And, I’m certain there will come a day when as seniors we will have a Personal Emergency Response System (or PERS for short).

What exactly is a PERS?  You have likely seen the “help I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” TV commercials of the 1980s and 90s.  While the commercials now look a bit crass in hindsight, that is essentially what these PERS devices do.  Of course, they’ve been brought up to date with GPS and cellular technologies to make them much more reliable and useful.

In her book The Senior Solution:  A Family Guide to Keeping Seniors Home for Life, Valerie VanBooven-Whitsell (who you may have seen on morning TV) reports on a study of Personal Emergency Response Systems (PERS) by AC Nielsen.

The study showed that seniors with a PERS:

  1. Stay at home an average of 6 years longer than those who do not have a PERS
  2. Are 10 times less likely to require admission to a nursing home
  3. Report that they feel protected in their homes
  4. And feel that their quality of living has improved

There are many different types of these systems out there today.   We recommend MobileHelp (please use code RSPHH1601 when purchasing) which offers 3 different versions:

  1. The “Duo” which provides protection both in your home via a landline telephone and on the go outside your home via the AT&T cellular phone network
  2. The “Solo” which uses the AT&T cellular phone network inside and outside your home
  3. The “Classic” which focuses on your safety inside your home

The first two versions also include GPS tracking so if you do need help on the go, emergency medical services can be sent right to where you are without you needing to know the address or other coordinates.  Additionally, as soon as help is secured for the user, a family member can be called or emailed with location or hospital information.  Wow!

In Part 2 of this article, I will cover some of the home automation technologies that can support seniors remaining in their homes.  We hope to see you back for that this coming Thursday!