Lifestyle

Peace of mind when you can't be there

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Do you live alone or do you have an elderly or frail loved one that you must leave at home alone for long periods of time?

Do you worry what would happen if you/they had a fall or needed medical attention?

What if you/they couldn’t get to the phone?

A medical alert/personal emergency response system may provide you the peace of mind you’re looking for… knowing that help will be on the way if and when needed.

This week, I had a family share their ordeal with just such a scenario.

Daljit is a caregiver for her father Sohan Singh, who lives alone in his own home.

Daljit’s mom passed away over a year ago and since then her father has chosen to live on his own despite repeated requests from Daljit to move in with her.

Sohan is 70 and wants to remain independent as long as he’s healthy.

Daljit visits him once a week, takes him shopping, cleans the family home and helps run any errands.

This week though, Daljit was in total shock when she found her father on the bathroom floor.

Sohan had been lying on the bathroom floor for over 24 hours after having a fall.

He had become disoriented and was unable to move or call for help.

Tests at the hospital would reveal that Sohan was very lucky to only have a minor crack in his leg and some bruising. Though the injuries from the fall were minor, the whole incident did leave him scared and feeling very weak.

Daljit was now worried about leaving her father alone but also knew she couldn’t put her life on hold to stay at home with her father.

The answer for Daljit was to invest in a personal emergency response system for her father.

There are many different kinds on the market, but most provide 24/7 monitoring service for frail elders and people with disabilities.

The system hooks into a person’s telephone system, with costs varying for installation and monthly monitoring services.

There are styles to choose from wristbands to pendants that attach to necklaces.

With the advances in technology, these systems can now automatically detect a fall and place a call for help.

There are many local companies that provide these services and one should always do their research to make sure they’re getting the best product and services that meet individual needs.

A simple fall can have devastating consequences.

Without immediate help, you may suffer pain, emotional distress, or experience serious secondary medical problems such as dehydration, hypothermia or pneumonia.

These negative outcomes can be greatly reduced by receiving timely help through the assistance of a medical alert/personal emergency response system.

For more information about caregiving support groups in your area, contact Jas Cheema, caregiving support coordinator at the White Rock, Surrey Comeshare Society at 604-531-9400 or email jcheema@comeshare.ca

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