Tuesday, January 29, 2008

I've Fallen and Can't Get Up!

Many older people who live alone are capable of caring for themselves in many ways. They may take a little longer getting things done, but they are still able to fix their medications for the week, cook for themselves and pay their bills the same as always. Living independently is important to our older folks, in fact, the number 1 consideration according to polls taken by AARP.

At some point, getting around may be the greatest obstacle an older person faces. Many seniors who still drive a car have serious trouble getting into and out of the vehicle as well as ambulation difficulties around the home. Physical impairment such as arthritis make walking with a cane or walker a necessity. Vision problems and side effects from medications can make it difficult for the senior to function alone.

One of the greatest fears of family members and caregivers is the senior falling and not being able to get to a phone to call for help. Unless the caregiver or neighbor is in contact with the senior on a regular basis. a fall can be devastating with help out of reach for hours or even days.

Good News! There are services available for those who live alone! Medic Alert is just one of several companies who act as a go between with the person who has an emergency and the emergency services, i.e. 911. A person who signs up for this type of service chooses an emblem to wear in the form of a bracelet, necklace, or other item that is kept on their person at all times. In the event of a fall or other emergency, by pressing the emblem, the victim sets in motion the emergency response team. This can be a great reassurance to both the elderly person as well as the family. Of course, there is a cost for the service. Nothing is free these days. But the cost could be worth the peace of mind.

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