Maintaining Independence with Personal Emergency Response: Home Care Agencies

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long term care elder womanElenor has always been fiercely independent. Her retirement living decisions continue to reflect her independence. At 85 years old, Elenor lives in her own home. Despite the health problems she is faced with because of congestive heart failure, lymphoma in remission, and diabetes, she is adamant about remaining independent. Elenor has no nearby friends or neighbors and no way of getting around. She does have a wonderful, caring son and daughter-in-law. However, they live 15 miles away, and Elenor does not want to burden them with caregiving responsibilities.

Recently, Elenor found herself shaking, lightheaded, dizzy, cold and nauseated. She slowly made it to the bathroom. While in the bathroom, she fainted and fell. When she fell, she hit her head on the closet door under the sink. When Elenor came to, she pressed her Lifeline button that she wears as a pendant around her neck. She recalls, “I immediately felt calmer and my panic was gone.”

Elenor continues, “In a few minutes, paramedics were in the apartment and soon after I was taken to the hospital.” At the hospital, she was relieved when she found that her son was already there to meet her. Elenor’s doctor was also immediately notified by Lifeline. The doctor was briefed on her condition and summoned to the hospital right away.

Despite her initial reluctance to use a personal emergency response device, Elenor now truly understands their importance. She states simply, “I didn’t want the Lifeline alarm, but it saved my life!”

In retrospect, she realizes that her emergency situation could have ended much differently. “I might have passed out again, and it could have been many hours later before my son realized I didn’t answer the phone and something was wrong,” Elenor says. She concludes, “If you think that you do not need the alarm button, you are wrong!”

Elenor is now living back at home. She is secure in the knowledge that her Lifeline is just a button push away. Elenor is also confident that she will remain in her own home, living independently, for some time to come.

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