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    • #26298
      Colleen Steele
      Keymaster

      Have any of you invested in a medical alert system? I think this would be beneficial even if you have family at home in case you are in another room and unable to yell for help.

      If you have one what kind do you use? What is the upside and downside of have one? Have you ever had to push your alert button and how effective was it in getting you help quickly?

      Please share your experience.

    • #26308
      Jen Cueva
      Keymaster

      Hi @colleensteele, I do not have a medical alert system. My hubby has commented a few times that this would be helpful while he is at work during the week, especially after I have had several falls in recent weeks.

      He usually calls me at least twice while on his breaks at work. If I do not answer, he panics. Poor guy, I am often on a call and forget to tell him ahead of time, so he freaks out. Once he was ready to clock out and head home when I text him that I was OK.

      Years ago, my mom and I ordered a life alert necklace for my grandmother. My mom was living here at the time, and we were worried about her being alone. A few times, my grandmother “accidentally” pushed it. We joked back then about her wanting the good-looking paramedics to stop by- hehe. Thankfully we never needed it for a fall.

      I am sure that some others have used some type of alert, and this is not a bad idea, especially those who are living alone or stay home alone for periods.

    • #26311
      Colleen Steele
      Keymaster

      @jenc this might be one of those things that people associate with a certain age group. I know my son struggled many times with things that he thought he was too young to need – oxygen, handicap placard, pacemaker, etc.. The reality is, every age group should be open to whatever is available to keep them safe and well.

      Do you know if they only work when at home or can it be used when out of the house too?

      Jen, I sympathize with your husband’s anxiety. He just wants to make sure you are safe even when he isn’t there. You are so loved.

    • #26315
      Dawn
      Participant

      Hi @colleensteele, I don’t have a medical alert but have been thinking about having one. I live alone (plus my two dogs), and between the ph and my knee issue I have fallen more in the past couple years than ever before. No serious injuries, but it does make me wonder if it might not be a good idea. I think about the ‘I’m only 61’, but better to have a safeguard in place before you need it. We got one for my mother, even though she lived with my brother & his wife, after she fell at home for the first time. It did give us a sense of security because if she couldn’t get the button it also had a fall detector feature. If the monitoring center couldn’t reach her they could call us, and I had it set up that they always called me when anything happened. I’m pretty sure I remember seeing commercials for ones that are usable wherever you are, not just at home.

    • #26317
      Jen Cueva
      Keymaster

      @colleensteele, I agree! I think too often that we do tend to associate these things with age. Like Cullen, the handicap placard, the oxygen, the wheelchair all took time to adjust. I think for me, it was even more of a challenge as I was a nurse. You would think that would help, but I associate those things with sick and or the elderly, and I did not want to think of myself as either. ( Humm, may have another column idea)

      I am loved, and I am grateful that my family loves and cares for me so much. This is all so difficult for him, as you know how this affects caregivers. It hurts my heart, knowing how frightened he gets.

      The medic alert we got for my grammar years ago would work inside and out. I am already not allowed to get in the pool when no one is home. I barely get out back lately with the weather and all my body is dealing with. I know that eventually, we may look into something, especially if this continues.

    • #26318
      Jen Cueva
      Keymaster

      Wow, @dawnt, I did not recall that you were so tall! I would be short next to you-hehe.

      I do think that it would be an excellent idea for you to get one with being alone. I know that your fur babies are there. Like Sasha, she knows when something is wrong, but sadly, they cannot call someone. What type are you looking into buying? I have not yet looked into any but would be curious to what some have used or thought about.

      Anyone else has experience with any medical alert devices that would like to share your experiences?

    • #26327
      Colleen Steele
      Keymaster

      @dawnt I don’t know if it’s covered by insurance or the cost out of pocket, but if you are able to get one it sounds like it might be a great peace of mind to you. Same for you @jenc. If the age thing bothers you let me put it into perspective. My son is 20 and he and his brother have been kicking around the idea of sometime in the future getting an apartment together. Cullen doesn’t know it yet but if they do this I am going to recommend a medical alert system for him. I can understand if he doesn’t want to wear it out but when home alone, especially during days he is having issues, I think it would be good for him to have it. I’m not suggesting it until they actually get an apartment because I have the feeling it’s going to be an eye roll and argument.

    • #26348
      Jen Cueva
      Keymaster

      Thanks, @colleensteele, I do agree that this would be helpful for myself at times when I am home alone. I also agree with having something for Cullen when they do move out. I love that they can share an apartment. My sisters and I would have never been able to do that-hehe. I do love them both, but living with them, even back then, would not work. But, I know as far as Cullen, this will offer you some bit of security when he is there alone, especially when he has “bad days.”

      I would also guess, especially at his age, to expect some eye-rolling. My hubby got that, too, when he mentioned it-hehe. We do plan to discuss this again, and I do need to check to see if insurance covers the cost. I have no clue what they cost. Have you priced any yet that you have in mind that may work for Cullen?

    • #26362
      Colleen Steele
      Keymaster

      @jenc I haven’t researched it at all. There have been too many here and now concerns to deal with and as much as they want to, I don’t think an apartment is going to happen for the boys anytime soon. I think they are going to stay at home and save their pennies for a while before making that leap to independence.

      I have been thinking about my parents too and that maybe it’s time for them to consider this option. My mom is always so assertive with their care – I’m surprises she hasn’t looked into already. Whenever I finally get out to see them I’m going to mention it.

      Let me know if you start considering it more seriously.

    • #26596
      Marsha Ashurst
      Participant

      Yes I have one. I live alone with my kitty. I was just diagnosed with PH six weeks ago and my son encouraged me strongly to get one. He did all the research on the various systems and purchased ADT. ADT is a Home security Company That has a health Division. A few times I’ve accidentally set off the alarm and find that ADT calls me within one minute.

    • #26608
      Colleen Steele
      Keymaster

      @jane42 I have heard of ADT but I thought they just didn’t security. I didn’t know they have a health division too. I might also suggest this to my parents.

      Although it might feel a little embarrassing when you accidentally set it off, I’m sure they are quite use to it happening. It’s great that they respond so quickly – at least now you know!

    • #26612
      Jen Cueva
      Keymaster

      @jane42, like Colleen, I have heard of ADT, we had that security on our previous home. I did not know that they had a health division and offered this service. Thanks for sharing that with us.

      I am grateful that your son suggested this, and even if you hit it accidentally, better to be safe. What is your kitty’s name?

      How are you doing with this new diagnosis of PH?

    • #26641
      Marsha Ashurst
      Participant

      Kitty is Tinker. I got her from the humane society right after my daughter died. She had been encouraging me to get a cat and so Right After she died, I Did. Tinker has been an absolute comfort to me and I believe strongly that my daughter’s spirit guided me to her.

      I continue to struggle with this diagnosis and continue to be mostly in denial about it. I am both a nurse practitioner and a clinical psychologist and so know a lot about the various stages of the grieving process. That being said it was just a few days ago that it occurred to me that I was smack dab in the middle of it. While being overwhelmed is not considered to be a part of grieving, I‘m adding it. I’m absolutely overwhelmed.

    • #26651
      Jen Cueva
      Keymaster

      Hi @jane42, I am sorry to hear about the loss of your daughter. I can only imagine that loss and heartache never fades.

      Tinker, is cute! I am grateful that you have her and she comforts you and when you needed comfort the most. How long have you had her now?

      Awesome that you have such medical expertise. I would agree that being overwhelmed is apart of the grieving process. I must say that I feel overwhelmed, most days. I am unsure if this is my anxiety or grieving process. I would suspect a bit of both.

    • #26654
      Colleen Steele
      Keymaster

      Oh @jane42 I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your daughter. I agree, overwhelmed should be considered a part of the grieving process. Treating others and treating yourself are two very different things. I’m not surprised that you have been grieving and didn’t realize it.

      Know that we are here for you. Feel free to share your feelings anytime. You will always receive understanding and compassion here.

    • #28807
      Jen Cueva
      Keymaster

      Hi y’all, I just wanted to share a little information that I’ve learned today from my Cigna case manager. She thought that it would be covered under DME, medical equipment company. After investigating further she found that it was not covered. But she did suggest I complete a medical claim form with the invoice. This way it may be covered.

      The amount of companies offering these medical alert devices is overwhelming. The costs are dependent on which services you need. The one I called today would run $40- $50 per month. We are still looking at a few other options.

      I’m NOT ready for this but it will offer my hubby and fam better peace of mind. I will update as we decide.

      They have some only for home and others go with You anywhere in the US. For an example, when I can drive again, I could take this one with me. Here is a link to that company. The guy was informative after asking me a few questions, he suggested the mini for me. Manny, my hubby thought the jewelry pendant, so still brainstorming. I’ve also noticed that Amazon sells the devices, so he wants to see if there is anything there more affordable to suit my needs.


      @dawnt
      , have you checked into any yet?

    • #28808
      Anne
      Participant

      Hi @colleensteele – this is a great question! I’ve come so close to passing out several times recently, rallied by head between legs and deep breathing (I used to faint a lot as a teen and learned how to nip it in the bud about 50 percent of the time this way). Thankfully I haven’t been alone during these episodes, but I do worry about if I faint and no one is around. A medical alert system didn’t even enter my mind, I’m glad you brought this up bc I think it’s definitely worth looking into!

      • #28814
        Jen Cueva
        Keymaster

        Hi @anneleo, this would certainly be something for you to look into living alone. I am sorry that you are having what they call pre-fainting episodes. I am grateful that you were not alone, but it sounds like you could benefit from one. Do your research as there are tons of companies that offer the services and have on-the-go- monitoring if you are driving or out of the house alone.

        Let us know what you decide. Thanks for sharing your experience.

      • #28823
        Colleen Steele
        Keymaster

        @anneleo I think they are a good idea. I would say, especially for when you are home alone but sometimes things can happen and even though others are in the house, you might not be able to call out to them for help.


        @jenc
        thanks for bringing this topic to the front again. I never did follow-up with it. I’m disappointed to hear insurance won’t cover it for you. I’m sure it’s not easy to weight the need and the cost.


        @dawnt
        this is one of those things that really depends on the individual. You know your environment best and whether you feel safe or at risk of a health emergency. So many options and cost I imagine doesn’t make this an easy, quick decision either.

        I don’t think Cullen needs one right now but my parents could benefit from it. It would make me feel better if they had one. It’s a discussion I haven’t approached with them yet. One step at a time. I just finally got them to take hearing loss seriously. My dad has hearing aids now and my mom is about to go through the testing to get them.

        • #28829
          Jen Cueva
          Keymaster

          Thanks, @colleensteele; we are now in the process of picking one for me. The peace of mind for Manny and my family will be all worth the cost. We are looking to see which plan would best work for me.

          I could swear that my grandmother’s was covered by medicare years ago, and she still has it. But Cigna does not have coverage on the plan anyway. I would call your insurance and speak to your case manager to see if they offer it under the DME coverage, which is where my case manager thought it would be. I do plan to save my invoice and submit it if I remember.

          Also, for your parents too, but some of you do not sign a contract, and after 2-3 months, you can cancel. For me, once I get one, I hope it is only temporary.

    • #28813
      Dawn
      Participant

      Hi @jenc. I’ve checked on different systems, but like you I feel like I’m not ready for it yet. In all honesty, living alone and having fallen before, I am ready for it. I just don’t want to be ready for it! It’s on a list of things I need to get taken care of, for sure, this year. Things I keep putting off because I just don’t want to deal with them. Updating my will, medical power of attorney, living will, med alert system….I know it’s time to get these things in order, if only to get them off my mind.

      • #28815
        Jen Cueva
        Keymaster

        Oh, @dawnt, thank you for your vulnerability. I can relate that there are some items that we just put off until we can no longer. Right? For me, I find that even within the new year, the weather is gloomy, and my recovery has not been as quick as I had hoped. This is why we share. You are not alone. Let us know how we can help you with any of your new goals.

        I find that less is more, and this is an ongoing struggle for me. My therapist is having me reduce my “to-do” list.

        Take care of yourself, and keep us posted. You live alone, so that does worry me.

    • #28873
      Elaine Wanhala
      Participant

      I got a medical alert system last May. I had been intending to get one for several years but never got around to it. I ended up in the hospital with pneumonia in April and had home nursing for awhile after going home. The home health nurse hooked me up with the company that they use and filled out all the paperwork for me, so it was easy. The company is called MedScope and it works thoughout the continental USA. You can also wear it in the shower. It costs me $29 per month, but it might normally be $40. I wear it around my neck but you could also wear it on your belt. I leave it on all the time. Once I took it off when I went out and put it in my purse. I did not remember till the next day that it was in the purse. Medicare does not pay for it. I still email or text my niece at night with “good night.” I feel safer having it and my family is happy that I do have it. Once a month I press the button to test it and they respond in about a minute. I charge it every 2 weeks. You give them 2 contacts and if you don’t answer when they call you, they will call your first and second contacts before calling 911. I would recommend getting it if you live alone.

      • #28875
        Colleen Steele
        Keymaster

        @ewanhala thank you so much for sharing what you use and the process you went through to get it. I love how the home health nurse filled out the paperwork for you. I always admire nurses who go above and beyond like that. $29 or even $40 a month sounds reasonable to me. I’m going to look into them and mention it to my parents. I’m appreciative of all the information you shared.

      • #28898
        Jen Cueva
        Keymaster

        Hi @ewanhala, thank you for sharing your experience with Medscope. I love that the nurses took care of this for you. That was a huge relief, as I am sure that you appreciated that.

        The one we are looking at is small and, like yours, can go in the shower and even on the go away from home. By sharing how this helps you feel a sense of peace, I am sure that your family feels the same. I also suggest this for those who live alone. My hubby wants to mine more for fall prevention, as at times, I am still off balance and get lightheaded.

        As my hubby says, it will be worth keeping me safe and giving him peace of mind. He stayed home with me again yesterday as I was struggling. Thankful that today is a new day.

    • #28895
      Anne
      Participant

      Test post! I’ve been having trouble posting messages so I just want to give this a try.

      • #28897
        Jen Cueva
        Keymaster

        Hi @anneleo, it looks like this is working for you; when posting, try shorter replies and make sure you give some time between each response. I know how frustrating this can be. Is it on this topic or another? If you continue to have issues posting, please let me or @colleensteele know, and we will reach out to our tech team.

    • #28940
      Janet Barry
      Participant

      Hi, Colleen.
      I do have a medical alert system. I’ve had it approximately 3 years. I was reluctant too until I took a fall and had to really work to get up from the floor and couldn’t reach a phone to call for help. I have one called Mobile Help. It has a GPS that I can wear or carry with me. So far, thank goodness, I haven’t needed to use it. But it gives me a sense of well-being knowing that I could reach out for help. I came with a lavalier and bracelet each of which can be worn in the shower. You must take the GPS with you when you go away from home. It has a carrying case that can be attached to your belt. Or you can attach a lanyard and wear it around your neck. It’s a little heavier than the normal lavalier but since I go out walking in the morning and often there is no one around it’s nice to know I can reach out for help if I need it. I also have a lock box on my front door knob so that ems can enter the house if I can’t get to the door.
      I would definitely recommend one to any one who spends any time at home alone or goes out alone. It provides great peace of mind. To my mind it’s a ‘great invention’.
      Love and keep well all.

      • #28955
        Jen Cueva
        Keymaster

        Hi @jbarry28, I am happy that you have a medical alert system. It sounds like the one you have is similar to the one we are looking at. It is about the size of a Tic-Tac box.

        About the lockbox for the doors, @colleensteele, the company we spoke with, said that we have that option, too. It is like a lockbox that realtors use on the homes that they are trying to lease or sell. This is what they explained to us. This one is Medical Guardian.

        Thanks, Janet, for sharing your positive experience with your medical alert system.

    • #28948
      Colleen Steele
      Keymaster

      @jbarry28 thank you for mentioning the lock box. I was wondering what arrangements people can make so that emergency crews don’t have to break something to get in. Can you tell us more about the lock box? Is there a code that the med alert system has that they can give to the EMT’s?

    • #28970
      Janet Barry
      Participant

      Yes, Coleen. That is exactly how I felt. Actually, I didn’t get mine through the Mobile Help though I could have. I bought it at Home Depot and it uses a four digit code to open it. Inside you can store a key to allow the EMS to enter the house. The EMS has the code and also a list of anyone you trust with your information. Good luck with your search. I know you will rest easier when you’ve made a decision.

      • This reply was modified 3 weeks, 2 days ago by Janet Barry.
      • #28975
        Colleen Steele
        Keymaster

        Thank you for the information @jbarry28. I think this is an important topic and something to at least be considered, if not now, then for the future. I do think this would be helpful for my parents.

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