PERSONAL EMERGENCY RESPONSE SYSTEMS: PROVIDING “JUST IN CASE” SUPPORT FOR AGING IN PLACE

Johnny and Sarah chose to age in place in the same town as their daughter.  The active couple enjoys spending time together at home but also have their own hobbies in the community.  After Johnny fell one day while Sarah was out, they began looking for “just in case” support.

The simple solution for Johnny and Sarah was a Personal Emergency Response System (PERS).  This technology typically includes a base unit and a pendant.  With a push of the button, a call center responds and/or 9-1-1 is dispatched.

When considering purchasing a PERS, here are some questions you may want to ask:

  1. What kind of technology do I need?  With today’s products, there are landline, cellular, and digital options available.
  2. Who answers the call?  Is it a call center representative or is there an automated connection to 9-1-1 or another emergency response provider?
  3. Do I get to select who will respond once I request help? Some call centers will not automatically dispatch 9-1-1.  They will allow you to create a phone tree so that neighbors or family can be contacted.
  4. What are the costs involved?  Be sure to ask about any monitoring, programming, and activation fees.  Sometimes, a product that seems affordable has the cost offset by higher fees.
  5. Is there battery backup in case of power outage?  Typically, most PERS will have this option, but rates of backup time vary.
  6. What kind of customer service do they offer?  Does the company have representatives who are trained to address any issues or will you utilize an automated service system?    Consider which works best for you.

Clearly, many options are available on the market today for personal emergency response.  Taking the time to ask a few questions will help you find a system that is just right for your needs and offer you peace of mind.

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Stronger every day: Brian Keefer of ‘Extreme Makeover’ is gaining mobility after a paralyzing accident

It’s been more than four years since Brian Keefer attempted a triple flip into a foam-filled pit at a Fairview Township gym and plunged head-first into the hard foundation underneath.

In that instant, he became a quadriplegic.

He thinks back to that day constantly, and to the life he led before. A life of athletics, constant motion, carefree days at the beach and few worries.

Brian Keefer working out in hydroworx pool

Enlarge John C. Whitehead | Special to PennLive Brian Keefer of Newberry Twp. works out in his Hydroworx pool Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012. Brian is trying to retrain his body to move again. Keefer was paralyzed after a gymnastics accident in 2008. JOHN C. WHITEHEAD/The Patriot-News Brian Keefer gains mobility after paralyzing accident gallery (10 photos)

Thinking back is not depressing, though, he said. It’s motivating.

It’s what keeps him working out daily, pushing himself to strengthen his muscles and retrain the nerves damaged in his accident.

“I want to get back to how life was before,” he said this week after emerging from the HydroWorx therapy pool where exercise specialist Kelsey Harbold had been putting him through his paces. “I try to be positive. It’s a personal choice to be in a good mood or a bad mood, and I choose to be in a good mood.”

A lot has happened to Keefer, 25, since that day in June 2008.

He went back to school, accompanied by his father, Steve, as his caregiver. He graduated from Lock Haven University in May with a degree in recreation management, an A- grade point average and a standing ovation when he went up on stage.

And most notably, he starred on national TV on the reality show “Extreme Makeover Home Edition.” That was after 4,000 volunteers rebuilt his family home in Newberry Twp. in one week in June 2011 to help him become as independent as possible.

The house has high-tech innovations such as a voice-activated iPad that lets him turn on the television, dim the lights and perform other tasks without the help of his family.

The highlight of the house is the therapy room. It contains an electrical stimulation bicycle, an adapted treadmill and other items that help him continue what is called “activity-based restorative therapies.”

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New Website..And Chance to Win $50!

We Just Launched Our New Website…And Blog!!

Hot off the press, you will now notice a drastic change to our website! We have been working in-house to redesign and rewrite the site for some time. Along with a new look, we have included some features that we hope will make visiting the site a quicker, easier and more interactive experience.  Additionally, as you just did,you can now find our blog located right on our website.

To make sure you get the most of the new website we have listed a few of the new features below.  We hope you enjoy our new website and would love to hear what you think about it.

Come check it out and be entered to win one of our $50 gift cards to Best Buy.

All you need to do is sign up for our newsletter OR subscribe to this blog to be entered to win.

So What’s New?…Everything!

The site has been redesigned with a fresh, new, user-friendly interface and has been updated with information about our latest products and services for independent living. Read testimonials shared with us from our current customers and partners throughout the entire site.

Products

Our Product page gives an all inclusive glance of each product and service that we currently offer. You will find descriptions of each, product photos, instructional videos, and pricing,

How it Works
This page is a complete breakdown of how the sensors work, what types of notifications can be sent out to family and caregivers, and the personal website we provide to each customer to track the data collected from their system.

About Us
The mission and background of SimplyHome are clearly stated on this page. You will also find a  list of our current partners and contact information about our company.

The Owners Tell Our Story

News

Come find out the latest about SimplyHome on this page. All of our recent articles and press releases are documented here. You can also connect to our Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Twitter and Blog!!

One of our featured sections on this page describes our experience with a family featured on the Extreme Makeover Home Edition show. There are some great videos to support that.

Big Changes to Our Blog and a Chance to Win $50!

You have found it! Now that you are here,  please subscribe to this blog and this will enter you in the drawing to win one of our $50 gift cards to Best Buy.

 

Take a look around, there’s lots to see and learn about SimplyHome and don’t forget to subscribe!  Thanks!

Celebrate “Go Red For Women” and Raise Your Awareness of Heart Disease Prevention

This year the American Heart Association (AHA) celebrates 10 years of going red to fight the number one killer of women—heart disease. Each February, the AHA celebrates its “Go Red for Women” campaign to raise awareness of the factors impacting heart disease in women. SimplyHome would like to join in by sharing some important statistics and offering tips for prevention.

Did you know?
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• 90% of women have one or more risk factors for developing heart disease
• While 1 in 31 American women dies from breast cancer, 1 in 3 dies from heart disease
• The symptoms of heart disease can be different in women than in men. Women are more likely to experience shortness of breath, nausea, back or jaw pain, fainting, pain the lower chest or upper abdomen, and extreme fatigue.
• High blood pressure, high LDL cholesterol, and smoking are key risk factors for heart disease. About half of Americans (49%) have at least one of these three risk factors.
• Several other medical conditions and lifestyle choices can also put people at a higher risk for heart disease, including: diabetes, obesity, poor diet, and physical inactivity

How does technology support prevention of heart disease?

Certainly, you can make lifestyle choices that promote physical health and reduce stress—eating healthily, exercising, and managing your blood pressure, to name a few. Ongoing monitoring of wellness factors such as blood pressure, blood sugar, and weight can also provide helpful data needed to make informed decisions.
Given the portable technology available today, you do not have to visit a health provider to check your vital signs. New products on the market make it easy for you to collect reliable health data and, if you choose, share that information with family or care providers. A small, wireless base unit captures the statistics from the wellness tools then stores it in a confidential online customer health profile. Should your vital signs fall in a parameter of concern, trained care center staff and nurses notify family/care providers, or they contact emergency services on your behalf.
Wellness technology is easy to use and affordable. If used regularly, it tracks changing trends in your health status and possibly prevents costly hospitalizations. More importantly, however, it offers peace of mind knowing that you have the tools necessary to be proactive in your own health management.

Cameron Kempson, M.Ed.