Personal Emergency Response System: Five things to look for
A personal emergency response system is an invaluable form of communication for you and your loved ones in the event of an emergency.
We never want to think about an emergency for our loved ones. But what if something does happen and you’re not there? Most of the time, this is the case with accidents and falls. You wish you could have been there to prevent it or to have done something to help. What if there was a way to give you both peace of mind that in the event of an emergency, help would be nearby. A Personal Emergency Response System (PERS) provides support to those when they need it most, connecting them to help at the push of a button in the event of an emergency. Importantly, this access to help allows loved ones to take control of their lives with discreet personal care, letting them continue their best independent life.
Today, there are many care technology products available that can provide critical support when you can’t be there. In addition, each individual has unique needs that the device should respond to. If you’re new to the topic, there’s quite a lot to know. In this article, we’ve broken this down for you with a few essential items to look for. Here are the five things that we believe you should consider before purchasing your loved one an emergency alarm:
1. Monitoring options
When it comes to monitoring an emergency device, consider who you are planning to have respond to in an emergency.
The first way is through a professionally monitored service that connects the owner to a 24/7 emergency response centre. These services ensure the call will be answered and responded to at any time of the day or night (24/7, 365 days) and that help can be there at the push of a button. These services need to follow industry standards, meaning that the call should be answered within 120 seconds by a trained professional, making all the difference in a real emergency. They have the capabilities to assess the situation and know how to react accordingly via the protocol. This protocol response is customised for each owner, meaning that they decide who and how they want the service to act when in an emergency. Furthermore, they keep the end user’s medical information on file and share it with emergency services if they require it. This monitoring option provides peace of mind that your loved one is protected, no matter what time of the day.
The second-way monitoring can be provided through setting up nominated contacts. In most cases, this is friends and family. Typically, in an emergency, when the SOS button is pressed or the fall detection feature is triggered, contacts of your choice (pre-loaded on the device) begin to be called in a sequence until it has called all contacts. This option allows for at least one nominated responder; however, having more is highly preferable. If the device is wearable, the person who answers the call will typically receive the GPS location of the owner via text. They can talk with their contacts while they wait for help. It is also possible to add ‘000’ as one of the emergency contacts if requested. This monitoring solution is for those who want extra peace of mind in their day-to-day lives where their friends and family will be there to assist if needed in the case of an emergency.
So, do you need the emergency device for your loved one to be professionally monitored or self-monitored?
Professional and close contact monitoring options are available
2. Fall detection
One in every three Australians over 65 has a fall each year. This remains one of the leading causes for the hospitalisation of the elderly. Many of us don't like to acknowledge the impact of ageing, and whilst most of us do not want to admit it, the need for added safety measures is significant for those in their later years of life. Especially if there has been a fall previously or a particular medical history that warrants care, having a personal alarm with a fall detection feature means that a hard jolt to the device will alert emergency support even if the button has not been physically pressed. This can be beneficial if the emergency involves someone unconscious.
We caution that this is not a foolproof method; however, having this feature enabled can cause many false alarms as the devices are sensitive. It may, however, still be a valuable element to care by your side if ever it's needed. If not, it can always be turned off.
So, do you need the emergency device for your loved one to detect a fall?
3. 3G to 4G network connectivity
Telstra has announced that by June 2024, the 3G network will be shut down, meaning that 3G devices will not work and 3G devices will stop connecting to the network altogether.
So what does this have to do with personal emergency alarms? Well, quite a lot. Most of these devices in Australia use mobile network connectivity, which means reliable mobile connectivity is critical. Loved ones rely on the device to be working in the event of an emergency. The 3G network shutdown implies that if any 3G devices are purchased now, they will not have the ability to function by mid-2024 creating a problem and significant expense for those purchasing these types of devices now (Telstra, 2019). When searching to find out if a device has 4G capabilities, search for 4G Volte enabled.
As a result, when looking to purchase a personal emergency alarm, you must consider its network connectivity abilities and consider the best device on a longer-term basis for you and your loved ones.
So, do you need the emergency device for your loved one to be 4G network capable?
4G enabled devices allow for an improved quality call
4. Ongoing support
When making a significant purchase, such as an emergency alarm for a loved one, you want to be assured that if something happens, support from the company is always there. Ongoing general customer service for a personal care support system is essential as it gives you and your loved ones trust in the product and the company. In turn, this provides all parties with the confidence that in an emergency, they will know how to use the device, and help will be able to reach them.
The option of locally-based and on-site support is highly desirable when purchasing an emergency alarm. If there is an issue with the device, a member of the company's support team may visit and help answer questions or help fix and configure the device in person.
So, do you need ongoing support for the emergency device chosen for your loved one?
5. Technology features
Key technology features, functions and benefits can make a world of difference when selecting a personal emergency alarm. There are so many options available in the market today. Here is a list of some technical features that provide the world of benefit to loved ones and owners:
- GPS location tracking, for locating a person using a wearable device
- SMS notifications for keeping informed about emergency events
- Battery life: the longer-lasting, the better and the less recharging needed
- Firmware updates, which are ideally automated and performed “over the air.”
- Fall detection for “at-risk” owners
- Waterproof, for everyday wearing, for example for use in the shower
- IP67 is water-resistant
- IP66 is dust and splash-proof
- Two-way communication, to help triage an event in an emergency
So, what technology features do you need the emergency device for your loved one to have?
Making sure your loved one is safe is the top priority. When you purchase a personal emergency response system for them, consider all aspects of the device and its benefits. Allowing loved ones to take control of their life with discreet personal care lets them live their way for as long as possible. We hope this information has proved helpful in your planning and invite you to speak with us for more information.
Personal emergency response system
If you are interested in purchasing a personal emergency response system for a loved one, eevi has the device for you. Help for when they need it, peace of mind for when they don’t. The eevi Life Pendant allows loved ones to continue an active lifestyle. The discreet monitoring device connects them to 24/7 emergency care support at the push of a button. It works wherever there is 4G Volte connectivity and has fall detection enabled. The device offers two-way communication and functions just like a mobile phone for accessible communication and support if ever it’s needed.
Key features of the eevi Life Pendant:
- 24/7 Professionally monitored (calls answered in 120 seconds)
- Long-life battery (up to 30 hours)
- Tech and customer service support (both upfront and ongoing)
- IP67 Water-resistant
- Two-way device communication
- Telstra 4G Volte enabled network coverage
- GPS location tracking with SMS notification
- Fall detection alert (can be turned off if not required)
- Remote firmware updates
- Sends emergency alerts at the touch of a button
To find out more about the eevi Life Pendant or any more of our products, please call 1300 802 738. We welcome your enquiry.