ARTICLES / Caregiver /
Caregivers Lifeline /
By Cheryl Ellis, Staff Writer
Each service has its own unit and,
should you be unhappy with the company you choose,
you may have to purchase another system from the new
Make sure the company representative answers your
questions fully. Go with your intuition and how
comfortable you feel with the answers. Discontinue
the meeting if you are being pushed to start the
service right away or the salesperson uses “fear
tactics” to sell the product. In addition, apply
skepticism if a company guarantees a unit is “free
or you don’t pay.” Knowing what your insurance will
and won’t cover is the best defense to this type of
CONSIDER YOURSELF AND OTHERS
If you have more than one family member who would
benefit from a PERS, inquire about discounts as well
as service options. You may need more than one land
line for each unit, which will change your costs.
Discuss the possibilities with your phone provider
since some land lines can be set up for outgoing
Caregivers with health concerns may want to take
advantage of a PERS device.
As a caregiver, if your loved one is unable to help
in an emergency, you can consider a PERS for your
own use. Some units are programmable to notify a
specific party such as a family member or local 911,
bypassing the telecare provider. If your loved one
is able to communicate in an emergency situation,
they can activate their own unit and get help if you
need it. However, it’s important to factor in how
your loved one responds under stress.
EVERYONE CAN BENEFIT
These systems have diverse applications. Loved
ones who are homebound on temporary disability but
not qualified for nursing services can feel
comfortable when home alone. If your loved one is
chronically ill and has a gap in companion or
nursing care, the PERS will help caregivers over the
time between shifts.
For those managing long-distance caregiving, the
system can offer peace of mind between phone calls.
The system works well in tandem with other resources
such as geriatric or other professional caregivers.
In addition, professional caregivers can reinforce
how valuable the system is to your loved one.
Caregivers spend a great deal of energy caring for
their loved ones. It may take time and research to
find a company that will provide the service and
concern that matches your own.