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Personal Emergency Response System:
Caregiver Stories
By Hilary Gibson, Staff Writer

Many long-distance caregivers find a PERS to be a good way of keeping-up with their loved one, as well as helping them to maintain their independence. The following testimonials were submitted by caregivers about their experience with some Personal Emergency Response Systems:

An Early-Morning, Wake-Up Call

After some debate, my mother, who is elderly and lives alone, decided that it would be best if she invested in a Personal Emergency Response System. Although we both live in the same state, I donít live close enough to get to her quickly if she had any type of an emergency. Shortly after she had the system installed, she awoke quite early one morning with great difficulty breathing. She called me to tell me the problem, and I had to remind her that all she needed to do was press the button on her ďhelpĒ button. We had no sooner hung-up with one another, when she received a call from the operator at the emergency response center. The gentleman asked for her name and address, and continued to re-assure her until the paramedics arrived. She was given oxygen and medication and taken to the nearest hospital. Although I had a sense of urgency, the long drive to the hospital didnít seem to be as bad as it could have been, because I knew she had received help quickly, and was with capable, medical professionals. She is fine today, and we are both glad that she had a PERS installed. Itís taken some of the pressure and intensity away from having to be a caregiver from a distance.


A Daughterís Peace-of-Mind

When my mother passed away, my eighty year-old dad had to move in with my husband and I. Although he is mentally very sharp, he has difficulty with his balance and has a heart condition. After he moved in, I couldn't run an errand without worrying about him falling or possibly having a heart attack. My husband and I decided to look into purchasing a PERS, hoping that it might help us get back to living without worrying so much about my father being left home alone. The PERS has made a real difference to all of us. Both my husband and I feel as though we have greater independence, and my dad feels less like a burden to us. Whatís really great about our particular PERS is that when my dad travels out-of-state to see my sister or my brother, I can pack up the unit and send it with him. All we have to do is call the company and let them know where heíll be visiting, and what the telephone number is. Heís able to have the same ďsafety-netĒ on-the-road as he does here at home with us.


A Professional Caregiver Deals With Also Being A Family Caregiver

My 92 year-old mother is a very strong-willed person. Understandably, she wants to stay in her own home for as long as she can. On the first really hot day of the year, with temperature climbing well into the 90ís, my mother fell outside in her yard. She was found the following day by her gardener, still alive but suffering from extreme dehydration and sunburn. Thankfully, nothing had broken when she fell, however she still had to stay in the hospital for several days, and then spent a week in a convalescent hospital before demanding that she be taken home. I am a nurse, and I live 50 miles from my mother. I try to go to her house at least once a week to bring her groceries and to do some cleaning, but I felt it just wasnít enough. Caregiving for people professionally placed constant worry in my heart and mind for my own motherís safety on a daily basis. It was one of my motherís Physical Therapists who suggested a Personal Emergency Response System for my motherís home. My mother has used the PERS several times, and it has enabled her to stay in the home she do dearly loves, and it has allowed me to be able to relax a little more about my motherís situation.
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