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Options in PERS
By Emily Curtis, Staff Writer
(Page 1 of 3)

Now What?

Once the family determines that a PERS is needed, there are other factors to consider. Cost may be the primary consideration. Depending on the level of monitoring needed, the price can vary widely. Also, there are monthly monitoring fees in addition to the installation fee.

The range of the monitoring equipment needs to be considered. If the equipment only monitors up to 150 feet, yet the back yard fence is more than 200 feet away from the door, this piece of equipment may not be appropriate. Will too many wires in the home be a concern? Sometimes seniors are reluctant to install new equipment for fear that if it malfunctions, other appliances or utilities could be affected.

Finally, how will the family be notified if there is a problem? An immediate phone call may be more comforting than an email or a website. Are there others who can be listed with the monitoring company? Some companies allow up to four phone numbers to be on file for the patient. Assigning only one person in the family to receive calls may be emotionally taxing, thus it may be helpful to have others who can respond to emergency situations if needed.

Home-based PERS are not the only option. Nursing homes and assisted living facilities use these as well. The information can be more detailed and provide facility staff with in-depth information of a patient or resident. If the decision to place someone in a facility is made, monitoring can still be performed to keep family members, staff, and physicians notified of immediate and long-term needs.

Technology advances are providing more options with PERS today than ever before. These systems have evolved into much more than a system that only dials a monitoring station if a button is pressed. Sophisticated systems can “learn” more about the individual wearer and can notify someone faster than before.

Also, there are products on the market that provide not only the features discussed previously, but provide several of these at the same time. Finding a system that will adapt to the specific needs of the family is crucial. Caregivers need to be content with the choices they make when determining which PERS is appropriate to their situation. The more comfortable the caregiver is with their PERS options, the better families can adapt to the decision to use one.

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