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Why PERS Makes Sense
By Sandra Fuson, Staff Writer
(Page 2 of 2)

Itís the Safe Choice:

As the number of individuals who are aging and choosing to remain in their homes (also known as aging in place) increases, the likelihood of needing assistance at some point also increases. According to the 2001 American Housing Survey, more than 21.8 million households have someone who is at least 65 years of age or older. In addition, 46% of those households are made up of individuals who live alone. Many of these houses are aging or are multi-story buildings, including apartment complexes.

While it is a salute to Americaís health care system that aging individuals are able to live in their homes for longer, the question of being safe is also an issue. Long distance caregivers especially worry what will happen to their loved ones should an accident in the household occur. With a PERS in place, this anxiety is lessened, allowing more freedom of mobility and worry-free days.

For Those with Dementia:

Recognizing that not all individuals are able to make the choice for themselves, the Alzheimerís Association has developed a list of recommendations for how to convince someone to wear a Safe Return ID that can be easily customized to PERS devices. Many of todayís PERS devices will signal if someone has wandered too far from home or if they have fallen, without pushing any buttons or otherwise interacting with the device. Many of these devices can be worn as necklaces or bracelets and are unobtrusive on a daily basis. Try these suggestions:

Give the device as a gift.

Introduce it at several different points of the day until your loved one establishes a comfort level with it.

Wear something similar yourself.

Ask your doctor to give it to them. Sometimes a person in authority may have better luck convincing them than you.

See if itís possible to attach the device to a piece of clothing or the lining of a sweater they wear every day.

The technology available today makes almost any type of PERS device readily available in the home. Finding a way to convince your loved one can be challenging at times. If your loved one has a chronic illness or lives without immediate support, a PERS system is an investment that is well worth the money. The peace of mind and security that come from knowing help is only a few minutes away is invaluable.

Constance would agree. She called and had a PERS system installed so that the next time she needed assistance, the monitoring station would call the next door neighbor with the key to her house to help her instead of the local fire department. This decision proved easier and much more cost-effective. She no longer felt embarrassed asking for help and knew that if she needed help, she only needed to push a button and help would be available within moments.

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