Safety & Personal Security

There are many gadgets and programs available on the market that will increase an older person’s safety and security.

Medical alerts are a simple device that can save lives. Among the simplest of these devices is an identification bracelet or necklace listing conditions that emergency treatment specialists need to be aware of. Also widely available are “file of life” packets. These information packets attach to the side of the refrigerator so that emergency treatment specialists are aware of a person’s medical history, medical conditions, and medicines. Both of these devices require emergency agents to observe their presence.

Many electronic devices allow the consumer to initiate action in an emergency. Typically, the consumer carries an electronic transmitting device with buttons that can be pushed to activate a two-way conversation to a call center that will assist in emergencies. Some electronic devices only work within a short radius (for example, as far as 200 feet from the home). Others allow for the emergency agents to identify the location of the consumer precisely so that the consumer can be found and the needs assessed. Some devices offer choices about whom to call when an emergency arises. The usual choices include a family member, friend, neighbor, police or fire department officers, or a monitoring center that has been certified by Underwriters Laboratories, a nonprofit safety consulting company.

There are specialized electronic detection systems that assist with an individual’s special needs—for example, fall detection systems, reminder gadgets that help people take the right amount of medicine at the right time, and devices that track daily activity or monitor medical indices such as glucose level, blood pressure, and/or oxygen levels.

The programs and devices (described below), some of them free of cost for consumers, will increase personal security and safety. Also see Falls Prevention and Dementia Care (look under Wandering Program which falls under Security Programs for Dementia.)

The American Association of Retired People (AARP) will be able to help seniors and family members research the best electronic medical devices. Or you might research yourself, or have a reference librarian research, internet topics such as “Gadgets for Seniors Aging in Place,” or “Top Technology Devices for Seniors,” or “Useful Gadgets for Elderly Parents.”

1-800-814-1788

Bangor, ME, USA

A packet of medical information that is completed by the home dweller(s) and adhered to the refrigerator (along with a sticker for the front door so that emergency workers know that the File of Life information packet will be found on the refrigerator).

Services: A packet of medical information that is completed by the home dwellers and adhered to the refrigerator (along with a sticker for the front door so that emergency workers know that the File of Life information packet will be found on the refrigerator).

(207) 866-4000 (Orono); (207) 947-2358 (Veazie); (207) 827-3984

59 Main Street, Orono, ME, United States

Services:  The Good Morning program is designed to assist senior citizens or adults with disabilities over 60 years old and living alone in the community. If the program is of interest, call your own town police department to ask whether there is a Good Morning Program in your community and, if there is, ask to be sent an application.  The program works like this: People complete an application and, once approved, they receive a daily phone call from a police officer or fire person every day between 8 and 10am.  The caller checks on the person’s health status and general welfare.  If the police officer or fire person cannot reach the senior, the caller visits the home to check on the person’s safety.  If necessary, the officer will enter the home.

Good Morning Program for Veazie can be found here.

(207) 866-4000 (Orono), (207) 945-5627 or (207) 947-2358 (Veazie)

63 Main Street, Orono, ME, USA

Services: The Good Morning program is designed to assist senior citizens or adults with disabilities and living alone in the community. If the program is of interest, call your own town police department to ask whether there is a Good Morning Program in your community and, if there is, ask to be sent an application. The program works like this: People complete an application and, once approved, they receive a daily phone call from a police officer or fire person every day between 8 and 10am. The caller checks on the person’s health status and general welfare. If the police officer or fire person cannot reach the senior, the caller visits the home to check on the person’s safety. If necessary, the officer will enter the home.

Many companies produce bracelets that identify particular illnesses or conditions.  The styles and advantages of these bracelets vary.  If you cannot search the internet yourself, ask a reference librarian or family member or friend to help you.