An affordable call for help right at your fingertips
From Spotlight on Health May/June 2007
Aging loved ones can be cause for concern if they are living by themselves and want to maintain their independence, but have no family nearby to check on them.
George Vakoc and his family members found themselves in this situation after Vakoc underwent his second hip replacement surgery. Vakoc’s physician suggested that he subscribe to Lifeline.
Lifeline Personal Response Service is an easy-to-use, affordable system that puts a call for help or request for assistance right at a person’s fingertips.
When help is needed, the individual presses the help button, which is worn as a pendant
or on a wristband, and the Lifeline Communicator immediately dials the
Lifeline Call Center at St. Cloud Hospital.
Benefits of Lifeline
• All calls are monitored by St. Cloud
• Lifeline serves all of Central Minnesota.
• Subscribers select their own
• Cost is about $1 per day.
• Help button can be worn around the
neck or wrist.
The Call Center staff talks to the individual on a speaker first, and if necessary calls a friend or family member to check on the person. If the Call Center cannot reach the designated contact person, emergency personnel will go to the home to provide assistance.
In the six years Vakoc was a Lifeline subscriber, he needed the service six times.
“The scariest situation was when he fell trying to get into the house from the garage steps,” recalls Kathrine Lee, Vakoc’s daughter, who lives in St. Cloud. “Luckily, he fell forward and was able to press his help button quite easily.”
“Lifeline gave our family great peace of mind, and my father always was confident that he would get the assistance he needed and in a timely matter,” Lee said.
Vakoc, now 94, has moved into a nursing home to better meet his needs. However, Lee is grateful because “Lifeline was able to keep my father in the type of lifestyle he wanted for six years longer than otherwise would have been possible.”
Linda Langer, Lifeline Program specialist at St. Cloud Hospital, says, “We currently serve more than 1,000 residents of Central Minnesota with Lifeline Response Systems. It is so rewarding to hear the appreciation from family members when help arrives quickly and lives are saved.”
The latest innovation from Lifeline is a water-resistant watch for people who are concerned about the stigma of wearing a personal help button. The watch costs $99.
Learn more about Lifeline Personal Response Services