Mom's Gift

Grateful. Confident. Reassured. These are words Beth Honkomp uses to describe how she feels about her Mom using a Medical Alert Service emergency response system through CentraCare. “Mom didn’t think she needed a help button at first,” says Beth. Having her first knee surgery at age 80, Mary Lucille Carlson agreed to the support due to her family’s concern about her falling. “It helped us, as family, feel more comfortable with her going back to independent living.”

Now 15 years later, at nearly 95 years old, Mary has come to rely on her help button. “Through all the changes she’s experienced, it’s become a source of comfort and support for her,” says Beth. Having had to use her button a few times over the years, Mary knows that help is there when she needs it.

This was brought home five years ago at Thanksgiving. While family was gathered together to celebrate, Mary slipped unnoticed out of the house to grab the newspaper. She fell on the icy sidewalk and fractured her pelvis. Pushing her help button activated her unit, alerting family inside. “Had she laid outside on the ice without us knowing, her situation would have been much worse than it was,” says Beth.

Getting help quickly after a fall improves survival rate and increases the likelihood of individuals being able to return to independent living. Beth, a nurse, understands this, stating “Timing is crucial for recovery. The quicker the response, the better the situation overall.”

An independent and self-determined woman, Mary knows what she wants and that includes the reassurance of having her help button. “It’s become clear over the past few months that Mom’s help button is very important to her,” said Beth “We are grateful for the peace of mind. It’s an incredible gift.”

“Ever since I got it, it’s been a God-send. It has helped me get emergency help when I needed it. I want to let people know that if they are interested to please give it a try. I am glad help is there at a push of button.”

—Mora Subscriber, March 2021

Help Button Alerts Response Center Following Near-Fatal Fall

“You guys are there for me,” says Karen Schuh of Brainerd when describing her recent experience with her emergency help button after a bad fall while hanging a new shower curtain. “I thought I had prepared well,” she said.

Knowing accidents can happen, she cleared a path in the bathroom making sure the floor was safe. She ensured the stepstool was level and even put on shoes for a better grip. She removed the old shower curtain from the rod when it somehow it got tangled. Karen lost her balance, fell off the step stool, hit her head on the vanity and lost consciousness.

Karen was wearing her automatic fall detection button. Her fall was detected, and she was automatically connected to Medical Alert Service’s Emergency Response Center. Not able to get much more than groans from Karen, the emergency operator dispatched EMS. “When the ambulance arrived, I was just barely becoming conscious,” states Karen. “I’m so thankful for the operator.”

Karen was taken to the Emergency Room and kept for observation most of the day. Ending up with five stitches and a concussion, Karen describes herself as pretty banged up. “Medical Alert Service is always there for me,” said Karen. “I could have laid there and bled out. My help button made all the difference in the world.”

“It’s the handiest thing to have, especially as I live alone. It’s a lifesaver! My family is so glad I have it. They all live out of state and with me having a help button, they worry a little less about me. It’s one of the best things! I think every older person should have it whether their kids live out of state or not. It gives you and your family all peace of mind. I don’t know what I’d do without it!”

—Becker Subscriber, April 2021

To Get Started with CentraCare Medical Alert Service, You Can Contact Us by:
• calling us at 320-255-5700 or 1-800-835-6652 (ext. 55700)
• e-mailing us at MedicalAlertService@centracare.com
completing our online form