Accidents happen, and as we age, they seem to happen more frequently. To help older adults and their families prepare for those mishaps, big and small, Lutheran Senior Services is (re)introducing Living Safe Technologies.
Its goal: to provide its clients with the ability to live safely and independently at home with the assistance of new emerging sensor technologies. From personal emergency response call buttons to hands-free fall sensors to remotely monitored medication dispensers, the range of tools available to Living Safe Technologies clients is truly impressive.
Formerly Home for Life Solutions, Living Safe Technologies is now entering its third year as part of LSS’ In-Home Services division. But big changes are in store for the program.
“We’re really widening our scope,” says Cathy Barton, LSS’ director of Living Safe Technologies, “and the change in our name reflects that.”
In many ways, widening one’s scope is what Living Safe Technologies is all about, she says. Clients can start small with just one or two devices, and as their needs grow, so can the extent of the protection the program offers.
“What really sets us apart is the customization of all of our products to meet the different safety issues our clients face as individuals. This is not a one-size-fits-all service. We help our clients and their families design a program suited just for them.”
The starting point for most of the program’s customers is The Button – the personal emergency response call button mentioned earlier. Small, discreet, and wireless, it connects to a monitoring unit which alerts a nearby call center or contact person to send help when The Button is pushed.
This service has already been a huge benefit to dozens of older residents of the St. Louis area. Joan Arsenault, a resident of LSS’ Hidden Lake community, was convinced she didn’t need a personal emergency response system. However, during a free one-month trial of The BUTTON, she suffered a fall in her apartment.
She couldn’t reach the phone, but luckily, she was wearing The Button. “Ten minutes later, help was at my door,” Joan says. “I used to say I didn’t need it, but I’ll never say that again.”
“And the great thing is, there’s so much more to the program than just The Button,” says Cathy Barton. “The monitoring unit works with more than a dozen other wireless sensors, most of which don’t require a button push to call for help.” Through a process called ‘passive monitoring,’ Living Safe Technologies devices keeps an eye out for dangerous situations – fire, floods, falls, and more.
Barton refers to this expanded line of products as “The Button Plus,” as it provides an added safety component to help seniors stay secure in their homes. And the newest addition to the expanded line of products is a real innovation.
Living Safe Technologies’ new medication management dispenser connects to the monitoring unit to provide remote monitoring of how and when older adults take their medication. “So many accidents in the home stem from seniors taking the wrong medication or taking them in the wrong dosage or forgetting to take their meds all together,” says Barton. “With the new dispenser, there’s a significantly reduced risk of these problems.”
Pills are separated out into trays contained in a carousel locked inside the dispenser. At preprogrammed times, the device dispenses pills and emits a noise that alerts clients that it’s time for their medication.
And if they fail to take their meds on time? “The monitoring unit alerts the client’s contact person, so they can take appropriate action,” says Barton. “It really gives you tremendous peace of mind to know that someone is watching out for your loved one.”
And peace of mind is what’s at the heart of Living Safe Technologies. Accidents may happen, but you can prepare yourself and your family members through simple, easy-to-use means. To learn how, click here; or, contact Cathy Barton at .