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  • Writer's picturePam

Communication Pendants In Assisted Living Facilities

For many seniors, living in a facility may offer them the option of a call pendant which can be worn at all times and allows the person the ability to push the button for assistance at any time. This can be extremely important for safety. If mom or dad falls or injures themselves in any way they can just push their call button and someone will be notified to come check on them. My mom depends a great deal on this device as she has limited ability to do most things on her own.

She has a pendant that hangs around her neck. Some of them can be on your wrist as in the photo above. My mom has a very difficult time pushing her button because she can't get a good grip on it and pushing her finger hard enough on it is a challenge due to her hand use loss. She has been able to get it done for the most part although it is not easy. When she pushes it a light blinks on the pendant to let her know someone should be receiving the call. It also tells the caregiver where she is in the facility. So if she is in the lobby and needs someone to take her back to her room she can push it and they will know to come downstairs.

My mom very often waits fifteen minutes or more for a caregiver to come check on her after making a request. This can be very scary and stressful for her since she usually needs to go to the bathroom or isn't feeling well. It got me wondering what would happen if my mom rang because she was actually struggling to breathe or having a heart attack. The wait time is longer then it should be. I was told then many people in assisted living facilities end up paying for an outside pendant company even though they have one in the place they live. The paid company will respond right away via a speaker and can call 911 for you if you need help. I am hoping in the near future that the pendants will all have a voice activated feature. The additional pendant is a good option however, it then becomes another expense that for seniors can be an issue.

My mom's facility just recently replaced all the pendants with a new system. Same procedure however now the pendant has to be turned off with a key and keeps track of how long it took for the caregiver to get there. It also causes a walkie talkie announcement of whose room is calling and when it has been addressed. This seems to be a feature that the caregivers are not happy about. They are now being held more accountable which will also decrease the response time significantly now that they know their time is being recorded.

For the particular type of floor my mom is on most residents need assistance quite often when they ring their pendant. So having caregivers that respond quickly is crucial and can be the difference between life and death in some situations. You should also look into options for the type of pendant, such as wrist or neck that would work best for your loved one's particular needs. Make sure that if your loved one lives alone or in a facility that you consider their needs and the possibility that you may need to look an an outside company for a more immediate response.

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