Fall detectors: What device will alert medical help if my mother has a fall?

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What device will alert medical help if my mother has a fall?

Question

My elderly mother lives alone and wants to stay independent. However, as she becomes weaker, I worry about her falling. Can you recommend a fall detector that will give both of us peace of mind?

Our answer

Fall detectors are not only useful for calling for medical help in the case of a fall, but also for maintaining a senior’s independence and easing their fear of falling. Below are direct links to some examples of fall detectors you may wish to explore:

  • Lifeline Medical Auto Alert Service by Philips (at lifeline.ca), contains sensors that can tell if you have fallen and will call for help automatically. This product costs about $50 per month (Cdn); however, prices vary depending on the service selected and an equipment fee may apply. The company also offers a Help Button version (at about $36 per month). Both services can be ordered by calling Philips Lifeline directly at 1-866-784-1992.
  • TELUS LivingWell Companion Go LivingWell Companion by TELUS is a wearable, 24/7 personal emergency response system that can connect you to a trained operator with the press of a button or through an optional fall detection feature. There are no term contracts or upfront fees. There are two device options:

Prices range from $25 - $35 (Cdn) per month for the Home device and $55 (Cdn) per month for the Go device. Services can be ordered by phone 1-888-505-8008 or online at telus.com/livingwell.

  • LifeGard Fall Medical Alert with Fall Protection by Price's Alarms (at pricesmedicalalert.com) is a similar product to that above. This device can be ordered online or by the phone at 1-855-933-4225. The device also costs about $50 per month (Cdn); however, once again, prices may vary depending on the service selected and an equipment fee may apply.
  • LifeAssure is a Canadian company that offers three devices with fall detection. The prices below include the cost of the device and the service. There are no fees for installation, activation, or cancellation. The price below are based on a monthly billing cycle, there are savings when billing annually. Once a service begins LifeAssure guarantees that price will not change for as long as the service continues. These products can be ordered online or over the phone by calling 1-800-354-5706.
    • Classic Home is a home based system that works off of an existing landline and costs about $30, plus $14 for fall detection, a month.
    • Total Home is a home based system that uses cellular technology, not landline. It costs about $45, plus $14 for fall detection, a month.
    • Premium Mobile Plus is a mobile system that uses cellular technology. It can be used inside and outside of the home wherever cell tower are within range. It costs about $70, plus $14 for fall detection, a month.
  • DirectAlert by Telus Health has two alert systems that offer fall detection. The prices below include the cost of the device and the service. There are no fees for installation, activation, or cancellation.

There are a number of factors that can contribute to a person's risk of falling. Your mother may be interested in completing a BC Government falls risk questionnaire to determine her risk of falling as well as actions she can take to prevent falls and remain independent.

 

Some technologies and devices may require an in-person assessment. Speak with your health care provider for additional information and support.

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