Fall Prevention Week is September 23-29. While some people may not have a reason to think twice about this, the awareness it raises potentially affects nearly everyone who has elderly family members or those who may have challenges with their balance. CallTeks Security has a special connection to this important issue and has solutions to assist those who are at risk for falls or concerned loved ones that need to keep close tabs on family members.
Before she became a partner at CallTeks Security, Nicole Swartwout was an EMT and ER technician; jobs that she explains are surprisingly related to her work in the security industry. Likewise, her CallTeks business partner and husband, DJ Swartwout was also previously a paramedic. Nicole Swartwout explains, “We have seen simple falls turn into fatal tragedies when help was unable to be contacted. According to the CDC, statistics tell us that 1 out of every 3 adults ages 65 and over will fall each year and half of those will need assistance getting up. Falls are also the leading cause of both fatal and non-fatal injuries for older adults.”
Swartwout continues, “While working night shifts in the ER, I personally saw the devastation that impacted seniors after a fall. Many falls happen early in the morning between 3-5 a.m., typically in the restroom. Falls are simply from disorientation, balance issues and getting up too fast. Public education and awareness can help prevent a lot of these incidents. This is why I personally, as well as CallTeks Security fully support Fall Prevention Week.”
This year will make the eight year of Fall Prevention Awareness Week, nationally recognized by the National Council of Aging. “Together, we can all help educate the public on fall prevention precautions like how to get up slowly from bed, installing hand rails in the home, removing tripping hazards like bath rugs and utilizing night lights,” adds Swartwout.
CallTeks Security provides multiple solutions that can help prevent falls, monitor for falls and even send help if a fall occurs. The CallTeks wellness line offers "activity tracking" technology. “This is a way for loved ones to non-evasively track activity patterns while a loved one can still maintain privacy and independence,” Swartwout explains. “The equipment we use to customize a wellness solution includes bed or chair pressure sensors. We can program them to alert contacts via push notifications if there is inactivity, for example, no movement in 10 hours, or secondly, if someone got up between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. and did not return to bed within 20 minutes. Of course we can help customize those parameters in many ways. This allows care contacts such as relatives to track activity without in-home videos and without false alarms to EMS.”
There are a lot of "Help! I have fallen and can't get up," buttons out there, like the old school life alerts. Often the cost is about $50 a month and includes a landline, which is an additional cost. Swartwout says, “Here at CallTeks Security our emergency pendants are tied through our security system that can integrate the above referenced wellness technologies like activity trackers, without a land line and all for one low monthly cost. The medical pendant can be worn as a pendant, wrist band, on the belt, or even mounted in a location in the home.”
Swartwout explains, “In my expert opinion, the best all-inclusive and newest technology CallTeks is offering is called an mPERS unit: mobile Personal Emergency Response System. These, like the in-home emergency pendants can be worn on a lanyard, as a wrist band or on the belt. Imagine the independence we can provide with a cellular based emergency button without the limits of being at home and without the complication of a smart phone PLUS long lasting batteries.” Features for the emergency button include:
Long lasting batteries (3 days for our GPS model – and two months for our basic model)
Cellular, GPS, and Triangulation U-TDOA technology, make mPERS location accurate within 50 feet an average.
Two-way voice to emergency personnel
Pendants are great for those who wear them all the time, but falls happen at night. Old school pendants need to charge and CallTeks does not suggest wearing lanyards at night. “It is a lot to ask people to remember to bring a lanyard on their night stand to the bathroom, so here at CallTeks Security we have another unique solution-the emergency buttons,” Swartwout says. “I stress when I see other security companies mount these up high in bathrooms next to light switches. Let's be honest, when someone falls, where are they? The floor. CallTeks partners were EMS first responders so we have first-hand insight into the proper implementation of these technologies. We mount emergency buttons on the ground and in common fall areas, like the bathroom. Secondly, we do not suggest small, discrete buttons but the big red buttons-easy to see and activate. These buttons can be programmed to send help immediately.”
Various solutions boil down to what the customer needs and wants when it comes to fall prevention and how they would like to summon help if an event does occur. “We are happy to help guide our customers to the customized solution that fits their unique needs,” adds Swartwout.
Swartwout says, “Statistics show that 1 in 3 adults over 65 will fall each year. Those odds increase with defeatists like dementia, or in instances like my grandmother who now suffers from lack of equilibrium after surviving a stroke. mPERS units are tracked by multiple technologies, like that found in a smart phone that help you with GPS navigation. This is a combination of triangulation based on U-TDOA technology ~ that is Uplink Time Difference of Arrival, what can give responders an exact location, within several yards of an emergency ‘ping’ even if there is no verbal communication.”
The mPERS units that CallTeks Security provides are equipped with two-way voice, meaning a real person will be able to speak directly with the person summoning assistance. Secondly, CallTeks will pre-configure a customer’s device to have emergency contacts and important medical information immediately ready for responders. All of this is backed by CallTeks 24/7, award-winning, and completely and geographically redundant monitoring service.
Another unique solution CallTeks offers are its medicine cabinet alerts. This is a cutting-edge innovation and a unique way the company has chosen to program and use specific technology. “Basically it is a sensor that we program to alert connected devices when a certain cabinet is opened or in some cases not opened by a specified time. This can enhance independent living while providing helpful reminders. It also allows family members or care givers to help track medication access,” says Swartwout. “The same technology for medicine cabinets can also be programmed for liquor cabinets, gun safes, file cabinets, pool gate sensors, even jewelry boxes-essentially anything that opens that a customer may want to keep close tabs on.”
“We can use wellness alerts in the home for care taking families and retirement homes and also for kids or those who are disabled. There are many creative and innovative ways the wellness technology can be applied. mPERS is really the next big thing in technology. We are heavily invested in beta testing this in the Phoenix market with hikers to help locate people on mountainous trails. This could really be a game changer and will save lives every year,” Swartwout finishes.
CallTeks Security is located at 14001 N. 7th St., Suite C‐106, Phoenix. Visit www.CallTeks.com or call (844) 862‐0318 for more information.