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Personal alarm

bunnies

Registered User
May 16, 2010
432
I was just wondering if anyone has experience of someone with a dementia who has managed to use the personal alarm round their neck when they fell to get help. In my experience and the experience of people I know, it seems to have been only people without alzheimers who have managed to make the decision to press the alarm - in my relative's case she never thought to press it when she fell.
Can anyone tell me if they have known of anyone (with alzheimers) who has managed to use it?
 
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Izzy

Volunteer Moderator
Aug 31, 2003
61,160
68
Dundee
My husband has one but I don't have him wear it. He has no idea what it's for and would fiddle with it and press it constantly. I suppose it's easier because we live together and he has someone with him 24/7. I have it more so I can summon help if needed.
 

Pegsdaughter

Registered User
Oct 7, 2014
128
London
My mum used hers when she had a fall and also when she hurt her leg and the alarm people called the paramedics. It may be because she had the alarm before dementia set in and it's still programmed into her brain.


Sent from my iPad using Talking Point
 

Pickles53

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
2,474
Radcliffe on Trent
I was just wondering if anyone has experience of someone with a dementia who has managed to use the personal alarm round their neck when they fell to get help. In my experience and the experience of people I know, it seems to have been only people without alzheimers who have managed to make the decision to press the alarm - in my relative's case she never thought to press it when she fell.
Can anyone tell me if they have known of anyone (with alzheimers) who has managed to use it?
My mum dutifully wore her alarm on her wrist and it was supposed to detect falls. Sadly when she fell it didn't trigger and she couldn't remember to press it either. Think Pegsdaughter may be right that it would have made a difference if she'd had it before her dementia really got bad.
 

bunnies

Registered User
May 16, 2010
432
Thanks for your responses so far. We're discussing this in a local group. I started feeling that my experience of this kind of technology is exactly as has been mentioned here - that it is mainly of use before the dementia sets in. I wonder if we hang on to technology, desperate to find a 'solution', reluctant to face the reality of living with the uncertainty and risk that is perhaps inevitable. I know this can sound negative to some - but looking back on my experience, I think a good dose of reality would have helped me, rather than having such high hopes of gadgets which in the end were not the answer.
 

Sue J

Registered User
Dec 9, 2009
8,035
I am very conscious with early onset symptoms to manage whatever technology I am able to now and not dismiss it because of my cognitive difficulties which are present 75% of the time, approx. If I can master something in a better phase I hope this will enable me to manage longer. However, if I am in a bad phase I don't think I would manage to press an alarm as my brain just doesn't function properly at all then and am not fully conscious.

Good to see you online Bunnies:)
 

bunnies

Registered User
May 16, 2010
432
That seems a very good approach Sue. I wonder if that is something that is explained enough - we should be introducing things that will help us at an early stage.

I do worry that people say, 'it's ok, she has an alarm so if she falls someone will know', and don't find out until after the event that person wasn't able to make the decision to press the button. But there would definitely be more chance if the person was used to pressing it for help from a time before.

(Thanks for remembering me Sue!)
 

2197alexandra

Registered User
Oct 28, 2013
355
Sileby
We had an alarm for mum who had ms and she used her pendant all the time very successfully. So when dad became ill with lewybody dementia he too had one. Not once did he press it when he fell or needed help for any reason. Hours on the floor. He also had a fall alarm which I would say had a fifty fifty chance of working properly.
 

cebhh

Registered User
May 2, 2014
12
My mum has her alarm round her neck and I constantly remind her that it's there and what it is for. When I am not with her, I phone every few hours. If she doesn't answer the phone, when it goes to answering machine I speak loudly and say if there is anything wrong to press the red button found her neck. This worked as one day she had collapsed, couldn't move or reach the phone but heard me talking and pressed it. This alerted the carers who got her sorted till I arrived. Hope this is useful.?
 

bunnies

Registered User
May 16, 2010
432
My mum has her alarm round her neck and I constantly remind her that it's there and what it is for. When I am not with her, I phone every few hours. If she doesn't answer the phone, when it goes to answering machine I speak loudly and say if there is anything wrong to press the red button found her neck. This worked as one day she had collapsed, couldn't move or reach the phone but heard me talking and pressed it. This alerted the carers who got her sorted till I arrived. Hope this is useful.?
That is interesting, because you have found a way to help someone use the alarm ie by talking on the answering machine. Without your input your mum probably wouldn't have pressed it - confirming my theory that people rarely do with a dementia that is more than early stages - but what a good idea of yours, to think of using the answering machine like that. Thanks for that input.
 

bunnies

Registered User
May 16, 2010
432
We had an alarm for mum who had ms and she used her pendant all the time very successfully. So when dad became ill with lewybody dementia he too had one. Not once did he press it when he fell or needed help for any reason. Hours on the floor. He also had a fall alarm which I would say had a fifty fifty chance of working properly.
Yes sadly that seems to be what generally happens.. I think the conclusion is that we need to realise, when we are new to this, that we can't rely on a personal alarm. Thanks for this.
 

2197alexandra

Registered User
Oct 28, 2013
355
Sileby
However the other alarms attached to the care line was the door open alarm which did alert me every time he went walkies. And the smoke alarm which again proved to be a life saver on two occasions. So I wouldn't dismiss the whole care line system.
 

Linbrusco

Registered User
Mar 4, 2013
1,606
Auckland...... New Zealand
My Mum has AD & Dad has MCI. Mum is unsteady on her feet.
Mum was given a pendant alarm relatively early and before her actual AD diagnosis in July 2013.
Initially she wore it during the day when at home, and took it off when going out.
She never wore it when in the bath, despite being waterproof, as she said Dad would hear her.
The fact that Dad shuts the lounge door, and goes outside for a smoke when shes in the bath doesn't occur to either of them, if Mum had a fall.

Now 18 mths later the pendant alarm sits on her chest of drawers.
She now thinks she only needs to wear it when she goes out, despite telling her it won't work.
Itvis pointless trying to tell her that when shes out, shes out with people so if there was an emergency she would have people there with her to help.
But if at home and on her own which is very rare, or if she was outside or Dad was oustide and she fell, thats when she needs to wear the alarm.

The main alarm unit sits on their TV unit, with a beg red button that they can press if an emergency also.
If it came down to it, I don't think either Mum or Dad would think to press it.

Our house is at the front of theirs. i have visions of one day or night a knock at my door with either Mum or Dad in a state of distress, broken bones, blood dripping, who knows.
 

Miss shiraz

Registered User
Dec 24, 2014
79
Midlands
MIL has one that is worn round the neck but she doesn't wear it altho she tells us she always wears it when we aren't visiting!! She had hers years before she was diagnosed but how long she's actually had Alz we don't really know, maybe years. I like the answer phone idea though but not sure it would work for us if she's not wearing the alarm button.
 

Lawson58

Registered User
Aug 1, 2014
2,079
Victoria, Australia
A friend had the fall type of alarm for some other condition (not AD). However, sometimes he would leave it on the car seat, kitchen bench, bathroom basin etc etc and he would accidentally knock it on to the floor! So he often had people checking on him aggravated by the fact that often he wouldn't turn on his mobile phone so nobody could contact him.

This type of alarm was designed in the case of a fall to send text messages to nominated family members with his location. He had requested this alarm but then wouldn't use it properly. Such a nightmare for his family. He lives in a retirement village so there is always someone around and they have suggested that if he can't/won't use it properly then what is the point? He is 80 years old but no dementia.

I guess that the only benefit there is for him is that he feels safe even though he doesn't use it properly.
 

Not so Rosy

Registered User
Nov 30, 2013
578
Dad had one of the round your neck ones which the carers religiously checked he was wearing each visit. Never really worked for us, he never had an emergency but used to press it when he fancied a drink or a packet of fags.

When they answered he thought it was invaders talking to him from the walls which used to start a whole other scenario. :eek:
 

Witzend

Registered User
Aug 29, 2007
4,291
SW London
I am inclined to think these pendants may be very useful or reassuring for carers of someone with dementia, if they are themselves elderly and at all frail. I know of two cases where the elderly carer a) had a bad fall, or b) collapsed, was unable to get to the phone, and found it very hard to get their caree to bring it to them, let alone phone for help themselves.
 
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cebhh

Registered User
May 2, 2014
12
It helped us so maybe it can help others. To be honest most of the time she has just fallen asleep and doesn't hear the phone, but on that occasion she had been on the floor for some time and couldn't help herself. We do this every time she doesn't answer, just in case. Its not foolproof but it all helps...
 

j00lzz

Registered User
Jan 24, 2015
11
Scotland
I'm not sure a push-button pendant alarm would have been much good for my mother (mum died from early onset AD before the technology existed), and I know that they aren't suitable for my mother-in-law who has vascular dementia as she doesn't remember she's wearing it. A more suitable option would be an alarm that was triggered either by a sharp acceleration or deceleration if such a thing exists.