SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Soon, older adults enrolled in the Illinois Department of Aging’s (IDoA) Emergency Home Response Service (EHRS) will have the options to add fall detection technology, GPS monitoring, or both features to their medical alert device.
“Falls are a leading cause of injuries for people aged 65 and older,” said IDoA Director Paula Basta. “While prevention is always the goal, it’s important to be prepared for a fall and have a plan to get help quickly. The addition of automatic fall detection technology to EHRS can provide extra security for older adults who are at a high risk of falling.”
IDoA’s EHRS gives eligible older adults a two-way voice communication system which consists of a base unit and activation device worn by the participant.
Normally, these devices are worn as pendent necklaces, but wrist and waist devices are also available.
Pushing a button on the device will connect the older adult to a support center within 60 seconds.
Support center personnel are trained to either immediately dispatch first responders or alert a pre-selected emergency contact such as a family member.
Falls Prevention Awareness Week starts on Monday nationwide.
IDoA is starting to launch EHRS enhancements, including the optional addition of fall detection technology to pendant devices.
The new technology can identify falls when they happen and immediately notify a local support center, which increases the likelihood that an older adult will be quickly found and brought to safety in case of a debilitating fall.
In addition, participants have the option to upgrade their pendant to one with GPS monitoring.
This option expands protection outside of the base unit in their home.
This means that older adults will also be protected from falls in their yard, driveway, while shopping, and while doing other things outside their home.
GPS monitoring can also give peace of mind to family members of dementia patients who may wander and become lost.
EHRS participants should contact their Care Coordinator for questions about upcoming service enhancements.
Older adult looking to receive EHRS services must meet all physical and financial eligibility criteria for the Community Care Program and can call IDoA’s Senior HelpLine at 1-800-252-8966 for enrollment questions.