Intercom/Life Alert options for elderly?

Greever

Super Anarchist
4,091
106
Rockford, MI
So I wake up this morning to find 2 EMT's caring for my Mother in Law. Apparently her tongue has swollen up because of a reaction to prescription drugs.

My Wife and I live with her in a split level home. I was downstairs and had no idea what was happening.

I have seen the Life Alert commercials on TV, and we will definately get her one of those, but are there other types of "paging" systems, we can buy so that she can call/alert us if she needs something?

My Wife just left with the Ambulance, and I am on my way to the hospital, so I will check back later.

Fark, what a way to wake up!

Thanks...

 
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bmiller

Super Anarchist
5,898
1,181
Buena Vista, Colorado
Two options.

First check with life alert or whoever and see if you can be added to the call list. That way if she can not call 911 you can get called also.

Her best option is always to call 911 directly. It will reduce any delays. There is a new free service called Smart911 that I highly recommend.

Here is the link: https://www.smart911.com/

How it works is if she calls 911 the dispatcher has a screen pop up that has as much additional info as you wish to provide. Such as additional persons to contact, any known medical issues, where the big bad dog is, where the key is hidden and much much more.

Again it is free to you providing your local emergency service provider is subscribed, they cover the cost. However not all agencies are using it yet. Check here to see your zip code is covered: https://www.smart911.com/about.php

Another great use is if you have a relative who lives far away. The dispatcher can call persons anywhere.

If smart911 is not available check with your local 911 dispatch center. It should be no problem to add you to their data base and get called should a 911 call be initiated from her number.

Good luck.

 
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Greever

Super Anarchist
4,091
106
Rockford, MI
Thanks for the links guys.

I just got home. They have moved her. Into intensive care and she is going to be ok. They almost had to cut a hole into her throat to let her breath, but used her nasal passages instead. The swelling is slowly going down, but it sure was scary.

I have a newfound respect for the people that work in the healthcare industry. I don't know how you do it, but thank you, thank you all...

 

Throatwarbler-Mangrove

Super Anarchist
3,250
33
New England
Sorry to see this. We've been going through aging parent hell for the past 15 months or so, so I know it ain't easy. Glad she's ok.

And yeah, definitely props to nurses (especially!), docs, EMTs, techs, and aides. I've met a bunch of really good ones.

MIL had a Life-Alert bracelet before she moved into assisted living. Don't know exactly what the deal was, but the arrangement was that a dispatcher called my SIL's house number. My late FIL's last deliberate act was to grab it off her wrist as he collapsed with his stroke. That wasn't enough to save him, but it bought him a few days to say goodbye to family and friends.

 
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Greever

Super Anarchist
4,091
106
Rockford, MI
Thanks.

The swelling went down late last night, but it sure has been a wake up call for us. I am on my way to visit her now, she may be discharged today.

Time to get our ducks in a row...

 

Ancient_Mariner

Super Anarchist
5,503
0
Oregon
Thanks.

The swelling went down late last night, but it sure has been a wake up call for us. I am on my way to visit her now, she may be discharged today.

Time to get our ducks in a row...
By any chance was she taking blood pressure medication? The most popular one, Lisinopril, is known to cause swelling of the tongue or Uvala. After taking it for 5 days I had to get my ass to the ER 'cause my uvala swelled up to the size of a tongue blocking my airway. To make a long story short, my ENT (ear, nose, throat) doctor told me about this known contraindication and took me off of the stuff.

 

Rum Runner

Rum Runner
5,300
309
Illinois
Check out some of the cell phone options for seniors. Some of them have automatic 911 dialing as well as pre-recorded messages to send to people. That may be a cheaper way to deal with it if she already has a cell phone and will carry it with her all the time.

Good luck. Having elderly parents is difficult.

 

Greever

Super Anarchist
4,091
106
Rockford, MI
Thanks.

The swelling went down late last night, but it sure has been a wake up call for us. I am on my way to visit her now, she may be discharged today.

Time to get our ducks in a row...
By any chance was she taking blood pressure medication? The most popular one, Lisinopril, is known to cause swelling of the tongue or Uvala. After taking it for 5 days I had to get my ass to the ER 'cause my uvala swelled up to the size of a tongue blocking my airway. To make a long story short, my ENT (ear, nose, throat) doctor told me about this known contraindication and took me off of the stuff.
Yes she was. That is what caused the reaction. The hospital says they see about one case a month for that, although never as bad as hers. Picture your tongue turning into a nerf football, and sticking out of your mouth.

 

Greever

Super Anarchist
4,091
106
Rockford, MI
If a person is otherwise mentally together, there are emergency injector kits for anaphylactic and allergic shock and swelling. Such are useful when a person is distant from medical help. Ask the doctor about:

http://www.epipen.com/

http://www.twinject.com/

http://www.jext.co.uk/
Thanks for the links.

She is a recently retired RN, so she knows her way around needles and stuff I would imagine. (and an epipen is what they gave her within 20 minutes of arriving)

Check out some of the cell phone options for seniors. Some of them have automatic 911 dialing as well as pre-recorded messages to send to people. That may be a cheaper way to deal with it if she already has a cell phone and will carry it with her all the time.

Good luck. Having elderly parents is difficult.
Thanks RumRunner.

It sure is a wake up call.

 

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