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Why do I or my loved one need a Personal Emergency Response System?

A Personal Emergency Response System (PERS) is a small, lightweight Personal Help button that you wear either around your neck or on your wrist. It is water-resistant so you can wear it in the shower or tub.  The important thing is, if you ever need help all you do is push the button you are wearing. Technology can make a huge difference in our lives.  I am not talking about large screen televisions or the latest computer system – I am talking about a small device that can call for help when help is needed.  A Personal Emergency Response System (PERS) is a small, lightweight Personal Help button that you wear either around your neck or on your wrist.  It is water-resistant so you can wear it in the shower or tub.  The important thing is, if you ever need help all you do is push the button you are wearing. 


Approximately 35 seconds after you push the help button, a personal dispatch operator from the call Centre will announce him or herself and will ask if you need help.  You may say something like, “I don’t need an ambulance, but would you please call my son/daughter, neighbor, or friend?”  It’s not always a 911 emergency.  However, if you are unable to speak or you say it’s an emergency, they would immediately dispatch the local paramedics to your home. Once emergency assistance is dispatched and is on route, the emergency dispatcher will attempt to contact someone on your emergency call list to let him or her know that the system has been activated and help is on the way.  This procedure can be changed according to your wishes.

 If you should ever accidentally set off your alarm, that’s ok.  Just tell the operator who comes on the two-way voice that you don’t need help.  The console is about the size of your average telephone and sits easily on any table, counter or desk.  The Personal Help Button is recessed to avoid false activation.  It only needs to be depressed for a short period of time (1-2 seconds).

 When a client is first set up with a unit, a Subscriber Information Form will be completed.  The profile will contain the information of anyone you would like us to contact in an emergency.  The Subscriber Information Form will also include other special instructions.

 Systems today are very sensitive.  All homes are unique, so a professional installer will always test your system after it is installed so you know the full extent of your coverage for both the pendant as well as the two-way voice. 

If you should have a problem outside the house, the pendant portion of the system will still work.  However, the call centre are not going to be able to speak with you because you are outside, but they will know you are in trouble and they will dispatch rescue to your house. 

Once again, all homes and yards are unique so you need to let your installer know where you may wish to go in your home and property so the system can be tested.  In the case of an electrical outage, the system has a battery backup that will operate for up to 24 hours.  When power is restored, the battery recharges itself so it is ready for any additional power outage.

No special type of jack or wiring is required in order for the PERS System to work.  You simply will need a regular phone jack to plug your unit into.

If you are moving to another address or visiting family or friends, simply give the PERS provider 24 hours’ notice so that they can update your file with the new address and telephone number.  You should then test the system once at your new location. Stay in your home longer and give peace of mind to yourself and loved ones by using a PERS in your home today.

Kimberley Monette,
Family 1st Medical
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Kimberley Monette is the General Manager at Family 1st Medical. She has spent 24 years in the home healthcare industry.