With the push of a button, help is never far away | CraigDailyPress.com

With the push of a button, help is never far away

Memorial Regional Health offers Lifeline, an emergency alert service

By Lauren Glendenning Brought to you by Memorial Regional Health

CRAIG — There comes a time in many people's lives when instability can threaten safety, but it's not always due to old age.

There's a memorable commercial that aired in the 1980s and '90s that showed a woman on the floor shouting, "I've fallen, and I can't get up." While the woman in the commercial was elderly, this situation could happen to people of all ages.

"Anybody with weakness, whether suffering deficits from medical conditions such as stroke, Parkinson's, multiple sclerosis or anything like that where someone's balance is off, could use Lifeline," said Stayton Mosbey, an EMT at Memorial Regional Hospital and former Lifeline coordinator. "Even just temporary uses like after knee or hip surgery — it's ideal for people like that because there's no contract required."

Lifeline is the alert service offered by Memorial Regional Health. Subscribers — there are currently more than 110 in Moffat County — wear a necklace that provides access to 24/7 help with the push of a button. It allows people to remain independent in their homes while suffering from a temporary or ongoing issue. It can also be activated in case of a fire, medical emergency or for anyone needing help from local law enforcement.

Pressing the button connects users to the Philips Lifeline Response Center, where an agent — never a robot or automated answering service — determines what level of care a person needs. Sometimes the subscriber might need a family member to come over to help them, while other times they might need professional medical care, Mosbey said.

Another feature of Lifeline is GoSafe, an advanced medical alert pendant that works wirelessly.

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"It can do it all: send an alert when you press the button, sense when you fall and send an automatic alert, and provide direct, two-way communication with our highly trained response center," according to Lifeline. "With GoSafe, you can get out there and enjoy life with peace of mind."

GoSafe is equipped with GPS technology and has cell capabilities built in. It can detect falls and automatically call for help, and it can also pinpoint a person's location. It works wirelessly, so people without a landline can still get the benefit of Lifeline at home or out, Mosbey said.

GoSafe has a battery that lasts 7 days per charge, two-way voice so you can talk hands-free, an audio beacon for when you're in a remote area, and airplane mode — all for $5 a month more.

"Go-Safe is especially helpful for active seniors or disabled folks who want to get out but want peace of mind," Mosbey said.

Getting Lifeline

Memorial Regional Health works with Medicaid to provide the service free-of-charge to qualifying individuals. For others, MRH offers reduced fees through grants from United Way. The cost, without assistance, starts at around $35 a month.

For more information, contact Lifeline Coordinator Wayne Kuenning at 970-826-3290, or wayne.kuenning@tmhcraig.org.