I started Caregiver Smart Solutions because as my dad was beating cancer for the second time, I was always concerned with how he was doing. As a tech guy, I figured there were multiple resources available within eldercare for me to know that he was OK while respecting his privacy.
Wow. Was I wrong! Nothing existed.
I had a few suggest cameras but my dad wanted nothing to do with them and I realized they only had value if I watched 24/7. Of course, several companies had the alert pendant.
Pendants are a great tool and they could be valuable in an emergency. But I quickly realized that if my dad was incapacitated, he wouldn’t be able to push the button. He also could forget to charge it or even wear it. Clearly, the pendant added just as much concern for me as it did comfort.
The other day I was out to lunch with a friend. Two older women came in, both moving fine but using canes. They sat down near me and they seemed like really nice people so I figured I might be able to approach them and maybe do some field research. I then noticed that one of the women was wearing an alert pendant. When the waitress came with the menus, the woman took OFF the pendant.
I was surprised. Clearly in a crowded restaurant if she fell there were plenty of people around to help. But what if she kept it in the purse for the rest of the day, even when she got home?
I wanted to get a glimpse into why she took it off and politely introduced myself. That led to a really nice conversation.
I learned that the woman had fallen previously and her kids desperately wanted her to wear the pendant. They wanted to know she was OK. But she hated the pendant. She admitted that she rarely wears it during the day and, if she remembers, will put it on at bedtime.
She admitted that while she tells her kids she doesn’t like it, she isn’t too forthcoming with them on how few hours a day she actually wears it. Clearly there is a disconnect to her kid’s well being and her own.
The three of us spoke about their desire to remain independent and both women didn’t really appreciate how much their kids cared about how they are doing. They admitted that I opened up their eyes to their kid’s viewpoints.
I didn’t push our Caregiver Smart Solutions but hopefully I made an impact and my new friend is wearing her pendant and not just using it as an expensive purse ornament.