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Personal Emergency Response System:
Frequently Asked Questions

(Page 1 of 4)

How does a PERS work?

How it works is quite simple, involving only three components: a small radio transmitter (a light-weight, battery-powered “help” button that can be carried on a belt or in a pocket, or worn by the user on a chain around the neck or on a wrist band); a console connecting to the user’s telephone; and an emergency response center that monitors these types of calls. When emergency help is needed, such as medical, fire, or police, the PERS user can press the transmitter’s “help” button, sending a radio signal to the console (connected to the user’s telephone). This causes the console to automatically dial one or more pre-selected emergency telephone numbers. Most of the systems that exist have the capability of dialing out, even if the phone is in-use or off-the-hook, making this a crucially important feature. When an emergency response center is contacted, the caller is identified, allowing the center to determine the nature of the emergency, review the caller’s medical history, and notify the appropriate medical professionals and/or family/caregiver. If the center can not contact the caller or determine whether an actual emergency exists, they will notify emergency providers to go to the caller’s home, monitoring the situation until the problem is resolved. Most “help” buttons are waterproof, and can be worn in the shower or pool.

What exactly is the “emergency response center,” and where is it located in proximity to my loved one?

There are two types of emergency response centers: provider-based centers which are usually located in the loved one’s local area and operate out of hospitals or social service agencies, and then there’s manufacturer-based centers which usually operate from one national center. Most emergency response centers are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, including holidays.

Who gets notified in the event of an emergency?

At the time your loved one is first setup with a PERS, a client information form will be completed. The profile will contain important information of anyone on the contact list. If no one on the contact list can be reached, emergency services in your loved one’s area will be dispatched. Information for the contact list includes:

Keyholder: Yes No

The client information form also includes your loved one’s medical conditions, allergies, prescribed medications, doctors information, and any special instructions.

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