(Courtesy of ElderSAFE) After a close family member suffered a fall at home, becoming temporarily incapacitated and unable to call for help, Ari Knopfler wasn’t expecting the incident to prompt not only an expansion of his own business activities, but one which would create a boon for the larger community.
The episode, thankfully, ended well: the victim’s daughter happened to stop in to see her mother just minutes after the accident. But between the ER, hospitalization, and rehab, it turned the whole family on end for almost two months. This prompted Ari, an entrepreneur from Rockland County, to research the matter and to realize that his family’s experience was not at all uncommon.
He found some alarming statistics: in the United States, one in four people over the age of 65 suffer a fall every year. Every 11 seconds, an older adult is treated in an emergency room for injuries resulting from a fall, usually at home; every 19 minutes, an elderly person dies from such an injury, generally preventable. Ari quickly recognized the need to improve both alert and prevention of home medical emergencies and founded ElderSAFE: a provider of comprehensive home safety products and services targeting a growing elderly population wanting to live independently.
Like Ari’s family member, most elderly people prefer to remain at home— in a comfortable, familiar setting— and to forgo the option of assisted living, nursing home, or an in-home aid. This not only assures their independence, but also saves some $3,000-8,000/month.
Ari’s first task was to find the fastest and most effective means to notify emergency medical services for the client. To this end, ElderSAFE now offers the ElderSAFE Medical Alert Pendant. The ElderSAFE Pendant offers a 100% solution, as it works both inside and outside the home. The pendant is designed so that the user communicates directly with the emergency care giver in real time, through the device itself. It also offers additional advantages of “fall detection” and GPS tracking so that the EMS responder can identify the user’s precise location, and family members can track an elderly parent who may have wandered off.
The ElderSAFE pendant incorporates all relevant personal information, including medical history and contact information of the patient’s physicians and family. Depending on the situation, the live care operator can assess whether to contact a family member, neighbor, or local emergency responders, and to reassure that the proper help is on the way.
ElderSAFE reps also sat with many community leaders and rabbis to receive their input and blessing, and to find the right mix of products and services that would guarantee the utmost commitment and service to our community’s elders, including guidance in halacha to allow use of the ElderSAFE Pendant on Shabbos and Yom Tov.
Ari and his team also determined how certain preventive measures would reduce the potential for accidents and injuries to his clientele. Many elderly people live in older homes which have not undergone renovation. ElderSAFE, therefore, is offering a certified ElderSAFE Senior Home Safety Assessment, a one-time inspection of the client’s home, to ensure the safety of all aspects of the living space, and a removal of potential hazards which almost always exist, waiting to cause injury.
“We discovered that over 95% of homes inspected have presented hazards posing real threats to the safety and security of the people who live there,” says an ElderSAFE representative. “More than the clients themselves, their children are especially appreciative when they see that, with a minimum of expense, their elderly loved ones can continue to live independently, safely and securely.”
Aside from the obvious risks of unsafe electrical and gas lines, out-dated appliances, and faulty smoke alarms, the ElderSAFE Senior Home Safety Assessment pays attention to smaller details, such as broken or loose kitchen and bathroom tiles, frayed rugs or carpets, sharp edges, loose banisters and guard rails, and much more.
The ElderSAFE team underlines the most obvious, but often neglected, advantage of its services. As the saying goes, “An ounce of prevention.…” Even without being life-threatening, a relatively minor injury—for an elderly person— can result in months of hospitalization, untold suffering, and a tremendous burden on the family, often costing tens of thousands of dollars or more, all of which are easily avoidable by calling ElderSAFE.
ElderSAFE offers to the elderly of our community, as well as to their families, the most effective way to maximize the safety and security of those who choose to live on their own independently and with dignity; with tranquility and with peace of mind.