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Personal alarm stories: Maintaining independence

Joan uses her personal alarm to live independently in her own home. Read how it helped her remain independent and get help in a fall.

March 05, 2019

Independent living with personal alarm

Taking Care help Dion's mother to live an independent life – and proved crucial when she has a fall

“Everything about Taking Care’s service has exceeded my expectations,” says Dion Austin, whose mother, Joan, was rescued by the service earlier this year.

“It all started at 6am on a Saturday morning,” explains Dion. “My phone rang, and a calm lady at Taking Care informed me that she had spoken to Mum, who had fallen over and couldn’t get up. She’d already called an ambulance for her.”

"It was such a relief that Mum’s alarm had connected her with someone who could help”

“Without it, I don’t know what she’d have done. But what most impressed me above the speed of the response was that the advisor from Taking Care was genuinely concerned – she actively asked me how long I’d take to get to Mum’s; and to let her know once I’d got there, talking me through how to contact her via Mum’s personal alarm."

"She was calm – and kept me calm – and explained everything in a clear way"

“I only live a mile from Mum, so I arrived just as the ambulance did. I let Taking Care know we were going to hospital. Again, they asked me to let them know the outcome, and when Mum would be coming home, so that they could monitor her once she was out of hospital. Luckily, after a full round of check-ups, Mum was discharged the same day.”

Says Dion: “Mum has always valued her independence. An ex-nurse, she’s lived alone since my Dad passed away 20 years ago, and has always kept active. Although she’s in her 80s, she does the shopping for her neighbours next door because they’re slightly older than her.”

“What Taking Care gives Mum is the freedom to live her life with the reassurance that she can get help at the touch of a button. It’s also a great comfort to me and my two sisters that she’s able to get care as soon as she needs it.”

“The hospital recommended Taking Care as a vital part of Mum’s care at home – to give her a way of seeking support quickly if she needed it"

Joan’s recent fall wasn’t her first. In fact, it was a fall in 2016 that led to Joan becoming a Taking Care member. After the fall, she had to spend two months in hospital recuperating. The hospital was reluctant to discharge Joan until Dion and his sisters put in the right support structure for her at home.

Dion says: “We re-organised her house – installing a downstairs toilet, putting in a stair lift, and arranging for care support to visit her over the first few weeks back at home."

“Mum’s happy to wear her alarm pendant all the time – she loves it – and is 100% comfortable with what it’s there for. Ultimately, it’s allowing her to live in a home she loves – she’s lived there since I was born – and keep the freedom and independence she so values.”

Photographs for illustration only.

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