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By Liza Horvath


Be Safe At Home


Living out our lives independently and in the comfort of our own home sounds ideal to most seniors. Some seniors who live alone have valid reservations, however. "What happens if I die and no one finds me for a period of time?" one client asks. Or, "How will anyone know if I've fallen and I can't get up?" These realistic questions - coupled with a good imagination - have the makings of a true-to-life horror movie.


Fortunately, some peace of mind can be attained through a number of resources available in our community. The Community Hospital of the Monterey peninsula offers a Telecare Service where seniors can sign up to receive a phone call every morning between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. The calls are made by an Auxiliary volunteer who has a brief chat with the senior before moving on to the next call. If the call is placed and the senior does not answer the phone, the volunteer attempts to reach a family member, friend or other individual as per the instructions the senior has previously provided. If the hospital cannot reach any of the listed contacts, they call the police or sheriff and arrange for a welfare check on the senior. The service is free of charge and more information can be obtained from the Auxiliary office at (831) 625-4555.

The Auxiliary is always looking for volunteers to make these important calls and provide other important services at the hospital. If you are interested in becoming involved as a volunteer, contact them for upcoming training dates at the aforementioned phone number.

While the Telecare call is helpful, some seniors understandably worry that a full 24 hours go by between calls and a lot can happen in that time. Partners for Transitions in Carmel is now offering to place an evening call to the senior to compliment the morning Telecare call. Additionally, Partners for Transitions has a "pop-in" service where seniors can sign up to have one of the agency's trained professionals come by several times a week to check in on the senior. The professionals stop in and check to make sure all is well and they also do a brief assessment of the senior's general environment. These are trained professionals that can make recommendations for additional help that could benefit the senior. For information and costs on the Partners for Transitions services call (831) 626-1943.

Philips Lifeline offers a medical alert service where a senior can rent a pendant or wrist-style "Help Button" that can be pressed to make an emergency call should they need medical help while at home alone. Because the onset of a medical crisis can render a senior unable to press a help button, Philips Lifeline now offers a "Lifeline with AutoAlert" that can detect if a senior has fallen and will automatically send the alert for help. For information and pricing contact Philips Lifeline at 1-800-543-3546.




Liza Horvath has over 30 years experience in the estate planning and trust fields and is the president of Monterey Trust Management, a financial and trust management company. This is not intended to be legal or tax advice. If you have a questions call (831)646-5262 or email liza@montereytrust.com










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