The American Red Cross and Senior Safety Part I

I recently met with a local Red Cross representative and learned about some services I was unaware that they provided.

Because part of my mission is helping others to find the resources that they need to help them better care for their aging parents, I wanted to pass along what I learned today.

In previous posts, I have offered the suggestion of utilizing some type of Life Alert System for aging parents still living on their own.  I have also used one of these systems with my own mother prior to her move to an Independent Living apartment in a Continuing Care Retirement Community.  It provided me, my mother and my siblings with an added level of security while she was still alone in the house.

One such system, and the one that my mother used, was the Philips Lifeline Medical Alert Services.  While I have no relationship with Philips other than that I know about them and have used them in the past, Philips does provide a safety feature that I believe is very valuable for somebody living on their own.

One of their systems provides a button for the customer to wear that can detect if the person has a fall.  As falls are a major cause of injury in the elderly, this can become an important feature.

The reason that I chose this Alert System for my mother was that she had been having, what I will refer to as, ‘unresponsive’ episodes.  My fear was that she would fall and be unable to push her alert button; especially in the event that she hit her head!  If she had fallen and been unable to respond to a ‘check-in’, Philips would have called for emergency assistance.

What I did not know is that the American Red Cross has a relationship with Philips Lifeline.  The added benefit that the Red Cross offers:  If you choose to contact them to order this system, they will have somebody come to the home to assure that it is properly installed and make sure that the system is tested and working!  Just that little extra assurance! This may be especially helpful to those of you who live at a distance from your parents and want to assure that the Alert System is properly installed and fully functional.

As an added bonus for the Red Cross, they receive a small donation from Philips for orders coming through their organization!  To me, that is a win for the work that the Red Cross does all around the country!

Medical Alert Systems can be a part of what is needed to keep your parents safe in their home for as long as possible.  You cannot be with them at all times and having an alert system is one way to know that you have back-up!  These can be especially important for an elderly parent who is living alone (again, think of the fall with a hit to the head!).

If you think an Alert System is something that your parent may need, consider contacting your local Red Cross to get more information about the Philips Lifeline products.  This may be a product that, once installed, allows you to rest a bit easier when you are not with your parents.

And, goodness knows, we could all use a little relief from the worry!

On the journey with you…….Kathy

Kathy Eynon is an Eldercare Coach and Consultant that works with those struggling to cope with the demands of caring for an aging parent.  She can be reached by email at: or visit her website at


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