Personal safety and security are often major concerns of those who have experienced brain or spinal cord injuries. The Tech Lab works closely with patients and their families to address these needs before they leave Craig Hospital. Much like their nurse call button at Craig, a variety of products allow patients to quickly summon help when they return home. Call systems are available for use both inside and outside the home.
Alerting Someone Inside the Home
These products alert another person in the home when you need assistance; they allow for privacy when sleeping or toileting but you can call for assistance when needed.
- Attendant Call Chime: press a button on the transmitter and a chime sounds on the receiver. You can adjust the volume and type of chimer. It also has a switch port if you require switch access. No wiring needed. Up to 40-foot transmission range.
- Wireless Attendant Call Button System: activates a chime with either a large button or a switch. Has four channels allowing up to four alerts in the same area. Up to 300 feet transmission range. The button is waterproof.
- Midland Two-Way Radios: voice-activated walkie-talkies that work up to 36 miles away under favorable conditions. These units are waterproof and work well in rural areas that have poor cellular service.
Things to consider when purchasing include video capabilities, one-way or two-way audio, number of speakers (parent units), wired or wireless, sound quality.
There are many baby monitors available. Here are a few of the most popular:
- Vtech Safe and Sound: split screen allows you to view up to four cameras in four different rooms at the same time. Also includes a talk back intercom for two way communication and infrared capability so you can monitor the individual in the dark. This unit has a range of 1000 feet.
- Samsung BabyView: two-way talk feature, 3.5-inch color monitor. You can watch the video from anywhere in the world. This unit also has "night vision" and monitors up to four cameras.
Medical Alert Services
Before choosing a service provider, get recommendations from others or check online for user reviews. Avoid companies that offshore their call center operations because you language issues may interfere with your safety. Also, make sure the system is UL Certified (standards for medical alert systems). All systems require a monthly fee for service and prices vary. Ask your provider about package plans for multiple devices.
Other things to consider:
- Transponder ranges- choose a system that meets your specific requirements (i.e. can you call for help from the garage or while gardening in the backyard?).
- Price– most are $25-$35/month for a device.
- Access method– some companies have alternative switch options if you cannot use their standard pendant.
- Quality of a transponder– is it waterproof, durable, reliable and what is its battery life?
- GPS technology– can locate/communicate with call center if outside your home.
Here are some of our team's recommendations for Medical Alert Services:
- Lifeline: summon help at any time by pushing a button to alert their 24/7 Response Center. They will assess your situation and contact a loved one or notify emergency services. A monthly service fee is required. Note: If you can’t access the pendant, there are options available to meet your needs.
- 5Star Urgent Response: touch a button to alert an emergency response center. Their agent will use a GPS tracker to quickly identify your location, evaluate your situation and provide you the assistance you need. They can summon an emergency responder, provide directions or listen in if you’re in an unfamiliar location or are feeling unsafe. The unit is waterproof, lightweight, and rechargeable.
- Jitterbug: easy to use, big button phone with a large screen. An application is available that gives you access to unlimited healthcare advice. You can add the 5Star Urgent Response service so your phone also serves as your personal safety device.
- Assurance Wireless Phone: a federal Lifeline Assistance program provided by Virgin Mobile. You may qualify if you are on certain public assistance programs like Medicaid or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance (SNAP).
Security cameras provide more peace of mind than just a phone call and are a great tool for supporting others when they are alone. Options to consider when purchasing: camera resolution, sound capabilities, price, ease of setup, computer or app viewing, remote tilt/swivel, power supply and how many cameras you need.
There are many web cams available. Here are a couple options to consider:
- Drop Cam: high-definition Wi-Fi video camera with remote viewing and two-way sound for your home or business. Also has "night vision" and encryption that will ensure your video remains private.
- Insteon Wireless Security Camera: includes pan, tilt and "night vision" features. This unit requires the Insteon Hub that connects you to your home from any smartphone or tablet anywhere in the worls.
* The Tech Lab offers these resources for educational purposes and does not endorse any products, including those mentioned on this site. Many others are available. Please check online for additional products, manufacturers and user reviews.