Caregiver Rests Easy Thanks to Intouch Bed Alarm

 Intouch Personal Emergency Response ClientsPotted plants drink in the light dappling into Gerry Raymond’s sun porch. He beckons his visitors to the beautiful array of wicker chairs, a floral sofa, and a rocking chair, all adorned with mismatching pillows. He chooses the blue computer chair and pulls out his iPhone, a stark contrast to the house’s vintage furnishings, and immediately starts telling his story.

Gerry and his wife Geneva built their house 52 years ago. Filled with framed photographs, dishes of dark chocolate, and tokens from their world travels, their home is not a place they plan to leave.

Geneva is in the mid stages of dementia, and regularly  gets out of bed at night, sometimes as many as ten times in eight hours. Because of hip and joint problems, she has to sleep in a very specific position with the support of several custom-made pillows under her hip, between her knees, behind her back, and under her head. While she is able to get up out of bed on her own, she cannot get back into the position she needs without Gerry’s help.

For the last 23years, Gerry has been a volunteer for Northwood Intouch through the Windsor Rotary Club, travelling to nearby communities and installing medical alerts, stove sensors, and other products from Intouch that help his neighbours maintain their independence. During the last year and a half, Gerry has not only been a dedicated and well-known Intouch volunteer, but also a subscriber.

Constantly worried he would not hear Geneva get out of bed, Gerry installed one of Intouch’s bed alarms. Every time she gets up, the Intouch unit calls Gerry’s cell phone so he knows she is out of bed. Without the bed alarm, Gerry would have to depend on Geneva remembering to wake him up or he would have to stay up during the night anticipating when she might get out of bed.  The alternative is he would need to have someone come in to stay up overnight.

Without the bed alarm, Geneva would eventually have to move into a nursing home, “which I don’t intend to do only as the last possible choice,” Gerry adds.

Gerry easily customizes the bed alarm to suit their situation. Because Geneva only sleeps in one position, the bed alarm doesn’t have to be placed horizontally across her bed beneath the mattress. Instead, Gerry secures it vertically beneath the mattress along the length where Geneva sleeps, maximizing the contact between Geneva’s weight and the sensors.

“It takes about seventeen seconds,” he says during a test run of the alarm, holding his phone up as it starts to ring. In those seventeen seconds, the bed alarm detects that Geneva is no longer in bed and sends a call to the phone that rests on Gerry’s nightstand in the room across the hall.

The alarm also keeps a record of its activations, making a detailed collection of data documenting Geneva’s nighttime activity that goes back months. Gerry takes this information to her healthcare provider, and together they can determine how Geneva’s medications are affecting her sleeping patterns. Gerry points to the list of times his wife has gotten up during the night over the last few months, reciting how many milligrams of medication she is taking and following the increase and decrease of her overnight activity.

Despite getting up multiple times during the night to help Geneva, Gerry says that he actually sleeps more now that they have the bed alarm. Now he can sleep soundly for a few hours in between each activation, knowing that the next time Geneva gets out of bed the bed alarm will notify him.

“It’s a godsend,” he says.

Thanks to Northwood Intouch, Gerry and Geneva are able to live in the home they built together for as long as possible without having to have overnight help.  They are able to sit in the dappling light of their sun room and take in the beautiful view of Nova Scotia that they have been taking in for the last 52 years

Avoiding Scams Targeting Seniors

Unfortunately seniors are vulnerable to all kinds of scams. If you believe a loved one has been the target of a scam, contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.

Here are just a few types of scam to watch for:

Emergency Scams: Typically a call or email like this would target a grandparent and the con-artist calls pretending to be one of their grandchild and are in need of money immediately. The call or email usually involve the scammer saying they are in need of money for bail, are in a foreign country and having trouble returning home, or have been in an accident. Usually the con-artist will ask their victim not to tell anyone that they called and asked for help from them.

Telephone Scams: Calls like this typically look like a government official is calling to collect fines, bill collectors claiming the person owes money or a variety of other tactics. This method the scam-artist will ask for payment information over the phone.

Prize Scams: This is when the consumer is told they have been selected as the winner of a prize like a large cash sum, a trip or even a car. The scam artist will usually ask to have money sent to cover “taxes” or “fees”.

False Charities: Telemarketers call using copycat names that might be deceiving or misleading. They pressure the person into donating immediately over the phone using a credit card.

It’s important to be weary of scams. We are all potential victims in the eyes of a scam-artist. It’s important to educate loved ones and those who are vulnerable targets for these scams.

 

Vision Problems Can Lead to Falls

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Falls are predictable; let’s prove they are preventable, too.

Did you know that poorly corrected vision and age-related diseases of the eye are major contributors to the number of falls experienced by seniors? Having your vision checked regularly can help reduce your risk of falling. In Nova Scotia, MSI will cover an eye exam at least every 2 years for those over 65.

November 15th to the 21st is Falls Prevention Week in Nova Scotia. It’s a chance for us to all take a moment and think about how we can support the ones we love when it comes to their mobility. By making sure their living space is safe, they are taking their medication properly, their vision is on track and are getting enough physical activity you can help prevent a fall from happening in the first place.

Contact Northwood Intouch today if you think one of our products or services could benefit your loved one. Call 1-800-461-3346 or 902-492-3346 or email us at intouch@nwood.ns.ca and we can chat about a solution.

Quick Facts About Falls

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  • Falls are the leading cause of injury to seniors in Canada.
  • Nova Scotia, 64% if falls requiring hospital admission occur in the home – this is significantly higher than the national average.
  • Each year, one out of every three Canadian seniors will suffer a fall.
  • Poorly corrected vision and age-related diseases of the eye are major contributors to the number of falls experience by seniors.
  • Injuries caused by falls can result in pain, suffering and loss of independence?
  • Falls are preventable.

Download the NS Community Links Falls Prevention home checklist to help identify any hazards that could potentially cause a fall:

Home Assessment Checklist

November 15th to the 21st is Falls Prevention Week in Nova Scotia. Now is the time to ensure your and your loved ones are on track to have a fall-free winter.

If an automatic fall detector or any Northwood Intouch products or services interest you please give us a call at 1-800-461-3346 or 902-492-3346 or email us at intouch@nwood.ns.ca

Falls Prevention Week: Physical Activity Prevents Falls

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Did you know getting up and being active helps prevent future falls?

According to the Center for Disease Control & Prevention, research shows that doing balance and muscle-strengthening activities each week along with moderate-intensity aerobic activity, like brisk walking, can help reduce the risk of falling for older adults who are at a risk of falling.

But in order for an individual to get moving, they want to feel safe and secure knowing that if something were to happen in their home when no one is around that help would come to their rescue. Our Automatic Fall Alert Pendant does just that. When the sensor is activated you’re connected with our 24/7 Response Centre. From there we can contact loved ones and caregivers to assist or we can dispatch emergency personnel.

This intelligent piece of technology allows the wearer freedom and independence in their own home. The fear of falling can limit your life. But it doesn’t have to.

To learn more about Northwood Intouch call at 1-800-461-3346 or 902-492-3346 or email us at intouch@nwood.ns.ca

Reducing Caregiver Stress & Burnout

Reducing Caregiver Stress & Burnout

As a caregiver, you want to help the ones you love and care for as much as humanly possible but in the process you can start to lose yourself. Northwood Intouch understands that caregiver burnout is very real. Our line of sensors and buttons offer a solution that can help.

Here are some of the warning signs that you’re getting close to caregiver burnout, curtesy of WebMD:

  • You find yourself withdrawing from your friends and family.
  • You lose interest in activities you used to enjoy.
  • You feel blue, irritable, or hopeless.
  • You notice you’re losing or gaining weight.
  • Your sleep patterns are changing.
  • You get sick more often.
  • You feel like you want to hurt yourself or the person you’re caring for.

We are committed to removing some of that stress off the primary caregiver by giving the gift of peace of mind. With the Northwood Intouch buttons and sensors caregivers will be alerted to any problems within moments of an even taking place. That means as a caregiver you can go for a relaxing walk, go grab a coffee and recharge those batteries. With our help buttons, fall detectors, medication dispensers and so many other products and services we are able to give both the client and their loved ones the freedom they both so desperately need to live life to the fullest.

To learn more about Northwood Intouch call 1-800-461-3346 or 902-492-3346 or email us at intouch@nwood.ns.ca

Monitored Smoke Detector

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Northwood is pleased to add yet another sensor to it’s range of solutions!

The new monitored smoke detector is easy to use and will not only sound in the home like a traditional smoke detector, but it will also alert our 24/7 monitoring center that there is a fire. Ideal for those are hard of hearing who may not be able to hear traditional smoke alarms, especially when removing hearing aids at night or for those who don’t know how to respond appropriately if an alarm should sound. It also gives extra protection when no one is home, notifying the fire department right away should a fire break out.

Just burnt toast? That’s ok, it happens to everyone! Just like our regular service, the Response Centre will always try and contact the subscriber over the base unit to see if they need help. If it’s just a false alarm, we will re-set. If we get no answer, we will dispatch the fire department.

The Monitored Smoke Detector is an add on of just $10/month.

Our smoke detector is:

  • Wireless (no wires to run or complicated installation).
  • Our volunteers can install in seconds.
  • Monitors itself and lets our Response Centre know when the battery is low.

If this could benefit someone you care about, please call us today to take advantage of our special introductory offer of just $5/month.

To learn more call 1-800-461-3346 or 902-492-3346 or email us at intouch@nwood.ns.ca

Alzheimer’s Society NS Conference – Friends & Family Night

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The Alzheimer’s Society of Nova Scotia is gearing up for their 26th Annual Provincial Conference. This years theme is “Shifting Focus in Dementia Care” and Northwood Intouch is sponsoring the Friends & Family Night which is happening October 19th from 6 – 8:30 pm at the Holiday Inn Harbourview, Dartmouth.

Friend’s & Family Night is a great chance for the community to come learn a little more about Alzheimer’s and learn about some of the resources, like Northwood Intouch, that can help families with a loved one living with Alzheimer’s. There are so many wonderful resources right here in our community but if you don’t know about them you don’t know to access them. This is a great way to make those connections and build a support network.

The event is free and open to the public. We encourage anyone who wants to learn more about Alzheimer’s to come take part in the presentation and question period. There will also be light refreshments and a chance to learn more about the resources that are out there, like Northwood Intouch.

The full conference program can be found here.

If you’d like to receive from information regarding the Alzheimer’s Conference, Friends & Family Night or any of the products and services Northwood Intouch offers, feel free to reach out to our friendly and helpful team by calling 1-800-461-3346 or 902-492-3346 or email us at intouch@nwood.ns.ca

Fire Prevention Week

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Did you know…

  • Seniors age 75 and older have the highest risk of dying in a house fire.
  • Cooking is the leading cause of house fires and house fire injuries.
  • Other causes include heating appliances, electrical, candles, and chimneys.

October 4th – 10th is National Fire Prevention Week and this years theme is “Hear the beep where you sleep”. For those individuals who have difficulty hearing their smoke detector at night because of the removal of hearing aids or they sleep deeply, we have a new service that we’ve just added to our line of solutions for the home.

The Monitored Smoke Detector will sound in your home, but it will also alert our 24/7 monitoring centre, allowing them to dispatch fire services right away. Whether you are a sound sleeper, hard of hearing or want your home monitored when you’re not there, our smoke detector can offer the protection you need. From now until October 31, 2015, subscribers can lock in the low fee of just $5/month. After October 31st, the regular pricing will be $10/month.

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Our Stove Sensor stops fires before they have a chance to begin. It constantly monitors motion in the area around a kitchen stove. If the oven or burners are left unattended, it shuts off, automatically, stopping fires before they can begin instead of sounding an alarm after one has already started. The Stove Sensor is easy to install and program to meet the needs of each user.Stove_sensor

If our products and services could benefit someone you care about, please call us today to take advantage of our special introductory offer for our new smoke detector of just $5/month. But hurry, the price will go up to it’s regular price of $10/month on November 1st!

To learn more call 1-800-461-3346 or 902-492-3346 or email us at intouch@nwood.ns.ca

Door-to-Door Sales: Safeguarding Yourself & Vulnerable Seniors

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Northwood Intouch has received several calls recently from unhappy clients and families who have been aggressively solicited to cancel their Intouch service and go with another company. In some cases, our clients signed contracts for services they did not even want, but felt they had to because of the tactics used to get them to sign up.


Some companies rely on door-to-door sales staff to sell their products, in particular security systems and some medical alarm companies. Dealing with salespeople at the door can be stressful. Here are a few things to keep in mind if you receive a knock at your door:


Sellers must have a license
In Nova Scotia, people selling door-to-door are required to have a license. This license ensures that their contracts meet guidelines set out by the provincial municipal affairs office and that they are a legitimate business. Contracts must include a 10-day cooling off period in which the person buying services can change their mind and have their money refunded without penalty. Should you question the credibility of the salesperson, ask them to show their license. If they do not have one, it’s a sign they should not be at your door and you should not be doing business with them.


If it’s too good to be true…
As the saying goes…if it seems too good to be true, it probably is! A “great” deal that is only available on the spot with no time to think about it before you sign into a contract is a red flag! A reputable company should always allow you the time to do your own research and ensure you are comfortable with what you are agreeing to buy. They should allow you to review the terms of the contract and ask any questions that you may have so that you fully know what you are getting into. They should allow you the time to contact the Better Business Bureau to check their rating and leave something with their contact information so that you can follow up with them in the days to follow if you so choose.


Some companies also promise that you can have your service paid for by the government. Do not just take their word for it. Check with the government first to see if you meet the criteria and qualify for the program before signing any contracts.


Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
Where is their office located? How long have they been in business? Who do you contact if you have a problem? Do they have a card? What is the term of the contract? Can you cancel? Are there any penalties to cancel early? While some companies offer a low price initially, you may be stuck in a contract for 5 years with a penalty fee of $200 to cancel. Better to know these things before you sign.


What to do if you have been approached by someone like this.
If you have been approached by someone you feel is not legitimate or have been taken in by one of these companies, you should report it to your local law enforcement. You can also register a complaint with the Better Business Bureau as well as Service Nova Scotia and the Office of Municipal Affairs by calling 1-800-670-4357.


While not all door-to-door sellers are out to scam you, it’s a good practice to never sign anything on the spot and do your research first. Never pay cash at the door and be sure that you know the company name.


Northwood Intouch is a reputable medical alarm provider with an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and we have been providing service throughout Nova Scotia for almost 30 years. We have no contracts to sign and you can cancel anytime without penalty. We also have volunteers right in your community who are with reputable service clubs like Lions Clubs and Rotary Clubs who install the equipment and complete service calls.

 

If you have any question feel free to give us a call at 1-800-461-3346 or 902-492-3346 or email us at intouch@nwood.ns.ca