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Texas Medical Alert - Leaving Our Loved Ones Unattended

Posted Jul 07 2008 7:13pm

In continuing the conversation about traveling and leaving our loved ones unattended, I interviewed Midge Norris, Director of Marketing, with The Personal Alert Link. It is an in-home medical alarm service that's cost effective, personalized, bilingual, and links seniors to independence. It simply attaches to any land line phone like an answering machine and whenever you need help, just press the button on The PAL. It instantly connects to our Emergency Call Center where you’ll have full two-way voice communication with a trained, caring Call Center Caregiver. The PAL gets you the help you need, whether it's an ambulance or just a call to your neighbor for help.

Looking back, Ginger, the traveling primary caregiver (see her story dated March 30, '08), now wishes she bought one for her dad. But he was left unattended for hours after his fall, laying on the floor. The simple system (which attaches to any land line phone like an answering machine) is an absolute essential if a care recipient is alone for more than a couple of hours each day.

Whether you traveling to the office everyday, traveling to Timbuktu for an extended visit or zooming to the supermarket for a loaf of bread, there is an opportunity for an accident to happen.

  • The CDC (The Center for Disease Control) has recently headlined an article “Injury Falls have become a leading cause of death in seniors".

  • 1.8 million Seniors were admitted hospital emergency rooms as the direct result of a fall

  • 40% of nursing home admissions are the direct result of injury falls

Unless you have someone "on site" 24/7, there is no better backup and communication system to help all involved to feel more secure and able to respond in the event of an emergency than a simple in-home medical alert.


Carla, a primary caregiver for 95 year old frail senior mom living in an apartment. Carla works full time as a teacher and spends her summers close to home and her mom. Her brother John lives out of state. Carla’s son is getting married this summer in another state and family wants to go, leaving Mom ‘home alone’.

They have subscribed to personal alert link service now so that Mom is completely comfortable with the system. The first responder, while on vacation, will be the the apartment complex manager, and the family will be secondary contact.

Summary: With a little planning the entire family is rest assured that there is a 24/7 plan in place not only for this family trip, but each day of the week.

Question to Midge Norris, Marketing Director, of the Personal Alert Link:

How do you train an elder to use or press the emergency button on PAL?

They need to keep the pendant or bracelet on them at all times. It is waterproof.

And once an elder presses the button, does your care center stay on the phone with them till help arrives?

Once the button is pressed, our Care Coordinator Center will talk on the two way speaker to the care recipient and ascertain what level of response is necessary. They stay connected throughout the process until help arrives. They follow up after the fact with all parties.

How do you notify the caregiver who is away – this can be a tricky situation… how to notify the caregiver without setting off an alarming reaction?

We deliver the news of the event as factually and unemotionally as possible, to reassure them all is ok (or Not) so they can make an informed decision about what the next step should be.

Thank you, Midge, for this useful information on another step for families to consider before leaving an aging loved one home alone.

You can contact Midge Norris at 866-633-2576 or visit the website:

If you need local senior services in Austin, Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, or Fort Worth, please email meCarol@workingcaregiver.comor visit

My best, Carol

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