PERS provide solutions for aging-in-place

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David Pape
David Pape

As our population ages, more and more seniors are going to stay in their homes longer. This “aging-in-place” movement will allow the elderly to maintain their independence longer, but with that comes the need for added security and protection. About one in three people over the age of 65 will fall in any given year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and getting help to that person is imperative.  In fact, 90% of people who get help within one hour of falling will continue to live independently, but after 12 hours without help only 10% of people can continue to live at home, per the New England Journal of Medicine. Personal Emergency Response Systems (PERS) provide support and protection with the press of a button.

PERS devices have existed for years, but they have been limited in their technology and practicality. Thus, there's a wide range of PERS available today. Many such devices include a medical pendant that simply activates a base station that is centrally located in the home. When the pendant is pressed, the user must shout to the base station to be heard by the operator on the other end. If the person that needs help is not in the room where the base station is located, two-way voice communication can be difficult to accomplish. Additionally, a monitored PERS unit communicates to a central station operator who answers the call and then determines what type of help is needed. These monitored units provide around-the-clock coverage, as the central station monitors 24/7. Monthly fees for the monitoring are in the range of $25-$30 and often do not require a down payment for the equipment.

No single PERS answers the needs of all users, so manufacturers have started developing products for various applications. LogicMark, a leading PERS manufacturer based in Louisville, KY, has developed several products in the PERS industry, including PERS alternatives that solve the problem of two-way communication if the user is not in the same room as the base station. The GuardianAlert911, FreedomAlert, and LifeSentry products are two-way voice pendants, meaning the user can communicate through the pendant instead of shouting to a base station. Because the pendants have a 600-foot range from the base station, they allow the user to roam their residence and even go outside while still having the security and protection of a PERS device. With their three products, LogicMark is also able to offer monitored PERS that have a monthly fee and are able to generate a monthly recurring revenue for the provider or non-monitored PERS that have no monthly fee and so might be more attractive to a fixed-income senior end user.

With a rapidly increasing senior population — 10,000 people turn 65 each day — comes an expanding marketplace for the home health, skilled nursing, and DME/HME business, among others. PERS not only offer protection allowing the end user extended independent living with reliable assistance at the touch of a button, but they are a great source of revenue for the provider companies because they are cash products that require little to no time wasted with insurance approval and reimbursement. Getting started offering PERS is easy and the benefits to both the provider and the user are immeasurable.

David Pape is the health care channel sales director for LogicMark and works with HMEs, DMEs, home health and skilled nursing organizations and others to bring the most effective and efficient PERS to their clients and customers. Learn more at www.logicmark.com.

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