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Don´t Miss Opening Doors for Accessibility in London, Ontario, on March 31st!

If you are an individual living with a disability, health professional, service provider, caregiver/partner or family member, you should attend this FREE COMMUNITY RESOURCE SHOWCASE.


Flyer

ConnectCare will be in attendance at the following events:

  • February 3rd ~ Active Living Fair, Horton Street Senior's Centre, 184 Horton Street East, London, ON
  • February 17th ~ Active Lifestyle Centre “Connect” Older Adults Resource Fair, 20 Merritt Avenue, Chatham, ON

More than one-third of seniors will experience a fall and falls are the leading cause of injuries among Canadians 65 years and older. November is fall prevention month and St. Joseph´s Health Care London aims to prevent falls both in hospital and at home. ConnectCare helps older adults maintain their independence – and bring families peace of mind.

While attempting to get up from her living room chair, Mary Anne Dowding´s 91-year-old mother Kathleen fell to the ground and was unable to reach the phone to call for help. Alone and injured, Dowding´s mother managed to press the button on her ConnectCare device and got the help she desperately .

“My mother suffered a black eye, bruised hip and broken wrist, but the fall and outcome could have been much worse if she hadn´t been able to press that button,” recalls Dowding.

Her mother was wearing a ConnectCare AutoAlert button around her neck at the time of the fall.

ConnectCare, part of Parkwood Institute, is a program for older adults, people with physical disabilities, or those who live alone who are at risk for falls and medical emergencies. With a click of a button subscribers are instantly connected to help through a medical alert system. The AutoAlert system also calls for help when a subscriber falls and is unconscious or immobilized.

Dowding introduced her mother and father to ConnectCare to help alleviate concerns she had with falls and her aging parent´s health.

“It was very important for my parents to live in their own home,” says Dowding. “ConnectCare gave me peace of mind because I knew they had protection”.

ConnectCare also gave her parents peace of mind and the freedom to enjoy their home and hobbies. Dowding´s father was an avid gardener and her mother knew help was available if her husband happened to fall when she was not around.

When Dowding´s father passed away, it was even more important for her mother to have help in the event of a fall.

“I lived more than 40 minutes away and I worried about the distance, especially in the winter, if my mother did suffer from a fall,”she says. “It´s necessary when people live alone to a device like ConnectCare to let people know you need assistance.”

For Dowding and her mother, help was needed on that frightful day the fall occurred. With a click of a button – help arrived just in time.

“It really is peace of mind for everyone,” says Dowding

The rapidly ageing population presents Canada with a growing proportion of seniors with an equally diverse set of needs, priorities, and factors that influence their ability to stay as healthy and independent as possible. How our society prepares to meet the financial, social, health, housing and caregiving needs of older Canadians must be considered with the aim of becomig the best nation to grow up and grow old in.

The National Institute on Ageing´s Inaugural Conference will bring together experts, thought leaders, practitioners and delegates to learn, share and brainstorm key ideas and actions for advancing the four pillars of our recently proposed National Seniors Strategy (NSS). This dynamic two-day conference will frame the dialogue around each pillar starting with an expert panel discussion, followed by related workshop sessions that feature interactive presentations and discussion.

  Conference Information

  Conference Website

It takes a community to prevent a fall. We all have a role to play

Older adults are a vital part of families and communities. Falling can lead to depression, mobility problems, loss of independence and death. But falls in older adults are predictable and preventable. There are many organizations and individuals working hard to increase awareness of the issue and encourage action to prevent falls and injuries from falls.

Now in its second year, Fall Prevention Month encourages organizations to coordinate their efforts for a larger impact. Organizations in Ontario and beyond participate by planning activities and sharing evidence-based information on fall prevention. Together, we can raise the profile of fall prevention and help everyone see their role in keeping older adults active, independent and healthy as they age.

Please visit www.fallpreventionmonth.ca for more information.

  Every year in June we take the time to celebrate our seniors during Seniors Month. It´s a time to celebrate not only seniors themselves, but also the contributions these seniors make to their community. This year´s theme is “Seniors Making a Difference.” ConnectCare´s volunteers, many of whom are seniors themselves, certainly do make a difference! By donating their time and skills, they are making a difference to both ConnectCare´s clients, and their families.

“As our mother´s needs changes with time, safeguarding her independence and safety becomes even more important. Partnering with ConnectCare, our family can be assured that when we are not close at hand, our mother is still protected.” Says Phil Bernardo, son of ConnectCare subscriber Roberta Bernardo.

Every year, one in three people over the age of 65 suffers a fall. Most falls happen at home. When someone falls, or has a medical issue, every second counts. Delayed medical care can jeopardize recovery and independence.

ConnectCare relies on volunteers, many of them seniors themselves, to implement this important service to clients across Southwestern Ontario. These volunteers donate their time, skills and experience to ensure other seniors have help when they need it most. Volunteers, among other jobs, install the emergency response systems in client´s homes, and conduct all ongoing maintenance.

They take the time to ensure the client understands how to use the equipment, and answer any questions they might have. “I really appreciate how comprehensive the explanations were that the installer was able to provide.” Agrees ConnectCare subscriber Alice McDonald.

ConnectCare´s emergency response system provides help at the press of a button. In the event of an emergency, subscribers simply press their button, and they will be connected to the emergency response center. An emergency response associate will assess the situation, and send help quickly.

ConnectCare offers two options; a basic button worn around the neck or wrist, and an autoalert option that calls for help even when you can´t. All options are comfortable, lightweight, and 100% waterproof, and can even be worn in the shower. There are no contracts to sign and termination is as simple as returning the equipment.

For more than 25 years ConnectCare´s been a reliable and affordable community service. Profits generated by ConnectCare support patient care at St. Joseph´s Health Care London. The ConnectCare program has grown to serve over 2700 subscribers in London and surrounding communities throughout southwestern Ontario thanks in part to their wonderful volunteers who donate their time in all these communities.

The volunteers themselves seem to truly enjoy the experience. It helps them stay active in their community, meet new people, while making a difference to others. “We meet, even though it´s for a short time, wonderful people who really appreciate our time and skills. It´s a brief connection that usually brings out the best in both the volunteer and the customer.” Says ConnectCare volunteer Pierre Paquette.

Along with senior´s month, June also marks summer´s arrival! Those with cottages or summer homes will be happy to know they can pack up their units and bring them along. All you need to connect your unit at your new location is a working land line. In fact, clients can bring their units along with them anywhere in North America. Installation is straightforward, and can be done by the client themselves.

2016 Age Friendly London

On March 24, 2016, ConnectCare had a booth at the Age Friendly London conference, hosted by the Council for London Seniors.

During the show, Lisa Timbeck, Marketing and Sales Assistant for ConnectCare, gave a brief presentation about the products and the services that we offer.

For almost three decades ConnectCare has provided peace of mind for thousands of subscribers across Southwestern Ontario. Simply by pressing a button, the ConnectCare medical alert system summons help when it´s needed most.

Falls are the leading cause of death, hospitalization and emergency room visits from unintentional injuries among individuals 65 years and over in Middlesex-London. Realizing the complexity of factors that impact falls in older adults, many community partners came together to form the Middlesex-London Falls Prevention Collaborative which is providing consistent, effective and coordinated care in falls prevention and management across the care continuum.

“The Collaborative is excited to have the opportunity to join the fall prevention campaign in November, which was initiated by 15 provincial and national organizations in Canada, to raise the profile and action around falls prevention in older adults,” says Amy Mak, Public Health Nurse, Middlesex-London Health Unit and Chair of the Middlesex-London Falls Prevention Collaborative.

The collaborative is taking part in fall prevention month, and ConnectCare is delighted to sponsor the kickoff event, Finding Your Balance, Nov. 6 at 9:00am at the Horton Street Seniors Centre, located at the Boys & Girls Club of London.

The morning event is free to seniors and caregivers and includes door prizes, fitness activities, guest speakers, trade show displays, and a free lunch. “We are excited to help shine a light on an issue that affects so many vulnerable people,” says Lisa Timbeck, sales and marketing assistant for ConnectCare.

ConnectCare provides security and assistance to subscribers. They offer two services; the basic service includes a personal help button that can be worn around the wrist or neck that enables subscribers to get help by pressing the button.

The enhanced AutoAlert button adds an extra layer of security. In addition to the button, it automatically places a call for help if a fall is detected and the person can´t push the button because he or she is disorientated, immobilized, or unconscious. Its advanced technology detects a fall by measuring a person´ change in height and v elocity, and automatically calls for help when it detects a fall and the subscriber does not move within 30 seconds.

ConnectCare with AutoAlert detects over 95 per cent of falls and can speed intervention, helping to reduce pain, suffering, and secondary complications resulting from lying down for a long time after a fall. It´s important to note, AutoAlert does not detect 100 per cent of falls, so if able, subscribers should always push their buttons if they need help.

“ConnectCare receives calls almost daily from people looking to initiate our service because they or their loved one has spent hours on the floor alone after a fall, being unable to call for help because they can´t get to a phone,” says ConnectCare staff member Mallory Abraham.

ConnectCare is one of only a few medical alert systems operated by a hospital. This means not only that subscribers get the very best care, it also means revenue from the service goes back to Parkwood Institute and St. JosephÛs Health Care London, helping to fund the broad range of health care services the hospital offers residents of Southwestern Ontario.

“We´ve provided a human touch for nearly 30 years,” says Kerrie Dewachter, Program Coordinator for ConnectCare. “Our volunteers take the time to explain the service and the equipment to the subscribers during the installation process, at their homes, and don´t leave until the person understands how to operate the system. We want our subscribers to be absolutely comfortable with everything we do. That´s why there is no long term lease or contract to sign. You can cancel the service at any time. And there is no charge for pushing the button. No one has to worry about whether they can afford the call for help. If you are a subscriber we are here to help you. That´s our commitment.”

The commitment now extends to playing a major role in the Fall Prevention Campaign, which will provide seniors more help to remain independent, happily living in their own homes where they are most comfortable.

Since 1987 tens of thousands of people in Southwestern Ontario have lived safely and independently knowing help is available at the press of a button with the ConnectCare service.

To celebrate ConnectCare´s 25th anniversary an open house on May 29 will feature subscriber testimonials, historical displays, and an intriguing new feature called AutoAlert that automatically detects when a person falls and sends a signal to the response centre. The event also features a presentation on ways to prevent falls, and how services like ConnectCare are invaluable if a fall does take place.

“ConnectCare is not just for older adults, but also ideal for people with disabilities or those who live alone and want the reassurance they can quickly reach someone in the event of an emergency situation,” says Dr. Gillian Kernaghan, president and CEO of St. Joseph´s Health Care London.

People like Mary Vernon, 71, who says ConnectCare is a comfort that gives her a sense of security and gives her family peace of mind. Or 52 year-old Marg Dejongh whose parents know she´s safe with ConnectCare.

ConnectCare is a non-profit outreach service of St. Joseph´s Health Care London, located at Parkwood Hospital.

May 30, 2012

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