Lifeline Offers Peace Of Mind, Independence

A little button can provide big-time piece of mind.

Whether a person is older, has health issues or simply worries, living alone can raise concerns over who would know if they need help in an emergency and couldn't get to the phone.

The Lifeline service answers that question. Kittie Olberding, the Lifeline program coordinator at Stormont-Vail HealthCare in Topeka, says the Lifeline can offer peace of mind to the person himself or herself, or their family.

The person wears a button either around their neck or wrist that links with a base unit, plugged into an outlet and attached to a landline telephone. If the person needs help, they simply push the button to activate the phone. A person at Lifeline's call center responds through a speaker and, if the person doesn't respond, can notify emergency contacts. If the client does respond, the Lifeline representative can then assess their needs.

Olberding says the system's range allows it to work anywhere in the home as well as in a person's yard or for a short walk to get the mail or newspaper. In an apartment building or assisted living setting, it will cover a short distance down the hallway.

Lifeline does carry a monthly fee of $34, plus a $55 installation fee. For an extra $10 a month, a person can add on the auto-alert system, which automatically senses a fall and calls an ambulance. Olberding says Kancare may cover the cost for qualifying individuals.

Olberding says the service is important because the more quickly a person gets help in an emergency, the more like they are to recover and be able to maintain indepenence.

Locally, Lifeline is available in 19 counties within a roughly 90 minute radius of Topeka. Olberding says there are no long-term contracts and people may sign up for the service even for short periods following a surgery or while a caregiver is away on vacation.

To learn more about it, call 785-354-6333.

631 SW Commerce Pl. Topeka, Kansas 66615 phone: 785-272-6397 fax: 785-272-1363 email:
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