The 24/7 monitored device protecting Australians this Dementia Awareness Month

September 8, 2016

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There are currently over 353,800 Australians living with dementia. Without a major medical breakthrough, that number is expected to reach 900,000 by 2050 as Australia's population continues to age. Dementia is the greatest cause of disability in Australians aged 65 and over. Many people with dementia live alone or with an elderly partner at home and are at risk of getting lost, falling or suffering other injuries. The Silent Sentinel service has been developed by Calamity monitoring to help the elderly and other vulnerable people live on their own and maintain their independence.

The Silent Sentinel device is a lightweight emergency pendant worn by the user

If the user requires assistance the pendant can be pressed or even activated automatically by a fall. This triggers an immediate response from Calamity's 24/7 monitoring centre, Australia's highest-rated security monitoring provider. Calamity's licensed and trained operators communicate directly with the user via an ultra-powered speakerphone. The operators assess the situation in real-time and dispatch an immediate response to the user. Depending on the situation this might be emergency personnel or simply friends and family. Even if there is no voice contact from the wearer, perhaps due to injury, the details of the incident will still be passed on to the nominated responders or ambulance.

When seconds count, in the time it can take them to respond it may be too late

Whilst there are a number of 'pendant' products for seniors, unlike other devices on the market Silent Sentinel can be triggered automatically. If the advanced system detects a fall, it can call for help even if the wearer is incapable of doing so themselves, for example, if they were unconsciousness or had cognition issues. Some advertised products will only alert friends or family via a recorded message when activated. Unfortunately, it is likely that in the event of an emergency, a call to family or friends may go unanswered as they may be sleeping, in a meeting, traveling or away from their phone. When seconds count, in the time it can take them to respond it may be too late.

CEO of Calamity Monitoring, Daniel Lewkovitz said, "Products are being marketed to vulnerable seniors as being cheaper because they have "no monitoring fees" - this is because they aren't actually monitored. They rely on friends answering the phone and listening to a pre-recorded message. Anyone who's ever left a message for someone knows this isn't reliable. When faced with an emergency situation the pressure can make it extremely difficult to respond correctly, people struggle to recall and convey simple details like the address and cross street for the ambulance, let alone complex but essential information like medical history and allergies. Some systems state they can "Dial triple-0" but they only leave a recorded message and there is no assurance that an ambulance will be able to respond to a recorded message and state ambulance services have already indicated they will not. A professionally monitored system like Silent Sentinel provides confidence that a call for help is answered and the right people are dispatched with the right information to save lives."

Silent Sentinel is also beneficial for workplaces which involve staff working on their own such as shopkeepers of service stations or small shops which are often targeted by robbers. In an emergency situation, such as an armed hold-up, staff can discreetly activate an alarm from anywhere in the store without needing to call emergency services, which may be noticed by the intruder.

September is Dementia Awareness Month in Australia

An initiative of Alzheimer's Australia, which helps to encourage discussion around the issue and helps people understand what it is like to live with Dementia. It also provides an opportunity for family members and carers of people with or at risk of Dementia to assess their current personal safety systems and ensure they are up to date.

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