A Parent’s Choice to Age At Home Doesn’t Have to Cause Family Stress

A personal emergency response service could help your aging parents live independently, longer while reducing your worry.

Photo Credit: TELUS Health

It’s natural for adult children to worry about their aging parents’ safety and well-being. Today, technology is playing a bigger role in helping seniors live independently and bringing peace of mind to them and their families.

Falling is a serious health risk for Canadian seniors

Falls are the most common cause of hospitalization due to injury among older Canadians. According to the Canadian Institute for Health Information, from 2017 to 2018, falls made up 81 percent of all injury hospitalizations involving Canadian seniors and are the most common reason for their emergency room visits.

While falls are common, they are not the only emergency that can happen when alone. For this reason, adult children may be reluctant for aging parents to be alone in their own homes and often encourage alternative living arrangements. “Worry is probably the most prolific emotion that you have. You think about it all the time,” says Juggy Sihota, vice-president of consumer health at TELUS. Seven years ago, she experienced this first-hand when her mother had a heart attack. Fortunately, Juggy’s mom received the care she needed and is now fully recovered. Her mother is able to once again live independently, something that was important to her and her family.

Aging Canadians want to maintain their independence

Research conducted by the Canadian Association of Retired Persons (CARP) and HomeStar in 2017 reported that 85 percent of Canadian seniors want to age in their own homes. The freedom of living at home enables seniors to stay engaged in their normal daily activities and maintain connections with friends, family and their local community. This has been shown to enrich the quality of life in one’s later years.

Photo Credit: TELUS Health

With the right digital tools and services, seniors can live independently while giving their families peace of mind that should an emergency occur, help is not far away, both at home and on the go. Technologies like TELUS LivingWell Companion™ are helping aging Canadians across Canada stay healthy and live at home longer, with dignity. LivingWell Companion™ helps loved ones receive a rapid response should they fall or encounter a medical health issue while alone. The personal emergency response system is available in two versions: LivingWell Companion Home™ and LivingWellCompanion Go™. “LivingWell Companion offers seniors the ability to live an independent and dignified life as they want it, with support from us along the way,” says Juggy. “It’s a life-saving service at an affordable price.”

If a fall or medical emergency occurs, the user will push a button on the wearable device, which is connected to a trained operator who is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. With the optional fall detection feature, emergency response is activated immediately upon a fall. The operator quickly assesses the situation and can contact loved ones and/or alert emergency personnel to dispatch help right away.

With the on-the-go service, active seniors can access emergency support using the built-in GPS location tracking and automatic fall detection. They’re protected both indoors and out anywhere in Canada where there is cellular service.

Talk with your parents about their independent living plan

It’s never too early to have a conversation with your parents about maintaining their independence. Create a trip-free environment in the home with clear and well-lit pathways, use non-slip mats or rugs and install safety grab bars in bathrooms. Technology like smart door locks can help make everyday tasks easier. Staying active can also help reduce falls. Going on walks with friends, swimming or attending fitness classes can strengthen muscles and improve balance. Discuss using a personal emergency response system, like LivingWell Companion™, to help your parents stay safe and give you peace of mind.

Photo Credit: TELUS Health

TELUS is providing leading health and wellness solutions to Canadians

Over the last decade, TELUS has become a leader in technological innovation delivering remarkable health experiences and improving access to primary care for all Canadians, particularly for those who are aging. LivingWell Companion™ is one of many healthcare services revolutionizing how Canadians can take control of their health; Babylon by TELUS Health, a service that delivers healthcare virtually through your smartphone, and the TELUS Mobile Health Clinics, which deliver care to vulnerable communities and those on the streets, are more examples.

Juggy’s impressive career at TELUS has spanned 25 years in various areas. The arduous experience of her mom’s heart attack was a turning point in her life, and she decided to put all her energy into the company’s health business. “Now we are revolutionizing access to healthcare in probably the most meaningful way.”

Learn more about LivingWell Companion™ at: telus.com/livingwell

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