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Methodist Offers Lifeline with AutoAlert
last updated:
Thu, 8/23/2012 9:39 AM

AutoAlert PendantMethodist Healthcare offers medical alert service that helps enable continued independence for seniors by improving access to help in the event of a fall.

Lifeline with AutoAlert can detect falls—with high rate of detection and low rate of false alarms—and automatically call for help

Methodist Healthcare now offers Lifeline with AutoAlert, an enhanced medical alert service.  This integrated solution offers an added layer of protection by combining the industry-leading Lifeline medical alert service with automatic fall detection capabilities. Lifeline with AutoAlert features the only pendant-style help button that can automatically call for help if a fall is detected and a senior is unable to push his or her help button.  According to an internal laboratory study of simulated falls, Lifeline with AutoAlert detected 95 percent of many types of falls and had a low rate of false alarms.

Seniors are living longer and remaining in their own homes; however, falls have become an epidemic problem that jeopardizes seniors’ chances to live independently. Every year in the U.S., one out of three people age 65 and over will fall.1 This statistic translates to one person falling every 2.3 seconds on average.2 

Among seniors, falls are the leading cause of nonfatal injuries and hospital admissions for trauma, as well as injury-related deaths.3  Close to 50 percent of seniors can't get up from a fall without help4 and lying on the floor for an extended period of time can lead to serious complications, including: pressure ulcers, muscle necrosis, dehydration, hypothermia, and pneumonia.  The care and treatment of these potentially preventable complications are costly to the healthcare system and negatively impact quality of life for seniors.

Lifeline with AutoAlert is designed to help reduce the risk of long lie times.  If a fall victim receives help more quickly, that may reduce emotional distress and potential costs of extended treatment, rehabilitation and supported living.  With AutoAlert, if a fall is detected, subscribers still have the opportunity to receive quick access to assistance even in situations where they can’t push their button, for example, if they lose consciousness, become immobilized, forget to push their button or won’t push their button because they feel they can manage the situation independently. Just as important, the service can provide added confidence and peace of mind to the 22 million seniors who fear falling.5    

“One of the greatest threats to seniors’ health is falls and associated injuries,” said Methodist referral relationship executive Mary Franks.  “For the cost of a cup of coffee a day, Lifeline with AutoAlert can help seniors maintain their independence and provide their caregivers even more peace of mind.”

For more information about Lifeline with AutoAlert, please click here, or call 901-516-1999 to order the service.

References

  1. CDC, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Fact Sheet on Falls. http://www.cdc.gov/HomeandRecreationalSafety/Falls/adultfalls.html. Original Study as noted in CDC report: Hausdorff JM, Rios DA, Edelber HK. Gait variability and fall risk in community–living older adults: a 1–year prospective study. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 2001;82(8):1050–6.
  2.  U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division, Interim State Population Projections, 2005.  Interim State Projections of Population for Five-Year Age Groups and Selected Age Groups by Sex: July, 1 2004 to 2020.
  3. CDC, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Fact Sheet on Falls. http://www.cdc.gov/HomeandRecreationalSafety/Falls/adultfalls.html. Originally from: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. Web–based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS) [online]. (2005)
  4. Falls, fractures, and injury, Merck Manual of Geriatrics, Section 2, Chapter 20, Topic: Falls. p.1. www.merck.com/mkgr/mmg/sec2/ch20/ch20a.jsp.
  5. Jette, Alan, PT, PhD, Fear of falling in older persons, White Paper published by Philips Lifeline, 2008, p 2.
More to Hospice & Palliative Care
last updated:
Fri, 4/16/2010 9:36 AM

As director of Methodist Hospice and Palliative Services, I supervise the medical care of about three to four thousand patients per year, most of whom die. It’s a unique job, in that the careers of most physicians are focused on healing, whereas mine involves a different portion of the illness spectrum. I see a good bit of healing, as well, but I’ve had to reframe how I view the concept—it may be coming to terms with illness, rather than ‘beating it’ to rejoin the flow of life as it was before the dreaded diagnosis.

I often field questions from patients and colleagues about what it is that drew me to this work, or how I keep from being drained by the emotional toll of dealing with death on a daily basis. In the first instance, I’ve felt called to palliative medicine for a long time. I ‘backed into’ medicine as a way of leveraging science to try an understand people. Having trained as a minister, working with the hospice and palliative care teams seemed a natural progression as I explored the ultimate questions of meaning, purpose and hope that humans encounter in our journey.

With respect to keeping my battery charged, that’s pretty easy. Although this work can be emotionally draining, it’s also incredibly rewarding. I get the chance to collect stories—sixty-year marriages, prodigals who returned (and those who didn’t), and all the backdrop of the lives lived by the ‘greatest generation.’ I also take time to get away from the work with the imminently terminal, whether it’s in my private family practice, with my church community, or with my family and friends. All in all, it makes for a fulfilling life—one I wouldn’t trade.

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Dr. Clay Jackson is the medical director for Methodist Alliance Hospice and Palliative Services Director. For more information about Hospice & Palliative Care Services, call 901.516.1616 or 800.726.2559. All opinions expressed here are those of their authors and not of their employer. Information provided here is for medical education only. It is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice.

7 Ways to Prepare for Physical Therapy
last updated:
Thu, 4/08/2010 3:40 PM

Hello. I am Dawn Caldwell, PT. I have worked as a physical therapist for 19 years and work in the homecare environment with my patients. Some people refer to PT as pain and torture but it refers to a physical therapist. There are some things you should know before you are referred to physical therapy. 

If you go to your doctor with a problem and he says, "we are going to try some physical therapy to help you," you need to educate and prepare yourself so you know what to expect. Here are some ways to be ready for that first physical therapy visit:

  1. Ask your doctor what type of therapy you will be doing and what to expect.
  2. If you have a specific problem like a wound, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, lymphodema, chronic pain, stroke, orthopaedic problem, then ask the doctor who he recommends because therapists have different training, specialties and certifications. 
  3. Ask your friends if they have had physcial therapy, what their experience was and if they would recommend their physical therapist. You must still be referred by your doctor, but this will give you a name to start with.
  4. Go and visit the facility. When you make your appointment, do it in person and meet the therapist. Look around and see if the facility is clean, see if the therapists give the patients one on one, or if it is like a gym and fitness center.  
  5. Make sure your insurance covers the physical therapy and the clinic where you were referred. See what your out of pocket expense will be. 
  6. Before your appointment for your evaluation, write down your problem in detail.  Therapist are usually good listeners and like facts on your history, medications, sleeping patterns, recent changes in activity, what can you do and don’t do, why are you here for therapy—in addition to the fact that the doctor sent you. 
  7. Think about your goal. What do you want to accomplish? What is the realistic outcome of therapy? Communicate all this with your therapist because it will help establish a plan of care that will meet your needs.

When you arrive for your first physical therapy appointment, wear comfortable clothes and athletic shoes for your evaluation and therapy sessions. Relax and talk to your therapist. It is important that you feel comfortable talking to him or her about what is going on. I have talked with patients and found that the reason for the cramps or pain in their legs might be due to not taking their potassium as ordered, that another doctor has ordered a new medicine with pain as a side effect, not sleeping at night. When they saw the doctor this was not addressed.

So, the most important thing you can do is COMMUNICATE with your physical therapist and your doctor so you can get the best treatment for yourself.

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Dawn Caldwell is a Physical Therapist with Methodist Healthcare. All opinions expressed here are those of their authors and not of their employer. Information provided here is for medical education only. It is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice.

Taking Charge of My Health
last updated:
Thu, 4/01/2010 11:28 AM

What can I do about my health? Don't wait until 2011 to make a new year's resolution. Today is the best day to start! Taking charge of your health is the best way to live the healthy life you want. Know your options. Pay attention to your body. And, communicate with your healthcare provider. That’s us. We’ve brought together physicians from our hospitals and outpatient locations to share information with you about how you can be prepared and informed for any experience with us at Methodist Healthcare.

We want to work with you and your family to provide the best quality of care. Our specialty areas, The Neuroscience Institute, The Transplant Institute, The Cancer Center and The Cardiovascular Institute, help us provide superior quality healthcare to Memphis, Tennessee and the Mid-South. But, if you have questions about any other health topics or services we offer, just let us know! This is a place for you to be able to say, "Hey, it's My Health we're talking about here!"

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Methodist Healthcare is an integrated health care delivery system, dedicated to the art of healing through our faith-based commitment to minister to the whole person. 1211 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee 38104 • (901) 516-7000

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