A Mexican native, Jose′ Silva, 84 was discovered alone in his living room, dehydrated, injured and barely conscious within minutes after he fell from his wheelchair in June. Luckily, Jose’s Philips Lifeline Autoalert notified emergency responders who took him to Catawba Valley Medical Center where he was treated for low blood sugar associated with diabetes and released home that same night.
A double amputee, Jose′ is a retired professional musician who is making every effort to keep living in his Conover home as long as possible. At the same time, he is motivated to avoid isolating himself as do many seniors with challenging health conditions. To achieve this goal, Jose′ gets help from his eleven children. While many check in on him regularly by phone, the four living nearby make frequent visits. Together with members of the staff from PACE@Home, a program of all-inclusive care for the elderly, they devised a daily care plan that helps keep Jose′ safe, healthier and active. His routine involves having home healthcare services before and after daily transportation to the PACE@Home facility in Newton. Here, he takes part in a wide range of recreational activities and has professional care from a team including a physician, registered nurse, social worker, dietician, physical therapist and a Spanish-language translator. It was through the efforts of his PACE care team that Jose’ received the emergency medical device that he considers a lifesaver.
“The Lifeline system has really proved its worth,” said Regina Peeler, a registered nurse with PACE@Home. “We subscribed Jose′ to the Lifeline medical alert system with the AutoAlert feature to help address his numerous fall risks. Wearing the Lifeline pendant 24/7 gives Jose’s family members and his expanded care team the additional assurance of knowing he can get immediate medical attention even if he is at home alone and unable to push the pendant’s button.”
Carol Robinson, Catawba Valley Medical Center’s Lifeline Coordinator explains that falls among seniors are a huge problem and even more so for diabetics. A recent Philips study shows seniors with diabetes fall 30 percent more often than those without a chronic condition and these falls can result in debilitating injuries like head trauma.
To manage diabetes, Jose′ has made many lifestyle adjustments including altering his diet, participating in physical therapy and following a strict medication regimen. “Even with all the medicine, sometimes my [blood] sugar level isn’t right and I get light-headed or dizzy,” he says. “I feel better with the Lifeline because I know that it can automatically call for help even if I pass out.“
Jose′ has made friends at PACE and looks forward to daily visits with his Spanish speaking buddies. Do you have concerns about yourself or a family member related to falling or aging in place? Consider one of the following resources related to Jose’s inspiring story:
- PACE@Home – This local program of all-inclusive care for the elderly allows individuals in need of skilled nursing home care to remain in their home or community setting. Catawba Valley Medical Center is a founding partner of PACE@Home. Located on Fairgrove Church Road in Newton, please call 828.468.3980 to discuss whether PACE@Home is right for you or a family member.
- Philips Lifeline Autoalert – Helping people live with confidence in their own home is a mission we hold close to our hearts and one that we take seriously. We are proud to support the active and independent lifestyle of older adults in our community. For more information on Lifeline products, please contact Carol Robinson at 828.485.2696 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Matter of Balance Program – Consider attending an upcoming 4-week program cosponsored by the CVMC Seniority program and the Western Piedmont Council of Government’s Area Agency on Aging. Meetings will be held on Mondays (9-11am) and Wednesdays (2-4pm) from July 24th to August 16th at the West Hickory Senior Center. Class size is limited. Call 828.328.2269 to register.