Supporting safe aging in place: The growing mPERS market

Tim Smokoff
Tim Smokoff

Almost 90% of people aged more than 65 years want to stay in their home for as long as possible, and 80% believe their current residence is where they will always live, according to the AARP. Aging in place has its benefits; those who stay in their homes can be more comfortable in familiar surroundings, not to mention saving expenses they might incur in another setting. A main concern for caregivers and families of those aging in place, however, is their personal safety. What happens in case of an emergency, or if they fall?

The concern is reasonable. One way to address it? Through emergency response services and proactive wellness solutions, which can give families and caregivers peace of mind by helping older adults manage their chronic conditions where they live.

Specifically, a personal emergency response system (also known as PERS) or mobile PERS device can help families ensure the safety of their parents and grandparents even if they don't live nearby. This category is a growing one for older adults who remain active. Their safety can be monitored in their living space as well as when they go out to run errands or to activities.

The aging-In-place market: A case study

With a background of 25 years of helping more than 100,000 clients in all 50 states, VRI Cares provides personal safety devices for fall detection, activity monitoring, medication management and emergency response. Its approach to remote monitoring is focused on improving outcomes and reducing healthcare-related events, but its product offering lacked a device that could help the aging-in-place users who need safety monitoring wherever they go.

To address this need, the company sought a user-friendly solution that offered fall detection, simple integration and attractive design at a reasonable cost. It chose Nortek Security & Control's Numera Libris mPERS device based on its dependability and accuracy as well as Numera's potential for continued innovation.

The device (pictured here with its charger) allows family members and care providers to deliver around-the-clock, team-oriented care with data from its fall detection technology, two-way voice communication and integrated consumer cloud portal. Families and caregivers can be involved via email or text notifications. The fall-detection technology works over 3G cellular, enabling it to provide emergency response for the user within or outside of the home, to suit an active lifestyle.

“Based on our experience, the Numera Libris is a great solution for individuals who are mobile and benefit from proactive features like fall detection and notifications,” said Tasha Edwards-Stenger, VRI Cares care center manager. “The integration process was fast and allowed for a quick ramp-up in our monitoring center.”

The results? In less than a year, VRI Cares experienced increased customer satisfaction. And because the device is suitable for older adults as well as those managing chronic conditions, the company's potential customer base was extended.

Tim Smokoff is the CEO of Seattle-based Numera, a provider of personal emergency response systems.

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