Randy Torban | 336.264.0403 | randy@emergencyalertblog.com

Should you put your life in the hands of a 5 year old?

Back in July, I posted about a woman who didn’t feel she needed Life Alert because she was confident that her 3 year old grandson would be able to call 911 for help. The post is entitled: When not getting a Life Alert is just plain irresponsible and to me, the grandmother in the story seemed a little nuts.

But I’m sure glad I wrote that post, because Shirley from Tennessee read the post too, and totally agreed with me.

Shirley called in after reading my post, and wanted to talk about her own situation. “Hello Randy, I’m 74, I have arthritis, high blood pressure, and I get headaches,” Shirley explained. “I don’t live alone; I have my 5 year old grandson that lives with me.” As I began to ask her how she would get help if something happened now, Shirley laughed and said that she could probably have her 5 year old grandson call for help.

I asked why she was laughing, and she told me she had read a recent post on the blog about how “Some crazy old lady thinks her grandson is going to be able to save her by dialing 911.” I told her I was just a little confused, and Shirley said, “My grandson is pretty smart, and I’m sure he could dial 911, but what about after that?” She told me that she knew if something happened to her, her grandson would probably cry and be very afraid of the situation. “Why would someone put their lives in the hands of a baby like that?” Shirley asked. “Not only would my grandson be too upset to call 911, he’d probably be in therapy for the rest of his life if he had to be responsible for my life.”

I told Shirley she was a smart cookie, and I was very happy to be getting her protected. “I’m happy to protect anyone who needs protection,” I told Shirley. “But it sure is nice to have an intelligent conversation with a person who thinks about their safety in a rational way.” Shirley laughed and told me that after reading my blog, she could tell that I was a young man with a good heart and a good head on my shoulders.

So I collected the emergency information for Shirley, as well as some emergency contacts, and found that Shirley was the matriarch of the family. “There seem to be a lot of people who would want to know if you’re in trouble Shirley,” I said. “I’m glad to see you have such a loving and supportive family.”

Shirley laughed and said, “Yeah, the family likes to have me around, and hopefully with Life Alert, I’ll be around a while longer.”


Life Alert is not like your basic security system

Some people call Life Alert simply to have a brochure sent out to them. They aren’t interested in receiving a follow-up call from customer service. Well let me just say that the Life Alert brochure is very basic, includes no pricing, and leaves many questions to be answered. A phone call from a rep clears up any uncertainty, so just answer your phone or call me back!

I had already left Virginia from Wisconsin 4-5 messages by the time she picked up her phone yesterday. I introduced myself and asked if she was okay. “Virginia, you had called Life Alert over two weeks ago, and I have been leaving you messages,” I said. “Is everything alright?” Virginia told me that she was fine, and that she had gotten my messages. “I have your information Randy, and I didn’t call back because Life Alert seems too similar to a security system,” Virginia said. “I rent my apartment so I can’t make permanent changes.”

Slightly confused, I asked Virginia where she had gotten this information; it seemed she was misinformed. “Well I read through your brochure, and I just assumed from what I read that Life Alert would have to come in and install wiring and equipment in my apartment,” Virginia said.

Ah ha! I immediately recognized what was going on. “Virginia, please allow me to explain how Life Alert works, and you will see how different it is from a security system,” I said. So I went on to describe Life Alert, focusing on:

  • Life Alert only being plugged into the phone jack, and everything else being wireless
  • Life Alert enabling Virginia to take her button in the shower with her
  • Life Alert being able to travel with Virginia, and even allowing her to easily take the equipment if she moved
  • Live Alert protecting her from smoke and fire with the monitored smoke detector
  • Life Alert will immediately send help if dispatchers could not hear her after about 30 seconds
And at the end of our 20 minute conversation, I had Virginia thinking a little differently. “Wow, so Life Alert is different from just a standard security system,” Virginia said. “I would have had no idea that the system worked like that.” I told Virginia that providing necessary details was what I do, and that I was glad to help her realize that Life Alert was a good fit for her. “Getting Life Alert just makes sense,” Virginia said. “All of this protection, and all of this peace of mind for such a reasonable price.”
I couldn’t agree with Virginia more.

104 year old still volunteers at local hospital

Dorrie Aber-Noyek has turned 104, lives by herself, and other than a bit of arthritis and slightly imperfect vision and hearing, she says she’s in perfect health. Dorrie has volunteered at Memorial Hospital in Hollywood, Florida for 37 years, and still walks the halls to deliver the mail. She hasn’t been the healthiest, nor has she visited the gym every day. She is just like you and me.

I read about Dorrie in a recent CNN article that discussed the possibility of some people just having really good genes. It made me think about all the people out there who are determined not to let age get in the way of their routines. Whether it is volunteering, running errands, grocery shopping every Monday - people are creatures of habit. When we can’t do what we normally do, our bodies and our brain know that something is off. When our routines stop, it takes a toll.

Generally speaking, age is no reason to stop doing what we love. The problem is that when we least expect it, life can throw us a curve ball. Dorrie is in pretty good health – better health than many of the 40 year olds I know. But all it would take is just one slip, just one little mishap to change Dorrie’s entire life.

It is that type of thinking that keeps me picking up the phone to talk to unsuspecting families – those who think that a fall or accident could never happen to them, or those they love. I give credit to the people in their 70s and 80s that think they will be able to bounce back from a little fall. They may not be thinking logically, but hell, it is their confidence that will keep them going. And I’m not about to remind an independent senior that they are “old” and full of medical problems.

I am the voice of reason. I tell people stories about what could very well happen to them. And not to scare them into staying home, staying in the safety of their living room. To the contrary, I let people know that with Life Alert, they can still go about their daily routine without the fear of a small mishap turning their lives upside down. Continue running errands, and going to the park with your grandkids. Keep volunteering, just like Dorrie. Only, do it with a safety net like Life Alert.

Think about it. The last time you went to the circus, didn’t you see the acrobats put a net underneath of them… just in case.


Make sure you plan for your retirement, and your body’s retirement too

You can plan for retirement from work. But how do you plan for your heart, your body – and even your hair – going into retirement?

There is a retirement age, and although not everyone retires when they are 65, 67, or even 70, you can plan for the day that suits you. The day your heart retires is something you can plan for (but you can’t control), and so you should be ready. Plan for such things with Life Alert, and make sure you’re prepared.




I just wanted the Life Alert brochure, not any phone calls

Sure, people make plenty of impulse buys. But the majority of people like to research a product or an industry prior to making a decision. Would a commercial and brochure be enough to seal the deal for you? Or would you want additional information so that you knew exactly how what you were buying worked?

My manager gave me information on Pauline from Idaho who had contacted Like Alert for more information. I had left about five messages at the primary phone number provided, and so I decided to call the secondary phone number. This number was for the building Pauline lived in. Yesterday I received a phone call back from a building administrator named Joyce. When I asked Joyce how I could best assist Pauline, Joyce replied, “Pauline had asked for a brochure, not any phone calls from salesmen.”

Slightly taken back by this, I replied that I was merely calling to make sure Pauline received the brochure she had asked for, and to explain how the Life Alert system worked. “Do you know if Pauline understands how Life Alert will protect her?” I asked Joyce. “Are you familiar with Life Alert to be able to answer any of her questions? Joyce answered “I don’t know” and “No” to both of those questions. Joyce then told me it was she who had called us on Pauline’s behalf because Pauline doesn’t like talking to strangers. I then asked if I could explain the Life Alert system to Joyce, but she said, ”No.”

“That is my reason for calling Pauline,” I said. “Very rarely do people trust a commercial and a brochure enough to make a decision on what company should be protecting their life.” I then asked Joyce if she would at least ask Pauline if she had received the brochure, and to pass alone my phone number just in case she did want to know more.

“One last thing Joyce, if Pauline was having some form or emergency now, how would she be able to get help?” I asked. Joyce responded that Pauline would probably call 911. “So the same woman who seems too timid to pick up the phone to call Life Alert, wouldn’t hesitate to call 911 and explain her emergency?” I asked.

Joyce hung up on me.

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