Imagine falling in your home, not being able to get up, and not knowing when someone will find you. Falls happen to one out of three adults age 65 and older each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control. In fact, falls are the leading cause of injury-related death among that same age group. It’s an alarming issue and one that needs to be addressed.

Donna Handzel of Liverpool has a history of working with the elderly. She knows people often wait until after their first fall before considering a personal response system. So when her mother, Marion Marcy, moved in three years ago, she signed up for Lifeline Medical Alert System.

“My mom is cognitively intact but has some health problems,” Donna said. “I worry about two things - the potential for falls and some kind of medical event that would require pushing Lifeline. Since I work full time, if one of those things should happen, she may not be able to get to a phone.”

It’s a good thing Donna thought ahead. Her mother has pushed “the button” about five times over the past three years. “In each one of those cases, she didn't need a 911 call but she had fallen and couldn't get up,” Donna said. The most recent occurred just a few days ago. Lifeline couldn't reach Donna so they called her husband. He was on his way to help his mother-in-law in minutes. “Without Lifeline, the bottom line is, she would have lain on the floor for hours and I wouldn't have known about it,” said Donna.

Lifeline is a 24/7 medical alert system that helps to support a senior’s determination to stay at home. Offered locally by Franciscan Companies, it eliminates the physical and psychological suffering of not knowing when someone will come by to assist. “Fear of falling is nearly as detrimental as an actual fall,” said Beverly Lawton, the Executive Director of Franciscan Lifeline. “With a fear of falling, the older adult limits their activity, becomes weaker and increases their risk to fall.  The fear becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.”

“I always tell people Lifeline is like an insurance policy. If you don’t use it, that’s fine. That’s great. But if you need it, it’s worth every penny and more – if you need it,” Donna said.

Call Franciscan Lifeline at (315) 492-8175 for more information.