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Bethany VoiceCare is innovation in action

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Aging is changing, and so are the care providers of elderly services. It used to be that once one of your parents passed away, it was time to start "down-sizing" the other.

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For generations, elderly people were gradually phased out of their communities and their lives were made more exclusive, all in the name of security, safety or healthcare concerns.

Today's elderly are rebelling against this stereotypical treatment, with a strong desire to flourish in their advancing years, and Bethany Community is leading the way in support of those desires.

Our core mission is centered on the belief that, "We create Home for Older Adults Wherever They Choose to Live." The advent of technology has created some extraordinary ways to allow seniors to maintain their lifestyles, and usually from the home they've lived in their entire adult life.

Bethany VoiceCare is just one of the ways older adults are becoming empowered, using innovation in a unique way that honors their wishes and allows a degree of unprecedented independence.

This technology is installed in the home and offers loved ones the security that their parent/grandparent is safely watched over 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

The technology is simple, and involves the use of a pendant and personal voice communication device. The VoiceCare system installs using an existing landline telephone connection, and is battery-backed for resiliency against power outages. The system works like this:

• At the first sign of trouble (a fall, heart attack, respiratory distress, etc.) the pendant button is pressed.

• That signal is relayed to the voice communicator located centrally within the home. The system automatically dials a toll-free response center and the call is answered by a qualified emergency response operator.

• He/she asks if help is needed, while simultaneously viewing the person's medical data, home address, phone number, hospital information, primary physician information, and a list of emergency responders, including friends, family or neighbors listed.

• Help is on the way in just a few minutes if needed.

A system like this is extremely important to people as they continue to live alone in their own homes. This reduces the dependence they develop on outside sources. Such dependence can eventually lead to the premature placement in a nursing home, something most people prefer to put off as long as possible.

Today's nursing home is a far cry from anything seen in the past, and in many ways is a big improvement over independent living for some people. But no matter how "home-like" staff makes it, there is no comparison to living at one's own home.

VoiceCare technology is one of many growing technologies that contribute to the care of our nation's advancing seniors, and new ones are developed every day. By taking advantage of home health services and VoiceCare, many seniors can remain in their homes far longer than in previous generations.

For more information about the various services and technologies offered for older adults, call Bethany Community at (320) 762-1567.

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