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May 12, 2010
Holland Landing
Hello everyone,

I have not been able to use my Life Call Medic Alert System for the past 10 months for two reasons. My type of ALS disabled me from the use of my hands and arms. I am unable to wear the bracelet because of the swelling of my arms. Even if I wore the necklace I am unable to press the button because of my paralysis.

It presently costs $30.00 per month for the Life Call system I have which consists of one base unit and one bracelet. When I was able to wear and activate the medic alert bracelet, it meant I could access their base system whether I was in my bed or in my wheelchair. When I contacted Life Call about my dilemma they had two solutions. The first was to upgrade my base unit to a model that was adapted to use sip and puff or micro switches and install it on my wheelchair. The cost depending on which access device I chose would increase the cost to $60.00 per month. The second was to install another switch on the bed to access the base unit which would increase the cost to a minimum of $90.00 per month. Anyone on a disability pension knows that $90.00 per month is a lot of money.

Our solution was to invent a mechanical finger that can activate the emergency switch on the lower cost base unit whether I am in my wheelchair or in my bed. I can activate our mechanical finger by voice command or by computer pointer device. I think that the difference in costs could help pay for the land line needed by both methods and the balance of the savings could be used for other necessities needed by someone who is disabled.

This is another example of important technology that should be made accessible, affordable and adaptable to those of us that need it. Everyone needs to know that there are cheaper solutions out there. Unfortunately, if people do not have the skills and resources themselves, these solutions are harder to come by. Who do we need to talk to? This technology exists and we have already gotten it to work for us. How can we go forward with making it available to others? Please, speak to your friends, family and caregivers about this and help us get a conversation going here.


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