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Aug 19, 2008
Lost a loved one
I lost my wife to ALS last year, and would like to pass along one method of communication that we found helpful. In the early stages, I could go outside and work, and she would call me on my cell phone when she needed help. As time passed, her hands and arms grew too weak to use the phone. I bought a simple home security system that would call my cell phone number when triggered, instead of dialing up an alarm monitoring company. The package cost about $100 and included a motion detector. I set up the motion detector in a hall that did not see much traffic. When I needed to go out, I simply set the alarm. When my wife needed me, she drove in front of the motion detector in her power wheelchair, and the alarm system called my cell phone. This gave us a lot more freedom and peace of mind.
Very sorry you lost your wife!

Thank you for posting. We can use all the help we can get...

Whoa! A motion detector! Where do you get one?

What a great idea! Thank you so much for sharing! Filing that one away for future reference!

Thank you!
I looked all over the Internet and found very little that we could use. Personal emergency devices almost always require pressing small buttons. Home security systems are almost always hard-wired to a monitoring service, with a monthly fee.

There may be alternatives out there by now. The system included enough equipment to monitor a full house, but I only used the motion detector, console and remote control. The console plugs into a wall outlet, and the rest is battery operated. The console has a loud alarm that can't be disabled, so I had to put it upstairs. It worked very well, and I was able to go outside with more peace of mind as long as my wife could drive her chair by herself.
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This sounds like a great idea. Thank you for sharing it.
You know, that's a really good idea! You can modify it to suit your needs and find other less expensive alerts. My grandfather has a driveway alarm... so if someone enters the driveway he hears a little tone in his house and has a warning that someone is there. They sell those starting at pretty low rates and you could get one of those and put it in the house next to where you PALS is, where if they just put their hand in front of it then it make the noise and let you know you're needed.

For my Dad I had gotten a baby monitor and it had two receptors. One I kept in my room so I could hear him at night and the other I kept the batteries stocked and could carry it around with me. He had a little stuffed monkey that if you squeezed its belly it would make a noise. I learned to hate that monkey! But it worked, he would squeeze its tummy and it got my attention. Never thought about the driveway alarm (like the ones that you set off when entering a liquor store -dingdong)... but had he lived with me long enough where he no longer had strength for the monkey that would have been a good thing to have.
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