When I was approached by VTech CareLine to act as their brand ambassador I was thrilled. While my role as The Safety Mom started out with safety and wellness for children and teens, it has evolved into family safety with a strong emphasis on seniors and individuals with disabilities. There’s a reason for that – I’m an only child and my dad has Alzheimer’s. This past summer he had a stroke. He also has macular degeneration and had knee replacement surgery many years ago that didn’t go to well. So, basically he can’t see, can’t walk too well, needs help with virtually every activity of daily living (ADL) and often doesn’t remember my mom or me. My mom, on the other hand, is in terrific health but has now dedicated her life to caring for my dad.
She’s an incredible woman and I’m sure there are many other spouses out there like her who have made the commitment to being a full time caregiver for their wife or husband. But, as the adult daughter, I worry about emergencies. What if she falls or hurts herself? What happens if she slips getting him out of the bathtub and breaks her hip? Of course she dismisses my concerns but they’re justified. So when VTech provided me with a CareLine Phone System to review, I realized she was the perfect person to really test it out.
I have to say up front that my mom is one that reads a manual cover to cover – I’m not. If I can’t figure out how to use it on my own, I never will. But mom said that this was completely easy to figure out. Her biggest challenge is trying to find time to do things with my dad around so everything takes extra time but she set the Phone System up in a flash.
She loves that the base unit is large and has large numbers – it’s easy to use.
Her highest praise was for the pendant that comes with it. She wears it rather than my dad as she’s worried that if he falls or gets hurt she wouldn’t be able to leave him to call 911. With the pendant she can call anyone in an emergency. She also loves the voice commands. She can record reminders for paying a bill, sending out a birthday card or refilling a prescription. She can make calls from the pendant and find out the date and time. She says that literally anything can be done from the pendant.
The big question was whether the system was worth it? Is it just a “nice to have” or a “must have?” Her response surprised me. I’ve never seen my mom as aging, and I still probably don’t want to, but she admitted that the thought of a fall or a stroke crosses her mind more often and is concerned what would happen to my dad in an emergency. It was probably her first ever admission to me of some concern for her own well being. So yeah, she considers it a “must have.”
I wrote this blog post while participating in a campaign by BOOMboxNetwork.com on behalf VTech Communications, Inc. and received payment for my participation. All opinions stated within are my own.