The Lifeline Program: A Real Lifesaver
The Lifeline Program, based at Simi Valley Hospital, gives frail elderly people living at home direct access to immediate attention if they fall or experience other medical emergencies.
The system works like this:
- The subscriber carries a personal help button, which is typically worn on a chain around the neck.
- When an emergency occurs, the subscriber pushes the button, activating a home communicator attached to his or her telephone.
- The subscriber’s home communicator automatically dials the Simi Valley Hospital Emergency Department.
- In the Emergency Department, the call from the subscriber’s home unit sets off an audible alarm, and the person’s name and other necessary information appears on a computer screen.
- A telephone in the Emergency Department that is connected to the subscriber’s home unit is automatically dialed so that an E/R nurse can immediately get in contact with the subscriber. There is a speaker phone feature on the home unit in case the subscriber is unable to reach the telephone.
- If the nurse is unable to reach the subscriber, he or she calls a “responder,” a friend or family member of the subscriber who lives nearby and has been pre-selected to assist in case of emergency.
- Paramedics are called, if necessary, and the subscriber’s needs are taken care of quickly and thoroughly.
Becoming a Lifeline Subscriber
If you are interested in the Lifeline program for yourself or a loved one, contact the senior center in either Simi Valley, at 805-583-6363 or Moorpark at 805-517-6260 for more information and an application.
In most cities that offer Lifeline, the subscriber pays $35 to $40 per month for the service. However, in Simi Valley and Moorpark, many seniors qualify for free service offered through their respective city governments. Those who are above an annual income threshold, which is determined by federal and county guidelines, pay just $15 a month for the service.
Worth the Effort
Although many subscribers never actually have to use their Lifeline equipment to call for emergency medical assistance, the potential for needing the service always exists. And for those who do need help, the service is invaluable.
In addition to rapid medical response, the Lifeline Program provides another intangible, but invaluable, service: peace of mind.
“The program is as much a reassuring factor for the family as it is for the individuals themselves,” Hunt said. “That is particularly so if the family is out of the area. The families have the assurance that their elderly parents who are living alone can get help in their time of need.”
If you are interested in learning more about the local Lifeline Program or assisting in the program’s funding, please call 805-955-6954.