[ Browse by Service Category : Individual and Family Support Services : Sub-Topics of Emergency Alert (34) ]

Emergency Medical Information Alert Systems

Programs that allow individuals at risk for medical emergencies to provide information about allergies, recurrent ailments and dosage requirements, emergency notification instructions, hospital of choice, and doctor's name and telephone number in advance for use by EMTs/paramedics or other first responders in the event an emergency occurs. Included are "vial of life" programs that provide a vial to keep in the refrigerator which contains medical information plus a notification magnet for the outside of the door; "file of life" programs that provide a magnetized pouch for vital records that can be attached to the outside of the refrigerator; Web-based systems that allow a parent or guardian to create, store and manage a child's health information online via an electronic Emergency Information Form (EIF); and other similar emergency alert services.

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Gatekeeper Alert Programs

Programs operated by organizations such as utility companies, departments of sanitation and local post offices that ask employees who work in residential neighbourhoods on a regular basis (reading gas, electric and water meters, collecting refuse or delivering mail) to check on residents who are frail elderly or have disabilities and request an investigation by the appropriate authorities if the individual's normal routines have suddenly changed, e.g., if the person's mail has not been picked up on a regular basis. Also included are police departments and other organizations that conduct regular welfare checks in situations where people have requested the service. Training in what to look for is often provided by organizations in the community that work with older adults and people with disabilities.

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Identification Devices

Programs that provide bracelets or pendants which contain information about the wearer's identity for older adults who have Alzheimer's disease or other similar conditions, for people who have severe developmental disabilities or are mentally ill, for children or for other individuals who may wander away from those responsible for their care and become lost.

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In Person Reassurance/Monitoring Programs

Programs, generally staffed by social workers or professionals trained in aging, who make home visits on a one time, intermittent or sporadic basis to check on the well-being of older adults and/or people with disabilities, usually at the request of family members who are long distance caregivers. Also included are local police departments or other organizations that make home visits upon request when concern has been expressed regarding a person's current health or personal safety.

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Locator Aids

Programs that pay for or provide electronic devices that facilitate the ability of caregivers to determine the whereabouts of people who have Alzheimer's disease or other similar conditions, people who have severe developmental disabilities or are mentally ill, children or other individuals who may wander away from those responsible for their care and become lost.

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Medic Alert

Programs that issue bracelets or pendants, or allow people to create medical ID cards or other documents which contain information about their special medical condition (e.g., diabetes), warnings about allergic reactions to drugs or other hazards, a list of current medications, emergency contacts and other important information in case treatment is required during an emergency.

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Personal Alarm Systems

Programs that provide electronic equipment which connects frail elderly individuals, people who have disabilities or people at risk of violence from an ex-partner with the police, participating hospitals, paramedics or other sources of emergency assistance.

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Telephone Reassurance

Programs that contact frail elderly individuals, people with disabilities or others who are vulnerable by telephone on a regular basis to ensure their good health and safety, and to reassure them that help is available if and when they need it.

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The above terms and definitions are part of the Taxonomy of Human Services, used here by permission of INFO LINE of Los Angeles.


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