In January, a report was published by WEWS News 5 out of Akron, Ohio that should serve as a warning to anyone living alone and relying on a medical alert system. Medical alert systems are unique two-way communication devices that help to ensure that people are safe in their homes no matter what might happen. In most cases, these devices utilize the landline telephone service to operate. According to the news story, 88-year-old Helen Trimbath of Akron depends on a Lifeline medical alert system to allow her to remain independent in her home. She reports using the system twice within a 90-day period to get the help that she needs.
In late December 2010, however, Helen noticed that her phone line was not working. She contacted the phone company several times, as did her daughter, and to no avail. The phone company claims that the problem is the responsibility of the apartment complex, but Helen’s daughter knows that this isn’t the case. Eventually, the staff at her complex ran the phone line from a neighbor’s apartment into Helen’s apartment to ensure that she could have access to her Lifeline service.
Fortunately for Helen, people took action to help her. Even the news channel reporting the story contacted the phone company. At that time, her service was restored within a matter of hours and the company told WEWS that the issue was ‘a problem with Trimbath’s order for service’. Regardless of the cause, no one should have to go without phone service when they rely on it for such a crucial everyday need.
You can read the full story here: WEWS Newsnet 5.
Consider this a reminder to check your phone line occasionally for issues so that your life alert device can remain a useful part of your daily life.