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The Difference Between Life and Death

October 7, 2011

The incident quoted below reminds me of the day my mother died.

It was one of the worst days of my life. My sister phoned one afternoon to tell me she was unable to contact Mother and to ask whether I could check on her. I found Mom on her bathroom floor. She died later that evening in the hospital without ever having come back to a conscious state. The life simply drained out of her slowly and we were left with no chance to understand what happened. We have never determined how long she laid on that floor dying. The feeling of helplessness has no measurable dimension. Did Mom’s life have to end that way?

Sure, there are services available which can help seniors, and the disabled, contact emergency services when needed, but have you ever heard of one that will act on its own without any initiation by the user? I haven’t.

It seems to me that some outfit would be developing this item.

I picture a small, unobtrusive device, perhaps much like a wristwatch, that would have the ability to monitor a person’s vital signs well enough to sense serious trouble. The device could activate, giving the wearer a moment or two to override should it be a false alarm. With no override, the device could then connect to one of today’s several communication systems (Wi-Fi, landline, even an emergency text message) and call for help.

I ask you, “Why isn’t this little item already on the market?” Doesn’t the technology already exist? Is the problem economics, i.e. is the cost benefit for a manufacturer is too small? What’s the hold up?

Calif. woman trapped in home for 4 days – UPI.com

LOMA LINDA, Calif., Oct. 6 UPI — An 80-year-old California woman was found to have been trapped between her bed and a wall for four days, police said.

via Calif. woman trapped in home for 4 days – UPI.com.

Political footnote: The device I suggest above will never be created in the world of Obamacare. Only private industry can pull this off.

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