"Mr. May was a man in his 80's who lived alone here in Boone county. A couple of years ago when we had the bad ice storm and everyone was without power, he was sitting in his house wrapped up in a blanket without heat and unable to get out of his house because of the ice, and a tree limb blocking his drive way. His personal emergency response unit (Emergency Connection Service) was on battery power but he decided to push the button and see if he could get help. The operator came on the line and learned of his situation and soon help was at his door to take him to a warm place until his power was restored.
Later, he had another incident where he fell outside his back door and couldn't get up; he again pushed his pendant and received help.
After Mr. May had to go to an assisted living facility, his son told me how this service had enabled his dad to live at home and enjoy his life to the fullest much longer than if he had not had it."
Donna Plumlee on Emergency Connection Service
Area Agency on Aging of Northwest Arkansas
What is Emergency Connection?
Emergency Connection is the personal emergency response system provided to seniors by the Area Agency on Aging of Northwest Arkansas, which includes Baxter, Boone and Marion Counties. The system consists of a small base unit which is activated through a landline phone and a small pendant with a call button (usually worn around the neck).
When an emergency arises, the senior simply presses the call button and is immediately connected to a live operator who can help.
How does it work?
When the senior presses the button for assistance, the operator immediately knows the caller's name, medical history, medications, hospital of preference, physician's name, and contact information for family and friends. The trained live operator will assess the situation and summon emergency personnel if needed.
Can you use it without a landline telephone?
The unit functions with a traditional landline telephone. The quality of the connection can be affected if using Voice over IP lines (VoIP) or phone service provided by cable companies. VoIP and cable phone services are more susceptible to outages, especially during power interruptions. Traditional landline telephones are more reliable and remain in service during power outages, which is a great benefit during emergency situations.
Who can use it?
The Emergency Connection service is available to seniors in the 9-county region served by the Area Agency on Aging of Northwest Arkansas (Baxter, Benton, Boone, Carroll, Madison, Marion, Newton, Searcy, and Washington). The service is available to private pay clients as well as through the Elder Choice Program, a Medicaid waiver service.
How can you sign up?
For more information, or to sign up for the Emergency Connection service, contact the case manager in the Area Agency on Aging office in your county:
Baxter County: 870-425-9811
Boone County: 870-743-1623
Marion County: 870-453-7000