Health Awareness Month: Smart911 Offers Additional Support to Individuals & Family Caregivers
Public Safety Service Assists those with Epilepsy, Diabetes and Alzheimer’s; Brings Additional Help and Peace-of-Mind to Families
November hosts a number of health awareness campaigns, including: National Epilepsy Awareness Month, National Diabetes Month and National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month. At the same time, it’s National Family Caregivers Month, and each year more and more Americans are caring for loved ones with chronic conditions, disabilities or health issues related to old age. With this in mind, the public safety experts at Rave Mobile Safety are encouraging family caregivers to take advantage of Smart911, a service that brings a new level of support and peace-of-mind to those with such conditions and the family members who provide assistance.
Recent statistics illustrate the tremendous need and extent of assistance provided by family caregivers:
- Caregiver Contributions: According to the Caregiver Action Network (CAN), there are as many as 90 million family caregivers in the U.S. Two out of every five adults – 39 percent of all adult Americans – are family caregivers, up from 30 percent in 2010. Family caregivers provide $450 billion worth of unpaid care each year.
- The Extent of Alzheimer’s: CAN notes there are more than 15 million family caregivers providing assistance to more than five million loved ones with Alzheimer’s. The Alzheimer’s Association reports that due to the physical and emotional toll of caregiving, Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers had $9.1 billion in additional health care costs of their own in 2012.
- The Need for Diabetes Awareness: The National Diabetes Education Program reports that 25.8 million Americans have diabetes – 8.3 percent of the entire population. Of these, seven million do not know they have the disease.
- Understanding Epilepsy: The Epilepsy Foundation states that approximately one in 26 Americans will develop epilepsy at some point, one in 10 has had a seizure, and 200,000 new cases are diagnosed annually. Caring for someone with epilepsy can involve ensuring medications are taken properly, administering first aid during seizures and much more. Seizures, especially complex partial ones, can produce involuntary movements that may be erroneously viewed as aggression, impeding effective medical response from those unfamiliar with the condition.
Smart911 allows individuals and family caregivers to create a free, private and secure Safety Profile at www.smart911.com, which can include any information they want 9-1-1 to have in the event of an emergency. The profile is then delivered automatically to the 9-1-1call-taker when an emergency call is made. Details in a Safety Profile allow 9-1-1 to have a better understanding of a situation and can be passed on to emergency response teams in the field to help support fast, precise action.
A Safety Profile can include such things as medical notes that enable emergency responders to approach and treat a person with Alzheimer’s, epilepsy or diabetes properly and quickly; a particularly useful feature if the person cannot communicate, is suffering a seizure or is confused. Information can also include family caregiver emergency contact details. Should someone with Alzheimer’s dial 9-1-1 and be unable to recall personal details, the Safety Profile can provide a name and exact address. If they wander away from home and a family caregiver dials 9-1-1 from a phone number included in the profile, a photo can be immediately distributed to emergency responders to expedite a search.
For more information on how Smart911 can help, and additional tips and safety information, follow Smart911 on Facebook and Twitter (@smart911).
Introduced nearly three years ago by Rave Mobile Safety, the trusted software partner for campus and public safety, Smart911 has been adopted in 32 states and more than 450 municipalities. It has been credited with positively impacting emergency situations across the U.S., including a missing child case in Arkansas, and saving lives, such as a heart attack victim in Nashville.