Ensuring the welfare and safety of people living with disabilities is a common goal for loved ones, carers, health organisations and the Australian government.
Under the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), eligible people living with disabilities can receive funding to afford, coordinate and access the support they need to improve their life skills and independence.
NDIS funding is provided through certain categories, one of which is capital support. Capital supports help NDIS participants afford necessary equipment, home or vehicle modifications and assistive technologies.
Assistive technologies enable people living with disabilities to be an active participant in the community and communicate with other people, process information and complete daily tasks.
A MePACS alarm is considered assistive technology as it can increase independence and safety for an NDIS participant.
With a personal alarm for the home and a mobile alarm for out and about, NDIS participants can benefit significantly from the 24/7 emergency response service, which is responded to by trained professionals and answered within two minutes of someone pressing the button on their MePACS alarm.
Both Sandy and Theresa still live independently in their own homes, thanks to the safety and security that MePACS provides.
Sandy uses her NDIS funding to help live independently in her own home in Melbourne.
As a result of Muscular dystrophy, she has a pacemaker and limited mobility, which means she can be prone to falls.
Sandy had to use her MePACS alarm in an emergency situation after experiencing severe pain.
“I was experiencing pain in my neck and back and was also having trouble breathing,” she said.
“The MePACS response operator answered my call within a minute. I was so reassured to know an ambulance was on the way.”
MePACS also caller her sister Brenda as the first contact, and she arrived shortly before the ambulance. Sandy was taken to hospital where she remained for the rest of the day.
“When I returned home, I knew that if I had any future falls I would receive help quickly. I have no hesitation in pressing my MePACS alarm, it gives me peace of mind knowing someone is there.”
Sandy praises the quick response of the 24/7 MePACS emergency response team.
“I was so relieved to hear the MePACS monitor through the speaker. He was wonderful, and stayed on the phone with me until the ambulance arrived,” she said.
The MePACS telephone operators are very friendly and helpful. It is an excellent service.”
Sandy took up the MePACS service in “knowing that I would reach a real person anytime I needed help within 2 minutes”.
“I previously had an autodialler alarm and it failed me in a time of need. It didn’t dial into my contacts when I pressed for help,” she said.
“My family, my care coordinator and I knew that I needed a service that we all could rely on. We needed reassurance that should I have another fall or need emergency help, I would receive assistance fast.”
Brenda also says she is relieved that her sister can call for help at any hour of the day or night.
“I don’t have to worry as much anymore. I know that if Sandy falls, she has the security of the MePACS alarm and will be looked after.”
A participant of the NDIS, Sandy recommends the MePACS service to others who are living with disabilities.
“I have a friend who also has MePACS and we regularly discuss how we feel much safer with our personal alarms,” she said.
If I meet anyone who is considering a personal alarm, I always direct them to MePACS. I have great reassurance that if I need help, they will respond to me quickly.”
“Thank you MePACS, it’s nice to know you are there for me.”
Sandy and her sister Brenda
Theresa has Friedreich’s ataxia, which is a rare genetic disease that causes difficulty in walking, a loss of sensation in the limbs and impaired speech.
She uses a wheelchair, but still lives independently in her own home.
“When I had a bad fall, I was concerned that I wouldn’t be able to ring for help if I didn’t have my phone,” she said.
“This incident encouraged me to get additional support and take up the MePACS service. I need the assistance of someone I could rely on any time of the day or night.”
Maintaining her independence is extremely important to Theresa, and having a MePACS personal alarm allows her to feel safe and secure at home.
“I am so thankful to have MePACS. I feel reassured that they are here with me whenever I need emergency help.”
Her family now have the peace of mind in knowing that help is always available for their loved one.
“I always make sure I have my MePACS on me, as I don’t want to think what may happen without it.”
Theresa can continue to live independently, thanks to her MePACS personal alarm.