If you worry about falling, being unable to get to a phone to call for help, AND you have a SmartPhone, consider extending your SmartPhone with a SmartWatch.
Use voice controls to tell the digital assistant on your SmartWatch what to do. Just tap the watch face to wake them up then talk. You can:
Call 911, family or friends if you fall and can’t get to your phone,
Dictate a Text to 911 if you have a hearing problem (where 911 supports texting), and
Dictate a text message to friends or family for help.
Why dictate a text message? Over 95% of text messages are read within 5 minutes!
WHAT YOU WILL NEED
A compatible SmartPhone, and
A mobile voice and text service plan.
COST RANGE: $200-$520
Quality SmartWatches with the features needed for this tactic can be purchased for $200-$520 in Canada or the US. American prices are roughly 25-30% less than Canadian.
Costs assume you have an existing compatible SmartPhone and cellular service plan.
RECOMMENDED PRODUCTS AND SERVICES
For iPhone Owners: The Apple Watch Series 1 or the Apple Watch Series 3.
The Series 1 offers a lower cost Apple Watch option. A great option but lacking 3 premium features: Waterproof and approved for use in the shower, GPS (location tracking), and option to connect to the cellular network.
The Series 2 and the Series 3 are approved for use in the shower.The series 2 has been replaced by the Apple Watch Series 3 with GPS.
The Apple Watch Series 3 with GPS and Cellular connects directly to the mobile network. That means you can leave your iPhone at home and still make calls to 911!
For Android Owners: SmartWatches powered by Android Wear 2.0 like the Asus ZenWatch 3 or Samsung''s proprietary Gear S3.
99% of all SmartPhones in the world are iPhones and Androids. If you don't have an iPhone, you most likely have a SmartPhone powered by Google's Android operating system.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
A digital assistant like Google or Siri to take voice Commands,
A microphone and speaker to make phone calls, dictate text messages and talk to the Digital Assistant, and
A water resistance rating of IP68 or IPx8 with the manufacturer’s explicit approval to wear in shower. I have only seen explicit approval for the Apple Watch Series 2 and 3. Some will advise against wearing in the shower. Some manufacturers do not specify.
WHAT TO AVOID
Do NOT pair an Android Wear Smart Watch or the Samsung Gear S3 with an iPhone!
They don't play well together and you won't be able to call 911 from the watch!
As of this post's publication date, regular voice calls & text messaging will NOT work when you mix and match - even if the specifications say they are compatible. Compatibility claims are allowed for partial compatibility which typically means data features like email and fitness tracking features.
Do not use a waterproof SmartWatch in the shower unless approved for use in the shower by the manufacturer. Apple is the only manufacturer I have found to explicitly approve a SmartWatch for use in the shower - the Series 2 and 3.
Avoid SmartWatches with a reputation for poor battery performance.
(Check online reviews.)
WANT MORE DETAIL?
More tips and support resources can be found in the Collection Dealing with Falls on The HUB. There you will find:
Product examples, costs and comparisons,
A shopping checklist to help you identify the features you need,
A budget planner, and
A comparison to lifeline services to help you decide which technology is right for you.
Wishing you the best,