By Resident Ella Mae Bard —

November 1. The Kendal rapid response nurse phoned first thing this morning. She identified herself, verified my name and asked, “Are you okay?” I must have sounded surprised to hear from her. She explained that the emergency cord in the master bath had been pulled. I looked to my left and sure enough, the red alert light on the wall was on. Stammering I explained that was accidently done. Yes, I could reset.

check-in-device-450wBut I am still wondering how that happened. I must have somehow activated the alarm when I opened the hamper. It then occurred to me, the welfare check had been prompt, and it was reassuring to know the nurse would check if/when I needed to get help.

There is a pull cord in each bedroom and in each bathroom at Kendal. The cord hangs down from the little box on the wall so someone who had fallen on the floor can still reach the alarm to get help.

In the master bath this same little box has a black button. Each morning between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. the button is pushed by the resident to “check in.” It is a signal that indicates, “I am up and I am fine.” Just this morning I was congratulating myself for completing another month with a daily check in, not forgetting on any day.

I’ve known of individuals, especially those who live alone, who phone each other or signal to the neighbor with curtains open that all’s well. At Kendal the black button serves that purpose. This is an optional service. Not every independent resident chooses to take advantage of the daily check-in. I find it reassuring that someone is checking and would come if there was any question of my safety and well-being.

My very first week at Kendal I rushed around Sunday morning to get ready to leave for an 8 a.m. church service. I forgot to push the button. When I returned after church and Sunday school, the answer machine message light was blinking. The home nurse had phoned to check on me. Knowing I was new to Kendal and to the check-in program, she had not come to check in person. I returned the call and thanked her for her concern. Ever since, I have made a special effort to remember the button. In the last three years I’ve missed only a couple more times. Today was the first time I accidentally pulled the alarm cord.

I am glad it is there.

And I know it works.

Kendal at Granville Health Center


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