The phrase, “taking your work home with you,” took on new meaning for Deb Valley, Lifeline Program manager at Fairview Health Services, when her family found themselves in need of the service she had been dedicated to for more than 20 years.
It began when she received a phone call no one wants to get: Her mother, Pauline Watkins, then 88, had fallen on the bathroom floor and had been unable to get up to call for help.
“When she told me about her experience, it broke my heart,” says Deb. “I live more than 100 miles away from her and can’t check on her daily, but I knew she needed help.”
Fortunately, after 22 years as an employee of the Fairview Lifeline Division, Deb knew just where to turn.
Fairview’s Lifeline program offers a round-the-clock response center. People who have fallen or have a medical emergency simply press a button and talk with someone who can offer immediate help at that critical moment.
Not only are Lifeline devices waterproof and easy to wear, some devices also offer fall detection capabilities that instantly call for help at the first sign of trouble.
Deb’s mother was enrolled and received a personal response device.
“It is so great to be able to provide my mom with a button that she can press any time she needs help,” says Deb.
Started in 1982 with just 10 subscribers, Lifeline now serves more than 3,500 individuals in the seven-county metro area. The subscription-based service is available to those who need it, starting at $39 a month.
However, thanks to donors, $10 monthly subsidies also are offered through a Fairview Foundation assistance program.
“For those on a fixed income, bringing the cost down to $29 a month is a lifesaver,” says Deb.
“It can mean they are able to afford groceries—a gallon of milk, eggs and bread. It can mean they keep their monthly subscription to the newspaper—something that allows them to connect to the outside world.
“I love knowing that, by supporting this program, we’re making sure patients don’t have to choose between being safe and having their basic needs met.”
To learn more about Lifeline, call 952-885-6185. For more information about the various funds to which you can contribute, visit the Fairview Foundation.