Panic alerts can go a long way in helping prevent further medical complications for seniors who live alone. Photo: Akshay Paatil on Unsplash

Panic alerts can go a long way in helping prevent further medical complications for seniors who live alone. Photo: Akshay Paatil on Unsplash

Police breach door to help Fruitvale senior

RCMP officers attended a Fruitvale home on Nov. 14 in response to a panic alarm

The rescue of a Fruitvale senior who had fallen in her home and required help by first responders, serves as a good reminder that panic alarms can go a long way in preventing further medical complications.

This medical emergency began at 3 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 14.

That’s when the Greater Trail police station received notification of a panic alarm at a residence along Mountain Street in Fruitvale.

Trail RCMP were unable to contact anyone inside the home by telephone.

Front line RCMP officers attended the residence and peered inside a window where they spotted a 92-year-old woman lying on her back on the kitchen floor in apparent medical distress.

Police breached the door and provided first aid to the elderly woman until the arrival of emergency medical crews. She was transported by ambulance to the hospital for treatment.

“Panic alarms alerts are usually received through our police dispatch after a call from a private service,” explains Sgt. Mike Wicentowich.

These devices are usually worn by the seniors living alone who may be at risk of a fall or a serious medical event.

“The Trail RCMP recommend that seniors, or vulnerable members of our community, consider a panic alarm if they are living alone. They may need assistance from one of the three emergency services and may not be mobile after a fall or medical event,” the sergeant explained.

“It is unusual for the Trail RCMP to have to breach a door to rescue a senior in medical distress but we receive routine panic alarm alerts for a range of medical issues. We had an incident within the last year where a senior fell out of bed onto the floor and was unable to get to a phone,” he said.

“We estimate that the senior may have been on the floor for approximately three days. The senior did recover in hospital after being rescued.”

In addition to responding to panic alerts, the Trail RCMP detachment has set up a critical service called the “Wander Registry.”

Through this police service, residents can contact the Trail detachment to register their loved ones who may have the potential to wander outside due to medical issues, age related conditions, or other reasons. This could mean the difference between life and death of a loved one, especially during the winter months.

To date, two families have signed up for the registry.

“We have not had any incidents in which the registry has been utilized at this time, which is a good thing,” Wicentowich told the Trail Times. “The Trail RCMP want to prevent this kind of tragedy and the registry is another tool which will help with that.”

Read more: Silver Alert finds senior missing from U.S. in Trail

Read more: BC Silver Alert co-founder calls 2019 tragic year for seniors with dementia

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