The Taipei City Government yesterday urged senior citizens with a medium or low income who are living alone to apply for free devices that would allow them to summon help easily in case of an emergency.
Those eligible will receive a set of personal-response devices, including a main server for their home, fire and gas detectors and a waterproof help button that can be worn as a pendant or wristband, said Cheng Wen-huei (鄭文惠), an official at the Department of Social Affairs.
The help button activates the home unit, which is connected to the service’s monitoring center.
Officials at the center will immediately send personnel to assess the situation and provide assistance, he said.
The city government launched the measure four years ago.
Today, about 1,600 senior citizens in the city are covered by the 24-hour monitoring service, which is operated by the Taiwanese branch of the US company Lifeline System, Cheng said.
The company provides personal medical alert and emergency response services to seniors and the disabled.
The Taiwanese branch also works with local governments and medical institutions.
Cheng said the elderly can submit their applications to the department, adding that the fire department would help install the devices.
Once a month, social workers and medical care personnel from the social affairs department will visit senior citizens who are living alone and contact them by telephone once a week to evaluate their living conditions.
Starting in January, Cheng said, the city government will also give free wristbands to seniors with medium and low-income who are prone to get lost.
The wristbands can help police locate missing people.