Life Alert. Remember when the company roared onto the home health care scene with the commercial about an old woman on the ground and yelling in a very nasal grandma voice, “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up”?
That commercial went viral — as much as it could in the 1980s before YouTube. The Company went so far as to copyright that line. Today their commercials are more respectable and less kitschy. Still, they are morbidly amusing until you have to send away for information on the product.
In order to keep Dad in his home on his own, we needed to get Dad the life alert system. Because we absolutely want him to have a hands-free intercom into which he can yell if HE has fallen and can’t get up.
Life Alert still has its quirks. One of the selling points for the product is that there is a total refund if the person dies within 3 years of signing-up for the service. No questions asked. Other than maybe, “may we see the death certificate?” So, actually, at least one question asked.
Sounds like a stupid business model, since people who get Life Alert are not in the best of shape when signing-up for the service. What will that person need with the money? The person is DEAD. Maybe the company banks on the fact that no one will remember about the money-back guarantee. I guess it is a shrewd calculation about the probability of dementia afflicting the survivors rather than the probability of an aged, infirm person surviving another three years.
I went to Dad’s house today to have lunch and to try to reintroduce him to the Internet. About once a month, we try this. He doesn’t type well, so he is unlikely to send an email. He can’t get the hang of the left click/right click, one-click/two-click protocols even though he was previously able to navigate them.
We spent an hour practicing getting in and out of Google, getting in and out of email, etc. He would set up the email and I would type for him. Then he would click send a few extra times. We sent (mostly unintentionally) multiple emails to SOB and BOB. They responded. Uh oh. Now what? “Dad, do you remember which is the reply icon?” He nodded. “Great, now click.” “Dad, click once. ONCE. only ONCE. Ok Ok ok ok ok ok ok. Let me get us back to the right screen.” And so it went.
SOB emailed me, “I am plunking down a cool million that by tomorrow he will be blaming something about the computer that is not allowing him to send or pick up his emails.” So, I called Dad and said, “remember to try again a few times tonight to make sure you have the email and Google thing down.” Either he will declare defeat tonight (and then I win the bet) or he will make it work and not try again until Monday (in which case I win the bet). Insider information. SOB uses her powers for good. Me, not so much.
Time for a nap. Tomorrow, POB, SOS and I are taking Dad to the Met to look at the new American Wing. More bloggable moments.