Dodi Clark, centre, Lifeline coordinator as well as volunteers Garry Pighin, left, and Ed Francoeur display some of the equipment available to seniors in the Alberni Valley. SUSAN QUINN PHOTO

SENIORS WEEK: Lifeline offers peace of mind to Alberni seniors

Seniors in the Alberni Valley have an added sense of security

Seniors in the Alberni Valley have an added sense of security in Alberni Lifeline Monitoring.

Lifeline is a 24-hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week monitoring service. Here in Port Alberni it is locally owned and operated by the West Coast General Hospital Foundation: installation is done by volunteers in Port Alberni, Ucluelet, Tofino and Bamfield, and there is always a response centre staff member with Philips Lifeline on the other end of the button, coordinator Dodi Clark says.

Philips Lifeline is the only medical alarm service that is integrated with the healthcare system across Canada, explains Clark, whose grandmother used the service in the Fraser Valley. When Clark moved back to Port Alberni, she knew when the coordinator’s job became available that she wanted to be associated with the company.

“I think of all (our clients) as my Nana,” she says.

Volunteer Ed Francoeur has been on both sides of the Lifeline issue—serving on the West Coast Hospital Foundation for 15 years as well as answering emergency calls as a Port Alberni firefighter. He is also a volunteer who installs the units in people’s homes.

“Being a firefighter I’ve seen the process actually work,” says Francoeur. “Somebody pushes the button and us responding to be able to help them. It’s such a timesaver, especially for people that are living by themselves.”

Garry Pighin answered the call to volunteer with Lifeline in March after seeing an article in the Alberni Valley News. “I think it’s a good organization,” he says. “People that I’ve talked to that have used it say it’s just perfect for them.”

Pighin, a retiree, is also busy with other activities, and says the couple of calls per week that he answers with Lifeline are perfect for him. He is one of nine volunteers between Port Alberni and the west coast who install the Lifeline systems in people’s homes. There are currently 365 clients with Alberni Lifeline Monitoring equipment, says Clark.

For more information on Alberni Lifeline Monitoring, phone 250-732-1370 ext. 48147 or go online to www.albernilifeline.com. Or drop by the office inside West Coast General Hospital, right across from the admitting desk, and ask for Dodi Clark.

editor@albernivalleynews.com

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