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Special Needs Call Light

March 7, 2010
by Kathleen Mears
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When I first came to this facility, the call light system was very bare bones. The call lights had pull cords. That was fine in the daytime but at night I had to sleep with a pull cord around my hand. Many times while sleeping I accidentally pulled the call light. I was always concerned that I might drop the cord in my bed. I needed something better than a pull cord to use in bed. Before long the facility told me about a call light system that I could activate by blowing into a straw. I had not heard of this type of call light but using it allowed me to have my left hand free and I did not have to worry about losing it in my bed.

I have had the blow in call light for over 13 years. In the last couple of years it has become increasingly difficult to position it close to my mouth. Sometimes it would drop and I had to use my cell phone to call the nurse's station to get assistance. A couple of months ago we discovered that the call light's mouthpiece was not attaching properly. When we pulled it apart, we found a filter stuffed into the gooseneck positioning pipe. One day when we found my call light behind my bed and pushed up against the wall, we thought we knew how the filter got there. It could have broken off when an aide put my power bed down to make it.

In order to get the call light to work and not fall apart the mouthpiece had to be taped to the gooseneck positioning pipe. Since taping it did not guarantee that it would stay together, I contacted the manufacturer to see if there was a replacement piece. But I learned that the entire unit would have to be replaced.

I explained my call light problems to the Director of Nursing and gave her the information to purchase another unit. It has taken a while for the purchase request to get through corporate bureaucracy. But I hope it will not be too long before a new call light is ordered. I plan to make sure that we take good care of it because it has been a godsend to me.

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Kathleen Mears

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Kathleen Mears has been a nursing home resident in Ohio for 20 years. She is an incomplete...