By Ian Bush

READING, Pa. (CBS) – The industry that helps seniors in home emergencies hasn’t changed much since the days of the “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” commercials in the 80s.  But a Berks County company is trying to change that.

Necklace or wrist-worn transmitters summon help at the press of a button.

“A lot of our customers don’t have the ability to move into assisted living facilities, so it’s becoming a big trend to age in place safely,” says Drew Bell, the general manager at SafetyCare Technologies in Reading, Pa.

Bell says they shouldn’t be forced to sacrifice style or dignity.

“We’ve changed the transmitter. We’ve placed that inside of a Swiss-designed wristwatch.  So it looks like the person wearing the device just has a normal wristwatch on.”

The EMTWatch has a button at the bottom to call the dispatchers.  The base station also has been redesigned.

“It has come to be a very institutionalized-looking box,” Bell said. “Plain white with a couple of buttons, a big emergency button on it.  It really can stand out in a customer’s home.  It’s embarrassing they don’t like having to explain it if they have guests over to their house.”

SafetyCare’s base station looks like a small stereo speaker.

“We don’t feel like people should have to sacrifice anything just to be safe in their homes,” Bell adds.

The company also is developing a fall detection system, for release this autumn, which Bell explains will monitor for “slow falls” — such as when someone is fainting and attempting to brace themselves — as well as “fast falls.”

For more details, visit or call 800-483-0888.

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