A friend of mine, not much older than I, was out walking on a side walk. She was hurrying to get to a restaurant where she was late. With frenzy distraction in her brain she miss stepped, stubbed her toe on an uneven sidewalk panel and went straight down. Bloody nose, broken glasses, banged up shoulder and next thing you know there's an ambulance to the rescue. Her daughter is now frantic because her mother has fallen down and is very hurt. After a night in the hospital she's home and slowly beginning her recuperation which took almost a year. We don't bounce back as easily anymore that's for sure.
Now comes the conversation: since she lives by herself should she get a panic button? She doesn't want one, natch. Nobody "wants" to wear a panic button. It's one of the first signs that you're old and can't manage by yourself. She is becoming more forgetful but so am I. She is becoming a little more clumsy but so am I. Her new town house is on two floors but her bedroom is down stairs. No need to go upstairs unless there's a guest. I recommended no to the panic button. All of my 20 years of experience said "no, not yet". Her sidewalk fall was anecdotal, a pure accident. She was distracted, frenzied, wasn't paying attention to her feet and tripped. My mother in law is 88. She is now is living a lone and has a history of falling. She has two new knees and hips. Should she wear a panic button? Absolutely, but she doesn't want to. She doesn't want to admit that she can't live independently. So her daughter got her a watch type of thing that has a panic button included in it's menu. Fine, that's ok because it doesn't look like a panic button. It helps her to pretend that she doesn't need to wear one even though she does, she is and we all know it. This is always a difficult decision.
My friend on the other hand is truly not ready to wear one. She had a once in a blue moon mishap. My sister in law fell down walking on an uneven sidewalk. She doesn't need to wear one either. Things happen, no need to panic.
I wrote a post on panic buttons and their usefulness called "Lifeline Button".