ENDependence Center of Northern Virginia, Inc. (ECNV) - Empowering People to Live Independently.

Q. What does PERS stand for?

A. PERS stands for Personal Emergency Response System. It is a system that allows someone who has safety or health concerns to summon assistance at the touch of a button. FYI: Although PERS is a descriptive acronym for this type of product, there may be other acronyms or different terminology used by different companies.

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Q. Of what does a PERS usually consist?

A. There are usually three components to a PERS: a small radio transmitter (a help button carried or worn by the user and/or a transmitter that sits on a counter); a console connected to the user's telephone; and an emergency response center that monitors calls.

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Q. How does a PERS work?

A. The way a PERS works is straightforward. If a user has an emergency situation, he or she presses a button on the transmitter which then signals the console and the console dials the preprogrammed emergency response center where the call is answered and assistance is provided.

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Q. Does a PERS work from anywhere?

A. No, a PERS will have a range limitation and some may experience interference when used in different places (for example, a PERS in a city may have more interference than one in the country due to the greater number of radio signals, cell phone signals, wireless Internet signals, etc.) . Different systems will have different limits so that is something that you should research before buying a PERS.

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Q. How do I get a PERS?

A. A PERS can be bought, rented or leased. Different companies have different options.

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Q. How much does a PERS cost?

A. Price can vary greatly. Normally they range between $200 and $1,500 for the actual system and then most companies charge a monthly monitoring fee (usually between $10 and $30).

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Q. How does the monitoring company know who to contact?

A. Information on whom to contact is given to the response center at the time of purchase or rental. Options on whom to contact may include the local 911 center (police, fire, ambulance), a family member or close friend, or a medical professional.

NOTE: The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in cooperation with the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) provides a fact sheet about PERS at www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/products/pro24.pdf

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Q. Who are some companies that supply PERS?

A. Listed below are any PERS providers that are (as of 11-09) listed on the websites of the Cities/Counties ECNV serves (if your county or city is not listed, it does not mean that no services are available; it just means there were none listed at the time this was updated. You may be able to utilize services listed by another city or county). 

Arlington County

1701 N. George Mason Drive
Arlington, VA  22205
800-225-1503 (Toll Free) or 703-558-6859 (Voice)

Fairfax County

2503D N. Harrison Street, #114
Arlington, VA 22207
800-273-8255 (Toll Free) or 703-527-4077 (Voice)

Out of Northern Virginia

LifeGuardian Security Center  
125 Old Grove Road  
Suite 9, PMB 310  
Oceanside, CA 92057
800-378-2957 (Voice)
800-209-3813 (FAX)

2323 Colorado Avenue
Turlock, CA 95382 Phone:
888-633-4298 (Toll Free)
209-668-3333 (from outside the U.S.)
209-669-2450 (FAX)
There is a contact form on the website, but they don’t list an email.

24 West Fourth Street
Williamsport, PA 17701
866-581-4540 (Toll Free)
There is a contact form on the website, but they don’t list an email.

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