By Sandy Farley
“Help, I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” When I was younger, I thought this was a funny commercial. Now it is one of my fears as I become older and less stable on my feet. But luckily, thanks to the foresight of Chief Anthony Martinez and Commander Tanya Lattin of the Corrales Fire Department (CFD), falling at home is now less of a concern. CFD reports that, in 2019, 67 percent of all calls were from people over the age of 50, with 47 percent from people between 70-79 years of age and 24 percent of all calls over the age of 80. Mechanical falls represented 15 percent of calls; and this is in a community where you cannot hear the cries of a fallen neighbor.
Village in the Village collaborated with CFD to purchase 12 Knox Homebox™ for senior Corraleños who live by themselves and are unsteady on their feet. ViV applied for, and received an Intel Community Grant to purchase lock boxes because safety and response time can be greatly enhanced with the use of lock boxes in emergencies. These boxes provide seniors with a safe and secure rapid access system that can only be accessed by CFD. The boxes also allow emergency responders to enter the home quickly with less damage to property, and less risk of injury to responding personnel. (CFD currently supports multiple Knox Boxes in our commercial properties.) The box hangs over a door (front or back) and the Corrales Fire Department has a master key to unlock it, and retrieve the home key inside.
Recipients were identified and Chief Martinez recently installed the boxes. The CFD staff are also willing to perform a safety inspection of your home and surrounding property (can also be scheduled at a later date when the COVID-19 risk subsides) by a Certified Community Paramedic. ViV will track distribution and, as boxes become available, offer this benefit to other interested, vulnerable Corrales villagers.
We have a few boxes remaining, and if you are interested in having one installed at your home we ask that you meet the following conditions. To qualify for the lock box, you should answer yes to at least four of the following five questions:
Do you live alone, or are often at home alone?
Do you have general mobility issues?
Are you a fall risk or do you have balance issues?
Do you have problems hearing or seeing?
Do you have worries or concerns about emergency access to your home?
If you are qualified and would like to request a lock box, please contact our Call Managers at: (505) 274-6206. Lock boxes will be distributed on a first come, first served basis.
Sandy Farley is a board member of Village in the Village. ViV’s mission is to help Corrales seniors stay in their cherished homes, connected to the community, for as long as possible. For more information: http://www.villageinthevillage.org or call 505-274-6206. We welcome new member inquiries!