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Area Agency on Aging 3 and Silver Birch Foundation Providing Safety Assistance for Deaf Community Member

Submitted by:  Ann Marie Carroll, Fund Development Coordinator

In 2017, the Area Agency on Aging 3 established the Silver Birch Foundation to fill the gaps of those in the community that have nowhere else to go in times of need and crisis. The foundation helps by providing funding opportunities, to not only help them fix or purchase what they need, but to also to create a sense of safety and healing.

In October of 2023 we received an email from Kevin Matthews at Van Wert COA requesting assistance through our Silver Birch Foundation for a smoke alarm for a community member, Terry, who had the diagnosis of being deaf. Terry currently resided in her own home in the community and currently had a smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector but due to her hearing loss these safety items were not appropriate in warning her in time of need. As this was a health and safety issue for our community member, Area Agency on Aging 3 and the Silver Birch Foundation was pleased to assist in whatever manner we could as there was nowhere else to go for this member to stay safe in her own home.

After doing research for the best possible solution, we looked into a flashing alarm that she could place by her bed or have with her at all times keeping her safe.

Shannon Hadding, Benefits Enrollment Coordinator and Ann Marie Carroll, Fund Development Coordinator, reached out to Lifetone Technology and found a Bedside Vibrating Fire Alarm and Clock. This Lifetone Bedside Fire Alarm and Clock model uses patented monitoring technology to actively listen for the high-frequency sound of her smoke alarm already in place. This smoke alarm notification system alerts when T3 smoke alarms are activated in home. It alerts with sound, talking voice, vibration, and flashing FIRE text on display.

The order was placed right away but due to a shortage it was placed on back-order. Ann and Shannon did more research but were coming up short except for this alarm on back-order. After several months of searching and staying on top of the request they are pleased to know that Terry Ann has received her alarm and even let us know that she had no trouble setting it up.

Terry Ann is just one of many community members that Area Agency on Aging 3 and the Silver Birch Foundation is proud to have assisted. Terry Ann is very grateful to have a caring community outreach program stating, “I am so thankful for the help with the Lifetone Alert!!”

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