Are There Options to Life Alert?

Life Alert warns seniors with the commercial:

“Help I’ve Fallen and I can’t get up!”

What does Life Alert cost?

A monthly monitoring fee of $29.95 provides the Life Alert button and the Master Unit (the 2-way speaker)..

Additional packages may include a monitored smoke detector, a monitored carbon monoxide detector and emergency cell phones, for protection away from home. Additional monitoring fees range between $29.95-$59.95.

A Programming and set up fee of $99 includes installation and testing, programming medical and emergency contact information, maintenance for all equipment (free equipment and battery replacement included for life) $29.95 minimum monthly fee.

Guardian Alert 911

Guardian Alert 911 or are two-way communication devices that do not require any monthly fees, no long-term contract commitments and no hidden costs. The pendant worn by the user immediately dials a 911 operator when needed. This is not merely a 911 alert, but a two-way communication device that permits talking directly to the operator. It is compatible with Smart 911 used by Davidson County.

“LogicMark Guardian Panic Alert 911 Pendant Phone”

Guardian Alert 911 Features:
– Small pendant unit is worn on person, button can be pressed to dial 911 during an emergency (fall, accident, illness, danger)
 – No monthly monitoring FEES, services charges, or contracts
– Hold down recessed button for two seconds to activate, unit will call 911 and you can speak with an operator through the speaker/mic located on unit
 – Works just like a cordless phone (2.4 GHz) on any standard phone line with 911 service and tone dialing
 – 600 Foot Range
 – Can be comfortably worn around the neck, clipped on a belt, or carried in pocket
 – Replaceable battery lasts 1 year in standby and 30 minutes during talk time
 – No tools required, installs in minutes
 – Pendant is splash resistant
– Voice confirmations during dialing, shutdown, systems test, and battery test
– Auto power off after 4 minutes of activity
 – Unit dimensions: 3.75″L x 1.75″W
– 1 Year manufacturer’s warranty
– White
“Designed with the elderly in mind, the 911 Guardian Phone is a portable phone that makes direct calls to 911 during emergency situations. The lightweight telephone can be worn around the neck and features a single Activation button.”
Price: $199.95
Sale: $149.95

Register with Smart911 and use a cell phone on a lanyard, in your pocket or in a belt clip.

Cell Phone with Lanyard

With a cell phone, there is no additional cost to what you already pay for cell phone  service, cost of a neck lanyard (similar to those used as nurses ID lanyards that hang around their necks)   for the cell phone is $12.95.

See Smart 911 Can Save the Lives of Cloister Residents for information on Smart911. Find it in the “Health” Category at the right.

What is the best choice?

Life Alert costs $360/year plus $99 one time fee.-Total $459

  • Ongoing Annual Cost………$360 per year

Guardian Panic Alert costs a one time purchase of $149.00-Total $149

  • Ongoing Annual Cost………..Zero

Cell Phone using Smart911 -TracPhone  $19.95 plus 1 year card for $99 Total $118.95 

  • Ongoing Annual Cost……….$99 for TracPhone service
  • No annual Cost  if already have a cell phone $12.95 for a Neck Lanyard or holster..

When the time comes to consider this, each of us must take the best decision under their situation. But at least there are choices…..


Nature Trails and Dog Parks at The Cloister

We Cloister residents can have an opportunity to visit each other in several sections of the “Common Areas” at The Cloister. Two of these areas are obvious. When the weather is right we meet and enjoy the company of each other at the Cloister pool.

Many community wide activities and events are held at the Clubhouse where we enjoy holiday get-togethers and the monthly Cloister Covered Dish Supper and where various Ad Hoc Groups meet for prayer, exercise, book reviews and other activities.

But there are three other areas not as well known. For want of a better description I choose to call them The Cloister Nature Trails and Dog Parks.

The nearest Off-Leash Dog Park is outside The Cloister area, Edwin Warner Dog Park located on Vaughn Road off of Old Hickory Blvd. It’s close but probably will require driving there. The area is fenced in and dogs can be unleashed to run free. See below.

But we at The Cloister have our own special places right on the property…..

There are three hidden places on one end of the Cloister property that are Nature Trails and Paths and may be ideal places for our pet owners to walk and curb their dogs rather than suffer the hard stares of residents who don’t appreciate dog dung and yellow burnt-out patches from dog urine in their front yard. Dogs still must be leashed in these areas but they are open grassy spaces, some with paved paths. You can locate them from the aerial views below….look for arrows identifying the entrances.

These may be good places for some of our dog walkers to try.

The Cloister Good Neighbors Coffee Get-together and Clubhouse Birthday Party

Bonney and I spent most of Saturday at the Cloister Clubhouse. 77 people signed up for a name tag at the Annual Good Neighbors Coffee.  Afterward we attended a Cloister neighbor’s birthday party at the clubhouse.

Two huge tables were loaded with hors d’oeuvres and canapés and beverages for the Coffee reception. The parking lot was packed while inside of the clubhouse was arranged in cozy areas, small circles of chairs in arranged in the corners of the ballroom, small groups visited with each other around the tables in the library, and the usual male suspects did their own thing on the couches and sofas in the side room. It was a very friendly event and the “Good Neighbors” committee did an absolutely great job.

Later in the afternoon Bonney and I helped a good neighbor, her family, and friends celebrate her 90th birthday. More great food, I especially enjoyed the swedish meatballs and fresh fruits. Our friend is a very lucky person, her family members greeted and hosted each of us as we entered the clubhouse, the place was full with family members including a number of children and infants.

We were fortunate to first meet the birthday guest of honor when she volunteered her time to provide the table decorations for the monthly Changing Gears program and luncheon at the Westminster Presbyterian Church on West End.

Another Great Pot Luck Get-together at The Cloister

The word pot-luck appears in 16th century England, in the work of Thomas Nashe, and was there used to mean “food provided for an unexpected or uninvited guest, the luck of the pot”. The sense communal meal, where guests bring their own food”, appears to have originated in the late 19th century or early 20th century, particularly in the Western United States, either by influence from potlatch or possibly by extension of traditional sense of “luck of the pot”.

To the Irish, a potluck was a meal with no particular menu. Everyone participating brought a dish for all to share. The term comes from a time when groups of Irish women would gather together and cook dinner. They only had one pot so they cooked the meal together with whatever ingredients they happened to have that day.

Potluck dinners are often organized by religious or community groups, since they simplify the meal planning and distribute the costs among the participants. Smaller, more informal get-togethers with distributed food preparation may also be called potlucks. The only traditional rule is that each dish be large enough to be shared among a good portion (but not necessarily all) of the anticipated guests. In some cases each participant agrees ahead of time to bring a single course, and the result is a multi-course meal. Guests may bring in any form of food, ranging from the main course to desserts. In the United States, potlucks are associated with dishes,casseroles (often called hot dishes in the upper Midwest), dessert bars and jello salads.

Potluck is increasingly gaining popularity as an entertaining method as it reduces the cost to the host of an event. Potluck dinners, brunches, and even potluck wedding receptions are being hosted as alternatives to traditional event hosting or catered events.

Fellowship offering as per Jewish sacrificial ritual included the boiling of the meat after the fat had been burned off on the altar. A representative of the priest would then go around to the individuals boiling the meat and with a long handled three prong fork randomly plunge the fork into the boiling pot and whatever portion of the meat came out on the fork was for the priest. This could rightly be considered to be the “Luck” of the “Pot,” both for the priest and for the person making the sacrifice. The Fellowship Offering was a communal dinner by a religious community as well as an act of sacrifice. It is not surprising that the term “‘pot luck’ dinner’ is used in this connotation for church social dinners.

55 people showed up for Tuesday’s Pot Luck Supper and it appeared all had a great time as we visited with each other and shared news and perhaps some tall stories. Last year there were 35, attendance increased a whopping 57% this year.

Once again the table Bonney and I sat at was called up to the buffet dead last. But things were different this time. There was more than enough food and even enough for some to go up for seconds. As usual desserts were plentiful and great! If you haven’t been to a Cloister Pot Luck, try next month’s get-together, and bring a dish.

Series Devoted to Quality Aging Issues-Free

I noticed this announcement hidden in Mrs. Cheaps in the Tennessean. The Council on Aging is involved in this program, I expect there will be some useful information for most residents of The Cloister at St Henry. Here are the Details:
Programs scheduled for 10:00am to 11:00 am

  • 10/9/12 The Legal Maze, what should I be Doing?
  • 10/16/12 Financial Issues for Seniors, Do I have enough to both live and enjoy life?
  • 10/23/12 In Addition to Medicare, What Other health plans do I need?
  • 10/30/12 Aging in Place: Living Your Dream

The announcement in the Tennessean has an error. To RSVP a reservation by e-mail use the complete address: The paper failed to add the “.org” to the e-mail address for reservations.