“Panic button” ideas for a handicapped dude?

Looking for a one button “panic button” device that I can wear around my neck. Some type of safety, would be great, to keep it from going off by accident and freaking ou5 my wife. I’ve looked and can’t really find anything other than a 4 button huge thing. Seems weird that there isn’t one, or am I missing something.
My house is very automated because of my weird disease, but am currently relying on boat horns all over the house. I sometimes become paralyzed very fast…3-5 min. Be ause I have som3 many wired ST my coverage is good, better than my WiFi. I tried an Apple Watch but the battey life was worthless. I do have echo dots all over, but sometimes lose my voice… seen some on Amazon, two transmitters and 3 receivers…but wouldn’t know how to integrate them. FYI: started out just using ST to be able to open garage fo4 ambulance, which I’ve now used twice…but now I’m seldom left alone. Got my mom (92)and auto dealer with button, which works well, bu5 often my wife doesn’t carry around her phone, when she is home… I also have a Arlo, which can “alarm”.

Tagging @JDRoberts

Some thoughts…

  1. Apple Watch

If you don’t use it for music or audiobooks, You should get a full day’s battery out of it and can charge it overnight. And the newest model has even better battery life.

What kind of battery life were you getting? I myself am quadriparetic and have switched away from a traditional panic button to the Apple Watch and have been very pleased with it.

  1. Your location

what country are you in? Device selection does vare.

  1. SmartThings

Smartthings simply is not reliable enough to use for a panic button option. That’s not just my opinion: the company says so themselves and their product usage guidelines:


Data accuracy and consistency from SmartThings sensors, including those provided by SmartThings directly, resold by SmartThings, or supported by SmartThings, is not guaranteed. Therefore, you should not rely on that data for any use that impacts health, safety, security, property or financial interests.

And yes, that includes a simple panic button as well. It won’t always work when you need it to, so just move onto a different system.

  1. Great Call

Before moving onto the Apple Watch, I had several different panic buttons over the years. My favorite, and still the one they recommend to people who can’t afford the watch, is great call.

Is it big? Yes, but not uncomfortable, and works well on a belt clip as well as a pendant. They also have a different wrist model. It has to be about that size if it’s going to have GPS tracking and mobile capability.

They have a new model about to come out:

The monthly plan is about $15.

I’ve tried several of the others, including the “guardian“ one that Costco now sells, but the great call has always been the most reliable.

GoSafe from Philips Lifeline is also good, but costs a lot more.

  1. Car Alarm

If this is only for use at home And the only purpose is to alert another person in the home, some of my friends just use the regular car keyfob. These are much lighter weight because they don’t have the GPS or the communication features. It’s just a button that will start your car horn beeping, and then the other person is going to have to come find you. That takes extra time, so I don’t know if it meets your needs as well as one that has an intercom built-in. But it does work for some people. And it may be particularly useful since your wife doesn’t always have her phone with her, which is how most of the other systems communicate.

6)IR remote

Similar to the car alarm, if you only need something for at home to alert someone else in the home and you don’t need GPS or intercom features, but you do want to use something that will give a better sense of where you are, you can get sirens that have an IR remote and just use that remote. You should be able to set it up so that the same remote triggers any of the sirens, but will only trigger the one in the room where you are. I knew somebody that had a system like this back from the 1980s And they just never updated it because it worked well for them. My concerns with the IR remote is that you have to be pointing the remote at the siren to get it to work, and I just don’t know that that will make my own requirements. And in particular I want something that will work when I’m out in the yard as well. But it’s another possibility
and they just never updated it because it worked well for them. My concerns with the IR remote is that you have to be pointing the remote at the siren to get it to work, and I just don’t know that that would meet my own requirements. And in particular I want something that will work when I’m out in the yard as well. But it’s another possibility.

Anyway, the first thing I would suggest is look into why the Apple Watch isn’t working for you. If you can afford it, it really does give you the most options. If the problem is that you want one you can wear all night as well as all day, get two of them. Obviously, it’s more money than any other solutions, but it should solve pretty much all the problems, work whether you’re at home or away, let you speak directly to the person, can be worn in the shower, etc. (and the backup one to wear at night while the other one is charging Probably wouldn’t have to have GPS or cellular, so it could be a less expensive WiFi only model.)

Otherwise, there are other possibilities you could look into. But I would not include smartthings on the candidate list.


JD. Thanks for your in depth response. I’m in the US, lower Delaware. I do need it day and night, so I think another Apple Watch might be what I need? Just kinda hate to ge5 another gizmo I have to recharge frequently. Mine only lasts about 18 hours.I did see some gizmos on Amazon, that are RF, 2 neck cord transmitters, and 3 recievers. That might becky best option. I tried moms autodialer, which is also RF, but I’d need 3 of them to cover my one story monstosity with the garage…

I am not an Apple user at all. I do not really recommend it, but the Samsung Galaxy watches do have SmartThings. I have one but do not use it. It seemed kind of kludgy and I really spent little time with it.

Maybe someone more experience with it can chime in. I get 3 day battery life, or more but usually charge every 48 hours with 60% left.

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The Apple Watch just gives you so much flexibility. You can text your wife, phone your wife, call 911, or use apple HomeKit to turn on a light or a siren to notify your wife. (Use a dumb siren and plug it into a smart plug-in pocket socket that works with HomeKit.)


For example, my housemate doesn’t pay any attention to his phone when he is gaming. So we set up a Hue light strip under his TV. When I open the front gate, the strip turns blue. Then if I get stuck in the yard, which sometimes happens, and don’t get the front door open, he will notice that the light has stayed blue for too long and come out and look for me. Or if I’m home and I need his help with something, I turn the strip orange. We like the lights because they are less annoying than a siren but they stay on so the person is more likely to notice them.


Like I said, there are lots of other panic button systems and there might be a different one that would be better for your needs. I’ve been using the Apple Watch for two years and I just really like all the different things that it can do. :sunglasses:

BTW, another option if you’re comfortable with it is just to get Amazon Echo Dot. These make a great in home intercom system. And you can also have them play a chime or a siren sound. You could also make phone calls with it although you can’t call 911 unless you also have a landline and connect that with a different device.

And of course you don’t carry it with you so you need one for each room. we have echoes in pretty much every room because I use them for control of lights and the television, but we really haven’t useD the intercom feature because when my housemate is gaming he wears headphones and he won’t hear it.


So personally for a panic button type situation I do prefer the wearable.

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I use an Old 2nd generation Iris Care Pendant for my mother. It works well. When the button is pressed it can send a text message, push notifications, and have the alexa devices in the house speak. It does require a custom device Handler and setting up a few automation, but it does work. But smatthing is not 100% reliable. But does work enough for our needs. These are no longer made, so you would need to find one on Ebay or something like that.

Here is an old post about the iris care Pendant. The new changes to the app allow even more to be done with it.

I have 6 dots, and 2 flex and one show 5. They work pretty good… I use the “announce” and tell my wife where I am. Problem is sometimes my voice muscles go out too…so I was looking for something that all I have to do is push a button. Only problem I can see with the iwatch is the same on3 I had with my phone. Last time I typed “hel” and was too weak to finish…and send it. Just the grace of God p, my wife came looking for me, because I was already fragile… 911 and another ambulance ride.i did get a “rape alarm” thing, on a lanyard around my neck, which is really loud…trying that next. Not waterproof though…and I messed up the first one…

Yeah, it’s always good to have multiple options, and it may be that a physical button is just the best for you.

I use scenes on my watch a lot. So I have a scene in HomeKit called zebra that turns that notification light blue. Then I just have to tell the watch “hey Siri, zebra“ and it will run the scene. But that might be too much for you to say.

Hi everyone, I know its too late to butt in like this. But I have a question for you. Are the medical alert systems in Canada and other options of just pushing a button during emergencies all the same? I’ve come across a device that can be worn as a pendant, it operates 24 hours a day and can be contacted by medical personnel treating you. I’m looking for such a device for my father who has just undergone surgery and has been recommended by doctors to use an emergency response alert system.

That’s similar to the great call device that I listed as option four in my post above.

Those work fine for what they are, A panic button that notifies a call center. There are many different brands and many people have them. I don’t know anything about the specific brand that you linked to, but again there are lots of them.

As I mentioned, I have had several different brands over the years, but four years ago switched to the Apple Watch. If you can afford it, it’s just way more flexible than the panic buttons. You can call anyone you like, text, call emergency services, and also trigger other events. And specific to this forum, it’s easy to integrate it with your home automation system which is not usually possible with the standalone panic buttons. Again, I discuss that in my post above.

The problem I have with the Apple watch is the short battery life. i really need something I only have to take off and charge occasionally, as sometimes I’m paralyzed, and don’t really want another thing for m,y poor wife to worry about.

Understood. Then one of the panic button devices like great call might work best for you. Most of those only need to be recharged once every week or so.

I find my own Apple Watch makes it easily through the hours when I am awake, and I leave it on the charging stand next to my bed while I’m asleep.

I also have an echo plus next to the bed and I can use voice to turn on a signal light in my housemate’s room even if our Internet is out.

But different things will work for different people. I have several friends who are paraplegic, not quadriplegic, and want a device they can wear 24 hours and they used two Apple watches which they just swap on and off the charger. Obviously that’s an expensive solution, but if they have the money they find it worth it because the Apple Watch just has so many different functions.