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TELUS Health announces national expansion of LivingWell Companion personal medical alert services to support aging Canadians

TELUS becomes largest Canadian-owned provider of personal emergency response services with acquisition of DirectAlert

MONTREAL, Dec. 04, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- TELUS Health today announced plans for the national expansion of its LivingWell Companion personal emergency response service (PERS) to support more aging Canadians across the country. Through the acquisition of DirectAlert, a Quebec-based, bilingual PERS company with more than 15 years of experience providing emergency response across Canada, TELUS is now the largest Canadian-owned PERS provider, proudly giving freedom to Canadians who want to live independently at home for longer; while offering peace of mind to their family and loved ones with the assurance of safety and security.

DirectAlert will continue providing service under the new DirectAlert by TELUS Health brand into early 2020, ensuring a smooth transition for current customers so they can continue benefiting from the same consistent, uninterrupted local emergency response experience they’re used to. By early next year, all TELUS PERS customers will be backed by the LivingWell Companion brand nationally and will be supported by increased service capabilities including multi-lingual support and proactive alerting to empower aging Canadians to take control of their own health and live happier and healthier lives.

"In the next ten years, seniors in Canada will make up nearly a quarter of our population in Canada and require considerable support from our healthcare system and their caregivers,” said Juggy Sihota, vice president, Consumer Health, TELUS. “By leveraging the power of technology we can deliver innovative digital tools, such as virtual care or wearable fall detection devices like LivingWell Companion, providing the support and dignity needed to live independently at home for longer while maintaining the freedom to live life to its fullest focusing on the activities they love, while knowing they can still get the help they need in the event of a fall or emergency."

The TELUS LivingWell Companion Home service, with an optional fall detection feature, provides instant access to emergency assistance 24 hours a day, seven days a week and allows users to speak live with a trained operator in the event of an emergency who can assess the situation and contact loved ones and/or alert emergency personnel to dispatch help right away. Active seniors using the LivingWell Companion Go service have the ability to access emergency support on the go with built-in GPS location tracking and automatic fall detection. Users are protected both indoors and outdoors anywhere in Canada where there's cellular coverage.

To simplify the adoption of wearable health technology for aging Canadians, the TELUS LivingWell Companion service has no upfront equipment costs, no contract, and no installation fees. The service has a 30-day return policy, and is available starting from just $25 per month.

By the Numbers

  • Research conducted by HomeStar and the Canadian Association for Retired Persons (CARP) in 2017 reported that 85 per cent of seniors want to age in their homes.
  • Statistics Canada has reported that falls are the most common cause of injury among older Canadians; about 1 in 3 seniors aged 65 and older fall at least once every year.
  • Studies have shown a high correlation between cold weather and an increase in falls among older adults; increasing significantly after age 65, and dramatically for seniors 75.
  • According to CIHI, from 2017-2018, 4 out of 5 (81 per cent) injury hospitalizations involving seniors were because of a fall;
    • Falls are also the top reason for injury among seniors seen in the emergency room (ER). Falls accounted for 60 per cent of all reported ER visits among seniors, with an estimated 20 per cent admitted to the hospital.
    • Most of the falls that prompted the reported ER visits occurred at home (28 per cent) while 14 per cent took place in residential institutions such as long-term care facilities.

To learn more about the suite of TELUS LivingWell Companion services please visit: telus.com/livingwell. For more information on DirectAlert by TELUS Health please visit: DirectAlert.ca/telus.

About TELUS Health and Payment Solutions
TELUS Health is a leader in home health monitoring, electronic medical and health records, as well as consumer health, benefits management and pharmacy management solutions. TELUS Health leverages the power of technology to enable better health outcomes for Canadians with innovative digital solutions that enable collaboration, efficiency and productivity for physicians, pharmacists, health authorities, allied healthcare professionals, insurers, employers and citizens. TELUS Payment Solutions complements our health solutions by delivering secure, industry-compliant payment and lending solutions that connect lenders, payors, insurers, extended health care providers and financial institutions to their customers across Canada.

For more information please visit: www.telushealth.com and www.telus.com/payment-solutions.

For media inquiries please contact:
Jill Yetman
TELUS Public Relations
Jill.Yetman@telus.com
416-992-2639

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/fff13ce6-dd58-4324-8416-29c1ac079b1a