New York, Aug. 12, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Seniors who want to age independently in their homes can now stay connected to friends and family with the new CareLine™ home safety telephone system from VTech® Communications, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of VTech Holdings Ltd. (HKSE: 303). Designed with experts in aging and technology, the affordable and easy-to-use CareLine system incorporates features to uniquely meet seniors' daily communication needs, including large displays, reminder capabilities, volume boost and a wearable pendant with one-button dialing that directly calls people that seniors communicate with most.
"America is aging, and with age comes challenges that can make it more difficult to live on your own," said Jeffrey Kaye, the director of the Oregon Center for Aging and Technology (ORCATECH) and a professor of neurology and biomedical engineering at Oregon Health & Science University. "Seniors seeking to remain independent need help finding the right people at the right time. Making that connection easy and affordable is key. That's why we at ORCATECH provided our input to VTech in the design of its CareLine product."
Studies show a strong correlation between staying connected to others and the health of older adults. A Harvard University report 1 said odds of mental decline doubled for seniors with no social ties compared to those who had frequent contact with relatives and friends or participated in social activities. Researchers in another study 2 found individuals with a rich social network lived at least 1.6 years longer than their peers. CareLine is designed to support the need to stay connected, linking seniors with the people they can trust to help them age in place independently.
VTech's three-piece CareLine SN6197 system (MSRP: $119.95) includes a full-featured corded phone as the base unit, a cordless handset and a wearable pendant, each designed for optimal usability by older consumers who may struggle with hearing, dexterity or vision. The system's large displays and buttons, audio assistance and a reminder capability accommodate these challenges, while a wearable pendant puts the ability to communicate with friends and family at seniors' fingertips.
Designed to meet the daily communication needs of seniors, the wearable pendant allows them to conveniently make and receive calls, listen to voicemail messages, review missed calls, confirm the date and time or receive programmed reminders for medication, appointments or other events. The user, or a family member, can set reminders directly through the corded phone base or with a phone call. When the set time arrives, the system reminds the user with a light and audio cue
CareLine's wearable pendant also provides a quick resource to call for help in an emergency through the home landline service, making it an affordable alternative to personal emergency response systems (PERS) that require monthly fees, installation costs and contracts. The lightweight pendant can be worn around the neck or clipped to a waistband for mobility and comfort. When immediate assistance is needed, users can push either of the two speed-dial keys or use voice command to call self-programmed contacts, such as 911, a family member, a trusted friend or neighbor.
"CareLine offers seniors an easy-to-use phone system designed with their unique communication needs in mind," said Matt Ramage, senior vice president of product management at VTech. "Imagine leaving your mother a recorded reminder about her doctor's appointment or connecting with her while she is outside gardening. CareLine provides the independence and security seniors and their families desire."
Using the DECT 6.0 (Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications) standard, both the wireless handset and pendant are connected up to 600 feet away from the base, giving users maximum independence in and around their homes.
Other features designed for usability include:
• Large buttons and displays with full duplex speakerphones on all three devices: the corded phone, handset and pendant
• Voice commands and one-button dialing with the safety pendant to reach preferred contacts
• Audio Assist® that temporarily increases volume for easier hearing on calls
• Visual ringing indicator and Voice Announce®caller ID, so calls won't be missed
• Audio and visual cues for programed reminders
• Photo speed dial on the corded phone for quick reference of frequently dialed numbers
The pendent comes with rechargeable batteries that last seven days in standby mode or up to five hours of talk time. Users are notified when the pendent is at 10 percent of battery life, and a small light indicates proper placement in the charging station.
Available at Radio Shack (Model SN6197; MSRP $119.95), CareLine is covered by a limited one-year warranty.
For more information on VTech and CareLine, please visit www.vtechphones.com.
Product Specifications: VTech CareLine™ SN6197
• DECT 6.0 Digital technology
• Easy installation using home phone service
• Speakerphone and Audio Assist®
• Voice Announce® caller ID
• Large back-lit display and buttons
• Digital answering system
• Four photo speed dial buttons
• Battery backup in case of power outage
• Limited one-year warranty
•Available at: RadioShack
•List Price: $119.95 MSRP for corded base, cordless handset and safety pendant
VTech is the world's largest manufacturer of cordless telephones and electronic learning products. It also provides highly sought-after contract manufacturing services. Founded in 1976, the Group's mission is to be the most cost-effective designer and manufacturer of innovative, high-quality consumer electronic products and to distribute them to markets worldwide in the most efficient manner.
Audio Assist® is a registered trademark of VTech Communications, Inc. CareLine is a trademark of VTech Communications, Inc. Voice Announce is a registered trademark of ClassCo, Inc.
1.Findings by Thomas Glass published in the August 1999 issue of the British Medical Journal.
2. Findings by Swedish researchers published in the August 2012 issue of the British Medical Journal.
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