Carrier Using iPhone as Emergency Contact Device?

Discussion in 'iPhone Tips, Help and Troubleshooting' started by eonxl, Sep 25, 2015.

  1. eonxl macrumors newbie

    Jul 20, 2012
    Hi. I have an elderly father. He's at that point where he needs a way to get a hold of someone immediately if he falls down, or becomes confused, or has another emergency situation which isn't necessarily life threatening but for which he needs help.

    I would like to set up his iPhone as a kind of emergency response device. Is there a way -- through using Siri or some other method -- of setting up his iPhone so all he has to do is say "Help" (or another keyword) and it would dial someone on his emergency contact list and tell them that he is in trouble? Is there an app for this?

    Ideally, he shouldn't need to dig his phone out of his pocket or need to press any buttons -- just a single keyword would be preferable. Does anyone know how this can be done? (I know that when the iPhone is plugged in he can call "Hey Siri, dial XXX" and it would do this, but if he is wandering around outside and needs to reach someone, this wouldn't work without him needing to dig out his iPhone and hold the home button...)

    (Yes, we have considered something like a LifeAlert device, but that always dials directly 911 and usually instigates the sending of an ambulance and emergency personnel. I am looking for a way for him to immediately reach out to a nearby family member in those cases where his life may not necessarily be in immediate danger, but he still needs help. Ambulances are expensive and can create a great deal of stress -- of course, if his life was in immediate danger, then we would encourage him to call 911, but several of us (his children) live very nearby and we want a quick way for him to reach out to us if he needs us without necessarily involving emergency services...)

    Thanks in advance!

    -Eric (the son)
  2. BrettDS macrumors 65816

    Nov 14, 2012
    What you want will not be possible. Because of the battery drain, there is no way to have an app always listening for a voice command.

    The new iPhone 6S and 6S Plus do support always on 'Hey Siri', but as you said above, using 'Hey Siri' to activate a call is less than ideal. Additionally, the always on 'Hey Siri' requires you to train it to your voice. If your father fell and was in pain I'd worry that the stress in his voice may change his voice too much to activate Siri.

    Really, the life alert type devices are probably your best bet as they are designed to do exactly what you want. And frankly, I suspect that you could work with the company to have them call family members before calling 911. I used to work at an alarm monitoring station and they definitely preferred (and in some cases required) that the first contact be a non 911 type number to minimize false alarms.

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