Growing senior market draws ADT

Companion Services offering to serve our aging population
Sunday, February 1, 2004

BOCA RATON, Fla. - With more than 35 million Americans already over the age of 65 - and much of the baby boomer generation due to hit that benchmark in 2010 - ADT’s personal emergency response business is signing a host of new partnerships and is tweaking its direct to the end-user sales approach.

Late last year, ADT Companion Services signed a partnership with ComForcare, a Bloomfield Hills, Mich.-based provider of non-medical in-home care and services to provide ADT’s Personal Response System to ComForcare’s customers, which are serviced from 29 offices in 16 states. Other strong partnerships, such as an affinity relationship with insurance and financial services provider USAA, are also part of ADT’s other sales channels, such as through hospitals and home care organizations, as well as through government contracts with area agencies on aging. The pendant button is also sold through its ADT authorized dealer network and other dealers.

As part of its direct sales channel, beginning this month, ADT representatives will visit consumers who order the ADT Companion Services Personal Response System through the company’s media sales, such as on the Internet, through direct mail or through the company’s national marketing center. The visit will assist elderly users and, in most cases, the adult child of that user, with how to operate the pendant and the two-way intercom unit, said Scott Gurley, executive director of ADT Companion Services.

The visits are just one part of a total training program that involves all ADT personnel in the Companion Care program. A dedicated monitoring and call center staff in ADT’s Aurora, Colo., location is put through a special course annually that helps staff to learn the difficulties of certain physical challenges common with aging.

“They perform certain exercises, like wearing heavy gloves and trying to open a prescription bottle,” Gurley said, an activity that mimics the difficulty of arthritic movement. Staffers are also trained to speak slowly and to use shorter sentences when speaking with a Companion Services user, he said.

An existing business unit of SecurityLink that became part of ADT with the company’s 2001 acquisition of Cambridge Protection Industries, Companion Services is one of the few companies in the personal emergency response market with a national footprint, Gurley said. Company officials declined to name the number of accounts the unit is monitoring.