My mom is 88 years young and still very independent. She lives on her own, still drives her car into town and back several times a week, and loves watching golf on the television and reading books from the public library.
However, she’s not as active as she used to be. I finally convinced her to get hearing aids, although the television still seems to be on at almost full volume every time I visit. She now lacks confidence in driving long distances or to areas she isn’t familiar with. She does take medication for her blood pressure and sometimes this causes dizziness during some activities.
A year ago, mom fell over while walking around the uneven ground at a friend’s house, and though she didn’t break anything, her bruises looked like she had suffered a violent home invasion attack.
The two most common causes of injuries in over 65s are falling and motor accidents, with most falls occurring in the home.
More than 25% of this age group suffer a fall each year with approximately 30% of those falls resulting in death.
Choosing a Medical Alert System for mom was an easy one to make. Especially as she isn’t too interested in technology and doesn’t have a mobile phone or a computer.
What is a Medical Alert System?
A medical alert system, or “personal emergency response system (PERS)”, is a combination of state-of-the-art communication and computer technology.
They are easy to use and allow seniors to continue living independently without the fear of being unable to get help, should they suffer from a fall or some medical event, like a heart attack or stroke.
There are 2 kinds of medical alert systems available.
The in-home system has a console you plug into a standard wall outlet and telephone jack. You also have a pendant which is worn around your neck or wrist or is placed on your belt.
The mobile system has a pendant only.
With both systems, if help is needed, you simply press the help button on the pendant and a live agent at a call center calls emergency medical services or your emergency contact numbers. The call center works 24/7, so you will always reach a real person.
Who Uses Medical Alert Systems?
These systems are ideal for anyone living on their own or in remote areas (e.g., on a farm) who wants the security of knowing help can come quickly in the case of any emergency. Typically, users have issues with one or more of the following:
- Desire their independence and access to continue doing activities they love
- Has a fear of falling
- Has poor hearing or eyesight
- Has declined cognitive function, e.g., Alzheimer’s, dementia
- Is recovering from operation or other medical procedures
- Lives with a difficult-to-manage ailment like epilepsy and diabetes
- Takes medication that makes them faint, dizzy, or sleepy
- Lives alone and wants an added sense of security.
Benefits of a Medical Alert System
Allows continued independence – with both at-home and mobile options, you can continue doing what you like to do, and remain independent for longer.
Quick help – rapid response to falls and other health emergencies is vital.
Tailored to your needs – there are many options available to meet your individual needs and activity levels.
Easy to use – the simple set-up and a one-push help button make it easy to use and ideal for the visually impaired and the technologically challenged.
Provides expanded service – Your pendant can go with you everywhere, even in the shower.
Help anywhere – you can immediately speak to skilled emergency medical staff through a 2-way voice communication device with a push of a button.
Discreet – pendants can be worn inconspicuously.
Affordable options – 24/7 help is available with some options available for less than $30 per month.
Works without power – running on long-lasting batteries, they will work even during a blackout or storm.
Peace of mind – provides you with the knowledge that you are safe to be on your own with 24/7 help quickly available.
Which Medical Alert System Should You Get?
Start by assessing your current and future needs.
The cost will be a factor for many. There is a wide range of pricing options available. You might prefer a plan without annual contracts and cancellation fees.
Some systems have features like GPS tracking, fall detection, daily activity monitoring, daily check-in services, fitness tracking, medical monitoring, access to a live nurse, personal directory help, a caregiver smartphone app, and carbon monoxide detection. Each of these options comes at an added cost.
You will want a system with reliable equipment, a clear pricing structure, and fast help.
As well as costs, consider service agreement, features, durability, and support availability.
A medical alert system is there to keep you safe should an emergency occur, and deliver peace of mind, all with just the push of a button.
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