Medical Alert Systems for Seniors
Seniors today know that fast medical attention and treatment has an immediate impact on longevity.
More importantly it also has a long lasting impact on the Quality of the rest of your life.
Grandma has Fallen
Imagine for a moment that your aged Grandmother has fallen getting out of bed and broke her leg.
She lays there for 32 hours with the leg twisted under her.
She cannot move in the restricted space between her bed and the bedroom wall.
When her Home Care Worker arrives she finally gets medical treatment.
Unfortunately there is permanent damage to the leg and she is now limited to getting around in a wheelchair.
How much better would the rest of her life have been had she been able to get medical help in the first hour?
You would pay quite a bit of money AFTER this had happened could we could go back in time and prevent this.
Medical Alert Solutions
Medical Alert Solutions are as important as Where people live and what quality of food they eat.
The good news is that there are many levels of medical alert type solutions to choose from.
Depending upon your situation and financial flexibility you can choose whatever you are most comfortable.
Easiest for us all is to simply have neighbors check in on us morning and night to ensure that we are okay.
While this can become somewhat of a burden there are solutions to help even with that.
Friends and Family Help
Find friends that can come over for a ‘Take Away’ Meal one dinner a week.
Have Movie night twice a month.
Most importantly try to have friends and family who can share the job of checking in.
Second and easier than the first is to where a Medical Alert Bracelet or cell phone around your neck.
There are cases where its not as reliable because you must be able to call someone for help.
If you cannot then it is not going to help.
We strongly recommend pairing this solution with family who calls or checks in on you at least once a day.
Allows you to Stay Home
With Family help more seniors are able to stay home longer.
You are happier and healthier.
Being in your own home means you are able to continue all your normal activities.
Moving to a care home is both intimidating and hard mentally.
You cannot do your normal activities.
Finding replacement activities is hard.
Getting people to do those activities with is even harder.
Medical Alert System
Third is to have a Monitored Medical Alert System.
Monitored Systems use call buttons to the Medical Alert Company.
Once pushed they call you over their 2-way phone-type base station.
If there is no response and or you need help they can immediately dispatch medical help.
Getting old isn’t much fun, but as they say, it’s better than the alternative.
The trick to growing older as comfortably as possible is to deal realistically and sensibly with issues as they come up.
Do whatever you can do to compensate for the little infirmities of aging.
As it becomes more difficult to do things the way they have always been done, new ways can be found.
It just takes a little ingenuity and some forward thinking.
If yard work has become a problem, why not find someone who would love to garden but has no land.
Offer the use of your land for a vegetable garden in exchange for fresh veggies?
It removes the responsibility for yard work from an aging homeowner, without costing any money – and you get food!
If you can no longer manage the heavy housework, ways can be found to work around that as well.
Some people have managed to trade skills or knowledge for services such as housework or food prep.
These are efficient ways to deal with a difficult problem.
Choosing a System
The vast majority of us have little or no money to spare, so paying for services can be difficult.
Despite this you also want to remain independent for as long as you possibly can.
This means that when you are deciding what you need, you must choose carefully what you should pay.
You also need to ask yourself what you will need to get by with other means.
One of the services that it is necessary and logical to pay for is a Medical Alert system of some type.
As we age, things can go wrong, and whether we live alone or not it is a good idea to have an easy, convenient way to call for help.
We’ve all heard the horror stories about someone who fell, couldn’t get up, was not able to get to a phone, and wasn’t found for hours, or even days.
Even if you live with other people, it is not as unusual as you would think.
You can fall or get ill and can’t get out of bed to call for help for hours before being heard.
This results in injuries or illnesses not being treated as soon as they should be, and often leads to worse outcomes in general.
Medical Alert Bracelot
Wearing a medical alert bracelet or necklace at all times means that help is always available.
This also still allows you to maintain your independence and privacy.
There are many different types of medical alert systems.
Each system has many different levels of service and types of devices you can choose from.
Most systems have a base unit installed somewhere in your home.
You also get a device that you wear on a wrist or around your neck on a lanyard.
In the Shower
The wearable device is almost always waterproof to be worn in the shower.
A significant number of falls do happen in the bathtub or shower.
It wouldn’t be much help to have your medical alert button out of reach at your most vulnerable time.
Automatic Alert Systems
Some systems are fully automatic.
They will call certain pre-programmed numbers if you push the button and send a recorded message to whoever answers.
Automatic systems are not monitored but still provide protection.
They cannot perform as many different functions as a monitored system can.
Monitored systems have an operator who can speak to you using the base unit in your home.
The operator can then follow a preset procedure to make sure you get the help you need.
Even the most basic systems usually have some kind of motion-detection built into them.
This mean that if your device detects that you are not moving for a specified amount of time, or that you have fallen, it sends a signal to an operator.
This activates the emergency system that is put in place when you sign up with the company.
The first thing the system will do is try to contact you to see if the alarm has been set off accidentally.
If you do not answer or are too far away from the base unit to be heard, the system goes on to the next step.
Most systems require you to provide the number of a neighbor or a friend or family member who lives nearby.
This person is the first link in the emergency chain and are alerted to check on you.
You will, of course, have to provide them with a key to your home.
If this emergency contact finds that something is wrong, an ambulance is called to help you.
If your nearest emergency contact is not available to check on you a second contact is called.
Otherwise they dispatch emergency services immediately.
This step usually depends on your preferences, although there are certain circumstances where emergency services are called automatically.
GPS and Wifi
Today’s more sophisticated systems have built-in GPS, cell service, and/or Wifi.
These connections mean that no matter where you are, you can push the button and help will find you.
Often, these systems do not need the base unit – they are fully mobile and will work anywhere cell service is available.
You can choose a system that is an easy-to-use smart watch, which can not only tell the time.
You also get weather updates, an efficient talk-to-text service, and motion sensing capabilities that can detect a fall.
Choose a system that can monitor your vital signs and that allows you to use it as a fitness monitor to keep track of your activity level.
You can get systems that allow you to set reminders for medications, appointments, and special events.
There are pendants that you can wear on a lanyard.
They detect falls and send a signal straight to your local ambulance service.
The range of choices is huge, so finding a system that fits your needs exactly should be fairly easy, if not cheap.
Whichever type of system you choose, there are a few important bits of advice you should heed before you start using your device.
The first thing is that you need to understand how, exactly, the device works.
Secondly how and when to wear it, when to turn it off (and how to do that) and get some practice in so that you are familiar with the controls.
Choose one that you find easy to operate and understand.
You stand a better chance of using it regularly if you are confident about what it can do and how to work it.
Taking it off
It is not at all uncommon for a medical alert client to take their alert device off, leave it on a table, and go off to buy groceries.
Make sure you have shut off the device first to avoid it calling emergency services in error.
This often results in them coming home to find their front door has been kicked in by emergency services.
This is because your device sent the distress signal due to lack of motion.
Make sure you choose a system that has a trial period.
This allows you to return it if you find the system doesn’t suit you.
Use your trial period to the fullest, so you can make an informed decision about the system before you commit yourself to it.
Make sure you choose a system with good battery life, as well, so that you don’t have to fuss with charging it too often.
Fall detection, GPS, and vital signs monitoring are great features to have.
Medical Alert: Monitored or Not
My advice is to choose a monitored system over a non-monitored one.
There are many possible features that can be included with your system.
Get a complete list of possible features for any device, tick off every one that you would like to have, and then look at the price.
If it is too high, you can remove features that you can live without until you have reached a price you can pay.
Just make sure you still have all the features that you really need.
There are dozens of different companies offering medical alert systems.
You will be able to find one that offers the service level you want for a price you can pay.
Why Medical Alert is so good
Family members who cannot physically check on aging loved ones on a regular basis find comfort that their relative has a Alert System.
We all often urge aging parents or grandparents to get a medical alert system long before the aging individual feels it is necessary.
If they get one it helps the whole family to cope and the elderly to remain in the comfort of their own homes for as long as possible.
It is most certainly worth it.
Aging people who live alone can benefit hugely from a medical alert system, both physically and mentally.
The physical aspect may be obvious, but the peace of mind may not be.
Remeber they can summon help immediately if theyneed it
That peace of mind is worth a lot, though, and can mean the difference between a life lived in fear and a life lived to the full.