Two of the greatest challenges to the senior adult who wants to live independently are managing medication and the threat of falling.
This year, one out of every three adults over the age of 65 will have a fall. Of these, half will not be able to get up afterward.
Fortunately, there are simple, low-cost options available to help people maintain their independence as they get older. One of these options is a medical alert system. Three popular products are in-home medical alert systems, fall detection and mobile medical alert systems.
In-Home Medical Alert System
An in-home medical alert system can protect the resident in the event of a medical emergency, fire, home intrusion or accident. Most in-home systems consist of an easily-installed base unit and plugs into an electrical outlet and a phone jack. The base unit works in tandem with a waterproof wristband and/or pendant that can signal for immediate assistance.
Even a seemingly innocuous fall can have serious consequences, such as a fracture or loss of consciousness. The fall itself may be the result of a heart attack or other medical emergency. Some medical alert systems have the capacity to detect when the wearer has a fall and will automatically summon help, even if the individual has been unable to push the emergency call button.
Mobile Medical Alert System
A mobile alert system travels with the wearer wherever they go, inside or outside the home. A mobile alert system is activated by a push of a button, either on the wrist or on a pendant, giving the user immediate contact with a 24-hour emergency response center. Upon activation, a live human voice will be heard over a two-way intercom, offering reassurance and assistance.
How Medical Alert Systems Work
The initial emergency response will typically be in the form of a 911-trained operator who can provide reassurance, assess the situation and summon the attention of friends and family and/or the emergency services. The operator will usually remain in contact with the user until help arrives on the scene.
Which System is Right for You?
While there are three general types of medical alert system, within each type there are numerous other variables between service companies. For example:
• Does the company offer 24-hour monitoring?
• Is the device UL certified?
• Does the company support languages other than English?
• Is there a check-in service?
Individual devices differ from one another, too, in terms of battery life, useful range, water resistance, etc. If you are adept with spreadsheets, then keeping track of all the available permutations and making a decision about which medical alert system is right for you and your family should be a piece of cake.
Alternatively, there are websites on the Internet that are dedicated to doing the hard work for you and helping you choose the optimum product for your circumstances. TopTenReviews is one such website.
Whichever decision-making tool you choose, selecting the right medical alert system for yourself or your loved one can preserve independence, safety and peace of mind for all concerned.