Aging in place is the dream of practically every older adult. Being able to maintain their independence during their golden years is not just a true testament of their strength, but it’s also a crucial element that determines their overall happiness as well.
Although many seniors wish to age in place, serious medical conditions often interfere with these wishes, threatening their independence and lives as a whole. In fact, around 80% of older adults have at least one chronic condition, according to the National Council on Aging. And even though the condition itself might not render elderly individuals homebound, their fears prevent them from going out.
The good news, however, is that these medical conditions don’t have to keep seniors from living in their own homes. With a medical alert system, aging in place can be an achievable reality, even if someone suffers from one of these five most common medical conditions affecting seniors:
According to a recent study, reduced hearing significantly increases the risk of tripping and falling for all senior citizens. Trouble is, seniors may have a hard time standing up or calling for help, especially since they experience muscle loss as they age.
That’s why medical alarm systems that provide a fall detection feature – which signals for help when the wearer collapses – are so beneficial for those suffering from hearing impairments.
In simple terms, fall detection with a medical alert system works either by pushing a fall alert button (as is the case with Medical Alert) or by automatically detecting a fall. The latter is especially useful because sometimes, the seniors who have fallen might lose consciousness.
The automated fall detection feature with medical alert systems usually functions with technology that combines accelerometers, algorithms, and sensors that signal if the wearer has fallen. When such a fall happens, the signal is automatically sent to the provider’s operator, who immediately sends for help. Such a feature is available nowadays with medical alert systems from Medical Guardian or GreatCall Lively.
While normal forgetfulness doesn’t usually cause more than a few hiccups in a senior’s routine, dementia can, unfortunately, cause much more serious issues. A person suffering from late-stage dementia, for example, may forget to take their medicine, leave the stove on, or get lost on their way home from the grocery store.
Even if a senior suffering from dementia wanders, however, their medical alert button can be used by bystanders to call for help using the emergency button. The monitoring center’s emergency operators are ready to help 24/7, and they have the dementia patient’s full medical history on file so they can call for help and dispatch an ambulance for the senior in an emergency.
Additionally, some medical alert systems do have a GPS tracking feature, which enables the wearer’s loved ones to find out where they are when outside, if necessary. Such a feature is provided by medical alert companies such as Medical Guardian and Bay Alarm Medical.
According to the American Diabetes Association, there is a high percentage of elderly people who suffer from diabetes in the U.S.: 25.2% to be exact. Not only do diabetics need to pay close attention to their diet, but they must also follow a strict medication schedule.
That’s why a medication reminder tool that comes with a medical alert system proves to be invaluable, not to mention that it spares them from constantly looking at the clock. Simple and affordable, this tool will help diabetics stay on track with their medication. Such a feature is available with LifeFone.
It’s also important to note that diabetics are also at much greater risk of falling than others, especially if they experience weakness or fainting spells. A fall detection feature is an extra safety net that signals for help even if the wearer is unconscious.
And last but not least, the vial of life is a key medical history feature that stores the patient’s full medical history, which is then shared with the paramedics in case of an emergency so they arrive well-prepared. LifeCall is an example of a company that provides this feature.
Each year, over 60,000 people are diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and around 1% of people over the age of 60 have this illness. People suffering from this condition often need around-the-clock assistance as they may experience stiffness, tremors, and even a loss of balance, but in most cases, it’s unrealistic for them to be supervised all the time.
Luckily, a medical alarm system providing fall detection that works 95% of the time acts as a reliable safety net for Parkinson’s patients. When a fall is detected, the operators are automatically notified so that help can be summoned if necessary.
Alzheimer’s is a growing problem that affects the lives of millions of seniors in the U.S. Those suffering from Alzheimer’s often require 24/7 attention, otherwise, they might wander off or unwillingly cause a fire or another life-threatening situation.
Although Alzheimer’s disease is a very serious condition that poses many threats to seniors, medical alarm systems provide solutions to these problems in multiple ways. Mobile help buttons are often fitted with GPS trackers that leave digital breadcrumbs, allowing the monitoring center to pinpoint the person’s exact location so a family member or another caregiver can be sent to find them.
While medical alert systems are designed to help those with serious conditions, you don’t have to be diagnosed with a condition to reap the benefits of owning a medical alert device. It’s important to remember that medical alert systems benefit anyone who wishes to remain in their own home as they age and maintain their independence.
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