There are an estimated 36 million American adults who have some degree of hearing loss, (about 17%) but there is a far higher average among the elderly, since there is a steady increase in the symptoms as people grow older. This means that as people start to age and become infirm, there is a strong likelihood of them having some degree of hearing impairment. The top medical alert companies have designed their systems in a way they can be used by hearing impaired as well. The central units of these systems have been fitted with a quality speaker that can be set to a high volume level the majority of hearing impaired seniors can hear.
Best Medical Alert Systems
Some medical alert systems operate on the principle that when one or more buttons are pressed on a device worn around the neck, aid is summoned – simple but effective. But these have the disadvantage that there is no way to avoid false alarms, which might be costly. Other designs include two way communications, but these have implications for the hearing impaired, who may not be able to reply; or in the case of a false alarm, will not be expecting a return call in the first place.
Along with a high volume speaker, the central units also have large lights and buttons that light up. A large red “Emergency” button for instance will start to light up when an alarm was triggered, alerting the senior that a call for help was made from the system. The elderly can then either talk with an operator, or indicate that everything is fine by pushing the “Reset” button or the emergency button on his, her medical jewelry.
The skilled operators working in the control centers of these companies are trained to speak with a loud and clear tone of voice and are used to talking with elderly who have hearing problems. The user’s medical file the operators see on their screen when there is an emergency alarm will also indicate that the person has hearing difficulties. In instances where there is an alarm and the senior isn’t responding to any of the alarm signals, the monitoring center will alert local emergency services and loved ones.
Many medical alerts are run by alarm companies that don’t provide medical monitoring services and simply pass calls on to emergency services. For the hearing impaired and deaf it is more important to have trained personnel at the end of the line who can assess if the person has hearing issues and make sense of a call where they are unable to talk back to the individual concerned, including cases where a hearing aid might not be being worn or has been switched off. For this reason it is highly advisable to opt for an alert system that comes with 24/7 medical monitoring. These may come with a monthly fee, but in emergencies the help from a trained operator can make all the difference.
Automatic Alerts and Absolute Freedom
Another layer of safety is included in devices that detect abnormal movement, if the wearer falls for example. Broken wrists and arms and passing out are common occurrences in such an event, which can make pushing buttons impossible. Systems fitted with GPS protect your senior even when the person is leaving the house. These alert systems have all of the features found in other medical jewelry, with the GPS locator ensuring that the wearer can be found when an emergency occurs.
Medical Alert ID
Even the unsophisticated medic alert ID can play an important role. Simply inscribed it can inform rescuers that the individual is hearing impaired. This becomes more important when they have a cochlear implant which is not immediately recognizable but means that an MRI scan cannot be undertaken.