There is no denying how useful medical alert systems are in an emergency. Wearing a pendant that can summon potentially life-saving help with a single push of a button would be a useful backup plan for everyone to have, not just for the elderly. Some emergency buttons even detect falls automatically. And yet, for some reason, it’s not only the younger generations that don’t consider carrying an alert system, but the older crowd is often just as leery of the equipment. While there might be some very good reasons for such avoidance, it is in the best interest of everyone involved for your aging parents to compromise on the issue at the very least, especially when considering that seniors are at a higher risk of suffering serious injuries in an accident due to their age.
Discover the Underlying Reason
There are a number of factors that could cause your elderly parents to put their foot down as soon as the topic of getting a medical alert system is brought up, and their steadfast refusal to consider the benefits can be quite frustrating for worried family members. However, it is very important to try and see the issue from their point of view: why is mom or dad so unwilling?
More often than not, aging people complain that wearing a medical alert pendant or wristband makes them feel stigmatized and humiliated, the obvious emergency button acting as a beacon and drawing judgmental eyes from friends, acquaintances, and even strangers. While family might be tempted to brush such concerns aside, it is imperative that they address this delicate problem tactfully and with understanding.
Wearing an emergency button could make the elderly feel like they are losing their independence as though they can no longer be trusted to take care of themselves, when in fact the exact opposite is true. Alert systems are nothing but safety nets; they don’t prevent the wearer from doing what they want, whenever they want.
A great tactic to get your parents to see reason in this case is to emphasize that no one – yourself included – is exempt from danger either, especially if you have a job or a hobby that puts you at risk. Why not get an alert system yourself? You know how useful it can be, why not show your loved one by example? Some companies have recently started selling their own smartwatches, too, which are perfect for a tech-savvy younger generation.
Too Much Hassle
It might seem like a bit of a chore to remember that the button must be worn all the time. It can be easy to leave behind, especially for the forgetful elderly. Keep making reminders and get them into the habit of carrying it around; after a while taking the pendant along with them will come naturally, so there is no need to feel discouraged because of a bumpy beginning. Also, many providers offer free trials and if having an emergency button still doesn’t work out after a few months, you can always cancel. Some companies will even pay back any unused months.
While most alert buttons today are pretty sleek, they definitely do not complement every wardrobe and some fashion-conscious seniors might refuse to consider wearing them on this principle alone. But there are ways to work around this issue, some safer and more effective than others. The quickest solution is of course to tuck the pendants and wristbands underneath clothing. However, this could be dangerous and counterproductive since the point of the buttons is for them to be constantly in easy reach and hiding them where access could be restricted after a fall is not wise.
How about improving the appearance of the button itself though? Of course, permanent modifications are out of the question as that would count as damaging the product, but who says a cute medicine pouch with drawstrings to hang around the neck would not do the trick? Satchels like this cotton purse sold on Amazon are pretty cheap and look great. The button can still easily be pressed through thin material, although an initial test is recommended to make sure the senior can operate the device when it’s covered.
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