Medical alert systems aren’t exclusive to English speaking seniors and patients. A large number of seniors in the U.S. have Spanish as their native language and they find it difficult to express themselves in other languages. This is especially true during a medical emergency: when shocked or scared, people still struggle to put together coherent sentences even if they might speak the language fluently otherwise. All in all, a proper medical alert service must be able to handle non-English speaking customers. A multi-language site is a good start, but they should either have Spanish monitoring agents or figure out a way to bridge the gap when a Spanish elderly contacts them. Luckily there are medical alert providers out there that offer their services in Spanish with native Spanish speakers answering incoming medical alerts.
Language Line Solutions
Companies such as Bay Alarm Medical and Medical Guardian pride themselves on the fact that they offer protection in over 200 languages, including Spanish, German, French, Chinese, Russian and even Hindi. It must be noted, though, that this large number doesn’t actually equate to having 200 employees in the HQ with each of them assigned to a given language. No, this task is outsourced to Language Line Solutions instead, a fact they admit openly.
Language Line Solutions is a unique service specializing in live video interpretation. In other words, it’s like having a professional translator at your side. So when a Spanish speaking elderly pushes the help button and signals one of the two aforementioned medical alert companies, the situation goes like this: the monitoring agent takes note of the situation and requests a live interpreter from Language Line Solutions, who then immediately translates back and forth between the monitoring agent and the user. After the call has ended, the agent acts according to the caller’s wishes and dispatches the paramedics if necessary.
Preparing for a Medical Emergency
Medical alert companies keep the relevant information of their customers on file, which can be only accessed during an emergency call. When opening the file, the operator will notice that the user’s preferred language is Spanish, thus the request for the translator will be submitted even before answering the call begins, saving precious seconds. Language Line Solutions interpreters also play an important role when purchasing the equipment. Be sure to give the customer center a call and ask them about any necessary steps. This gives ample opportunity to test how well they can manage a Spanish customer. We also recommend having the senior users call the monitoring team when the medical alert system is activated for the first time in order to learn how the process works.