There are millions of subscribers to medical alert systems in America and by far the majority of these are seniors. Although medical alert systems are also widely used among younger people, usually because they have a particular medical condition that means they might need this sort of emergency device, seniors tend to use them because it means they can continue living in their own home.
With a system installed, seniors’ homes can continue to be a safe place to live in, with the knowledge that assistance can be called upon without having to reach the telephone. Devices and services like these have been around for more than 40 years, and have constantly improved with new features that give the senior more freedom and emergency assistance at the same time. Each company has slightly differing billing options and features, but all of the leading ones provide a medical alert service that can be called upon 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Best Medical Alert Systems
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Why Seniors Should Have a Medical Alert Button
Because medical alert systems often have pendants or bracelets with emergency buttons that are worn, they are superior to a regular cell phone which could be out of reach. Seniors, who might wish to continue living in their home after a hospitalization or a fall, can continue to do so without family members worrying that they cannot raise help if they need to. The addition of a medical alert system in the home can guarantee peace of mind.
In the case of a medical emergency, seniors simply have to push a large button on the console or their remote device and they can instantly speak to an operative who already has access to their emergency contacts and medical profile. The caring control center personnel monitoring the medical alert system 24/7/365 are well trained in providing assistance to elderly. Since they can view the person’s medical history, they are well aware of what might be the cause of an emergency. They will carefully assess whether local emergency assistance should be dispatched, and can inform them about the senior’s situation and condition.
Wireless systems, which don’t need users to access a base unit, are particularly useful for seniors. They will often have a certain range in which they will work, meaning that the whole home is covered as well as the garden and front yard. If any elderly person is put off going into their own garden for fear that they might not be able to get back if an emergency crops up, a wireless system is the perfect solution. Many such systems are waterproof too, meaning they can even be used perfectly well in the bathroom.
Medical Alerts with Fall Detection and GPS
A stumble in the home can have untold consequences for seniors and, in many cases, it can be hard to reach help immediately after one. Should a loved one suffer a fall, it can leave them disoriented and even immobilized until assistance arrives. The top medical alert systems now have automatic calls for help that are generated in the event of a fall – even if the user is left unconscious from it. For example, Philips’ Lifeline system has a feature called AutoAlert that uses sensor technology in the pendant to detect whether or not the wearer may have fallen. If it thinks this may be the case, then an automatically generated call to the help center is made. Philips says that AutoAlert correctly diagnoses a fall in 95% of cases, making it trustworthy so you shouldn’t worry about false alarms being triggered.
Some fall detection systems utilize GPS technology so that, should the wearer suffer a fall, the person’s location can be found with ease. This is very useful for seniors who live in larger properties where it might be harder for emergency responders to locate them. Medical Guardian’s mobile medical alert system is another that uses GPS technology, which also connects to the cellular phone network. As such, it is useful for an emergency situation that occurs when out and about.
Choosing a Medical Alert System for Elderly
Every senior will have differing needs, so there is no hard-and-fast rule that says which sort of system will be the best. Some seniors need help only in the home at night, because during the day they are in contact with others. Conversely, some will only require a cellular system that can be called upon when they are outside during the day. Remember that many of the leading providers, such as Phillips, Medical Guardian and MobileHelp, offer their services on a month-by-month subscription. Some allow you to cancel for when the service is not required, but others do not. Some will charge for the equipment, but others include the cost of this within their monthly subscription fees.
You should always read a couple of reviews of each system you are considering installing. In most cases, both pros and cons can be found so it better to choose one in the knowledge of how it will work. Always check how the device can be worn – usually with a lanyard or over the wrist – to make sure it will be comfortable. After all, they tend to get worn all day. For the same reason, check the weight, too. Lighter devices tend to be more comfortable, but you might need to recharge them more often because they have a lower battery capacity.