9 Ways a Medical Alert System Can Benefit Seniors Who Live Alone
According to the US Census Bureau, there are over 4 million senior citizens in America, and almost 30% of them live alone. This is a sobering statistic if you are a caregiver for an aging parent or tending to a senior citizen. While many members of the older adult population have minimal difficulties while living on their own, there is always a looming concern about adequate elder care. Fortunately, advancements in technology can help seniors and caregivers avoid mishaps at home. Read further for medical devices and tips to protect seniors who live by themselves.
A Word About Medical Alert Systems for Seniors
A medical alert system (or MAS for short) is a way to quickly alert emergency services in the event accidents happen to seniors. There are two major types of devices, in-home, and mobile. An in-home MAS requires the user to wear a panic button which is pressed in case of an emergency. A mobile medical alert device works the same way, but it can be worn anywhere so active seniors can still get around without being confined to the home.
Various medical alert systems come with a variety of features, including around-the-clock monitoring and fall detection. Each MAS has advantages and there are a lot of things to consider when purchasing a system for a senior. From budget to emergency response time, every alert system is different. For more information, read this in-depth review on the top medical alert devices from Health.com. It will help you analyze different features to determine the best system for you or your loved one’s needs.
Medical Alert Device Features That Can Benefit Seniors Who Live Alone
Living alone at any age has its ups and downs, but seniors face additional and specific challenges. That’s why it’s crucial to implement home safety for seniors to prevent hazards or injuries. Here are a few features built into some medical alert systems that can keep the home safe and protect seniors who live alone.
Fall Detection: According to the aforementioned Health.com report, 1 in 4 seniors fall in the home every year. Many of these falls turn out to be quite serious or even fatal. This is when a medical alert device can be invaluable. Some devices have a built-in function to detect falls when they happen and signal emergency services to summon assistance.
24/7 Monitoring: Arguably one of the biggest benefits of a medical alert system for seniors is that they provide around-the-clock monitoring. This is crucial when it comes to comprehensive eldercare. Some devices monitor health conditions and can be activated even in the event the user loses consciousness. This can potentially be life-saving and is incredibly helpful for seniors who live alone.
Non-Medical Emergencies: If you think a MAS is strictly for medical emergencies, think again. These beneficial devices may also be used in case of home break-ins, and can potentially protect solo seniors from assault in case of burglaries. Furthermore, a MAS can alert first responders in the event of a house fire, flooding, or natural disaster.
Alleviates Stress: Not only does a MAS benefit seniors who live alone in case disaster strikes, but it can also be an emotional relief. According to the Health.com review of medical devices, seniors and caregivers report they felt much more relieved and comfortable knowing help is available at the touch of a button. Given this peace of mind, a MAS can be a huge benefit for caregivers as well as seniors who live alone.
Maintain Freedom: While many seniors are forced to live alone due to various circumstances, other seniors relish their freedom and independence. With a mobile medical alert device, active seniors can continue to keep up with daily activities as well as expand their adventures. A mobile device gives seniors the ability to travel, shop, explore and keep a healthy lifestyle without being cooped up in the house all the time.
Multiple Notifications: If you read the Health.com medical alert device review, you’ll see that some devices have the capabilities to notify more than just first responders in case of an emergency. These specialized alert devices can be programmed to signal caregivers, family members, or friends in the event something happens to a senior. This brings an added level of security for the whole family.
Reliable and Flexible Assistance: The early medical alert systems relied upon electric power to function. Today, there are many safeguards available with medical alert devices. Fail-safes and backup systems are available in most devices that allow them to keep working even if the power goes out. Additionally, Health.com indicates you can opt for a wireless-capable MAS, but if you don’t have WiFi there are landline options, or seniors can even connect their device to their cellular service.
Extra Helpful Features: As mentioned, not every MAS is created equal. Some of them include helpful applications such as fitness trackers and heart rate monitors. Other medical alert devices can even be programmed to remind seniors when it’s time to take medications. These additional features make a life for seniors living alone much easier.
A System for Every Budget: There are many seniors who struggle with finances, but thankfully, there is likely a MAS that suits almost any budget. Based on the medical alert review by Health.com, service fees can range anywhere from $19.95 to $49.95 per month. In some instances, the installation of a MAS is free. Furthermore, some independent insurance may cover the cost of a MAS. Seniors may also be eligible for discounts if they are veterans or members of AARP.
Is a Medical Alert System the Right Choice for a Senior Living Alone?
The answer to that question is ultimately contingent upon the situation and the parties involved with purchasing a medical alert system. If you are a caregiver, be sure to talk to the senior you’re tending to because open communication is key to making the right decisions about getting a MAS. If you are a senior living alone, then consider all the benefits these devices could provide. In the final analysis, the new medical alert systems on the market today are far more advanced. Furthermore, they allow for more independence and tremendous peace of mind for seniors and family members alike.