Sometimes when a frail and elderly person falls, unless they have a medical alert system, may lie for hours or even days, calling out in vain to people who can’t hear them. Choosing a medical alert system is absolutely essential for people taking care of elderly people who are getting frail. Personal emergency alert devices can help older people remain independent and in their own homes, while there is always a ‘watchful eye’.
Most people want to continue to live independently as long as possible, but the security of knowing that they can get help when needed is the motivation they need to do just that. These devices are worth it because they can alert people that an old person has fallen or had a stroke, allowing medical help to be summoned. Some of the names offering medical alert systems are Phillips Lifeline, Life Alert, Prime Medical Alert, LifeStation, Lifelink, ADT Companion Service and others.
Make Sure the Device is Waterproof
Remember to make sure that the medical alert system is waterproof, because showering is an everyday occurrence and the system needs to work there too. The device must be sturdy enough to put up with someone who does gardening or laundry for instance.
In the case of the old person living on their own, the company supplying the device will often offer a lock box which is mounted on the outside of the home. The combination lock protected box will have keys for entry into the premises where the people are incapacitated.
Monitored or Unmonitored Alert Device System
There are two types of medical alert systems: monitored and unmonitored. The monitored ones have a panic button, which, when pushed, sends a signal to an operator who is able to get hold of family and the paramedics. Unmonitored medical alert systems don’t call an operator. On the Internet you can do research and compare the different systems in terms of price and features. Bear in mind that there are some systems that work along the same lines as a cell phone and they require a contract. Before you buy any medical emergency system for a senior person, think about them and how they will use the device, and get the one they prefer.
When looking for a medical alert system which is monitored you will need to check out what kind of people are monitoring the response center, and whether they undergo a certification process to ensure they deliver services of high standards. Also make sure that the operators can communicate in English and there are translators or people who are familiar with the language you speak. When you are weighing up which monitoring service to link to, check how long the providers have been in business and whether they follow the necessary rules and regulations. Also check out whether they have invested in the necessary infrastructure so that in an emergency, like an earthquake, they have secondary resources to call upon.
Test Your Alert System Regularly
Compare different medical alert systems and eliminate those that don’t match your requirements. Of course any system you buy should be tested regularly to make sure it is always working. All devices what work off electricity should have a battery back-up when the power is down. On top of that there should be a warning light for when the batteries are low.
The two-way medical alert system with 24/7 monitoring is one of the more sought after alert devices. It is made up of a two-way console which communicates with a monitoring center, and a signal is sent when you press the button. With these devices, the monitoring center has all the person’s information appearing before them on a computer screen, and they will take immediate action.
Giving Aging Parents their Independence
Heaps of children these days are looking to taking care of their elderly parents in their own homes as opposed to them being in retirement centers. As parents age, they lose their flexibility and are prone to falls, putting them at risk of a fall. Children often spend money to make adaptations around their homes to cater specifically to frail parents and make it easier for them to get around. Things like osteoporosis, and back pain can reduce an old person’s strength, and a fall is one of the most common reasons that strip an old person of their independence. Of course choosing a medical alert system is not only important for those taking care of elderly people, younger people are prone to all kinds of illnesses and surgery, restricting their mobility and possibly putting them out of action and in bed for a long time. These medical alert systems can be useful if such a person falls out of bed or tries to walk before they are ready, and falls instead.
Different Alert Systems to Suit Everyone’s Tastes
The medical alert service company provides you with a console and a help button which transmits a distress call. Based on what the care specialist establishes from the call, they will get you the assistance you need immediately. The medical alert systems can be a wrist band, belt clip or a pendant, while some people prefer to just carry it with them and place it within reach wherever they are. A wireless wall-mounted emergency button is a popular choice, and these come with velcro adhesive tabs so that anyone without the necessary tools can mount it on the wall. Because of their attractive design they easily blend into any kind of design and decor. While it is still a good idea for older people to wear an emergency button on their wrists or as a pendant, it is recommended that there also be a wall-mounted emergency button just in case the other one is out of reach for any reason. These devices are particularly useful in areas like the bathroom.
There are plenty of excellent and affordable medical alert systems available on the market today. Some people prefer to stick with well known brands that offer warranties but there are others who are prepared to take a chance on unknown brands and pay less for them. Remember to get a device that can respond at a far distance from the monitor’s receiver. There are devices are used for. Some are short range, while other systems extend a lot further; as far as 400 feet.
An Example of Two Medical Alert Systems:
The Cellular Medical Alarm with GPS
- Enables old folks to live active lifestyles – even go on a hike
- Mall and lightweight
- Displays time and date
- Can be worn as necklace, watch or on belt
- Easy cradle for charging
- Press one button to live call center
- Two way speaker phone
- GPS OnStar technology
- Emergency help, driving directions, medical records
LifeBeacon Personal Medical Alert/GPS Tracker
This device can be used as a stand-alone tracker/communicator for children and older people, and no software is required. Can be tracked over any Internet browser.
- Get help wherever there is cell phone coverage
- Built in GPS receiver
- Connect to the call center when you push the help button
- The trained operator is able to detect the location you are in
- Locks on the wrist or clothing
- Set up user-defined parameters
When you are looking for a medical alert system, you need to assess your particular situation, and then make up your mind on which device to buy. By answering some questions, you can get an idea of which type of medical alert system will be best.
- Will the help button operate within and without a house?
- Can family be contacted through the service?
- How far away is the monitoring staff?
- What sort of training do the response staff have?
- Is the help button waterproof?
- Will the base station be able to pick up a frail voice?
- What kind of special outlets or power supplies are needed for the help button?
- What happens in a power failure; can the device work off a battery?
- What are the costs involved?
There are many kinds of medical alert devices to raise the alarm. The distance over which the device works, the price of the device, the device’s mobility and effectiveness will determine your choice. Some of the devices are:
- Neighbor to neighbor alarms
- Cordless and mobile phones carried on belt clip
- Autodiallers – when activate it dials pre-programmed numbers
- Person to person alarms
- Portable alarms
When choosing a medical alert system you are enabling seniors as well as other individuals to live independently, with the ability to reach emergency personnel of problems. No longer do the systems require the person to remain in close proximity to a receiver, preventing the person from getting out and enjoying life, and today you get cellular and GPS-enabled mobile personal emergency response systems for anyone with special medical needs. People can simply press their help button and are connected to a central monitoring station that is available 24/7 every day of the year.