As you grow older, you are more likely to fall. Falls are the number one injury-related cause of death among people over 75 years old. They are also the number one cause of hospitalization caused by injury.
Some factors that predispose seniors to falls include:
- Health-based reasons: These include chronic illnesses, stroke, heart attack, anemia, stroke vertigo, weakness, poor vision, medication side-effects like dizziness and dehydration.
- Environmental risks: These are anything from a loose wire, a frayed carpet, poor lighting, risky shoes like high heels and slippery floors.
Many older people prefer living in their homes as opposed to a nursing home or an assisted-living facility. However, living alone can be risky. This is where a medical alert system comes in handy. It allows you to live independently without compromising your safety.
What is a Medical Alert Necklace? And How Does It Work?
A medical alarm device has two main parts the pendant (or other medical jewelry) and the communicator. The help button is worn as pendants, bracelets, or similar medical alert jewelry with an adjustable cord around your neck.
The pendant is waterproof seeing as many falls occur in the bathroom. The communicator is similar to your system’s home base. When you fall, (within range of the communicator) and press the button, the communicator works like a speakerphone and calls the response center.
The associate from the center then speaks to you through the communicator to find out what your emergency then calls the medical team and alerts your loved ones.
How Is Medical Alert Jewelry Different From 911?
Medical emergencies and falls occur unexpectedly. You may be in the garden, on the terrace or in the bathroom—you are not always near your phone. In situations where you are not able to get up and get to the phone, 911 will not be helpful.
With a medical ID necklace, however, you press the help button and the response center is notified and sends help and can read any medical conditions quickly and easily. It also notifies your loved ones.
What Do People Say About A Medical Alert System?
Reviews Of The Product
Beth P said that a medical alert system was a Godsend. She got the system for her parents after they moved to an independent living facility. She says that she felt assured with the knowledge that her parents were only a call away to help.
When a fall occurred, she and her brother were notified, and help came. Unfortunately, her parents passed away, but she retains that she has only good things to say about this product.
Malyarez’s 90-year-old father’s heart stopped beating on June 13th and he fell. The system detected the fall and a responder called the medical team who arrived within 7 minutes.
He was saved and hospitalized; he walked out of the hospital on his own just two days later. Malyarez said that the medical alert system saved the father’s life.
Bella said it brought great peace of mind. They purchased a medical alert device for her 95-year-old father who lives with them. Although he is mentally alert the device gave him the peace of mind when he was left alone for short periods of time.
It also allowed him some measure of independence when he wanted. She says they could not live without it. Sue Ames’s mother used a medical alert system for 31/2 to 4 years until she went to live in a nursing home after a fall.
While her mother lived at the independent living home, she pressed her necklace to call when she fell. The response was immediate and she was at the emergency center within an hour.
She had used this service several other times previously with excellent results. Sue says that she will use a medical necklace alert when the time comes and recommends it highly to all. Many products have flooded the market. With all their different features, sifting through can be a doubting affair.
Tips for Selecting a Device
Here are some issues to consider before buying a device:
- Fall detection.
- Range of movement (distance from the communicator).
- Sleekness and subtlety of the pendant.
- Battery life.
- Other emergencies.
Some medical alert companies have the added advantage of fall detection. This is important because sometimes a senior may fall and become unconscious, they may be confused and forget to press the help button or, in other cases, they may feel too embarrassed to press it (falling in the bathroom while naked).
When the device senses sudden movement or impact, it automatically alerts the response center and the help needed is sent and loved ones are notified.
Range Of Movement
This is about the distance that you can go while still staying protected. This depends on the company. Some devices can allow 1600 ft radius (400 m) while others only allow only 200 ft.
If you usually do the gardening, walk your pet, or generally spend time outdoors, it is best to go with the one that allows more movement.
Can you take the device with you to the store and still be protected. This feature is available for brands that use a wireless connection and is GPS enabled.
Sleekness Of The Pendant
The more subtle and sleek the pendant is the lower the chances of stigma. Some brands even come with the option of clipping the pendant on your clothes or as a bracelet.
Some companies provide pendants that can detect fire and carbon monoxide poisoning. This is an added advantage and means you are more protected.
Following are some top brands that came highly recommended.
Medical Guardian Alert System
The Advantages of This Brand Are:
- It allows 1600 ft. (400 m) of movement in any direction from the communicator.
- The pendants are subtle and sleek and have the option of being worn around the neck, wrist, or pocket.
- It has a mobile GPS-enabled version that you can take when going outside the home.
- The communicator is sleek and subtle and has a 32 hours battery life.
- The premium package upgrade has a fall-detection feature.
- The console can detect extreme temperatures and contact emergency services in case of a fire.
- The installation process is simple. It does not require any unique skill.
- The company offers free delivery.
- It does not detect carbon monoxide poisoning.
- It offers the option of a base model with more extended range (1000 ft).
- For those who don’t want to wear the pendant around their necks or wrists, the pendants come with removable belts or pocket clips.
- Sells large buttons that users can fix on walls of dangerous areas like bathrooms.
- It offers smoke and carbon monoxide sensing.
- It provides the option of a fall-detection feature.
- Users can answer their phones by pressing the button hence familiarizing them with the pendant.
- It offers its users worldwide protection. Users can carry a card that allows the responders (no matter where they are in the world) to access their medical history.
- A range of 480 ft., which is 3 times smaller than Guardian.
Bay Alarm Medical
- 1000 ft. the range of movement in any direction of the communicator.
- Offers protection through exterior walls like the yard.
- Option of wearing the pendant around your neck, your wrist, or clipping it in your pocket.
- 32 hours of battery back up.
- Carbon monoxide and smoke monitoring at an extra monthly payment.
- At an additional fee, a senior can get the fall-detection feature.
- GPS-enabled button for protection outside the house.
- No GPS tracking.
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Falls are the number one injury-related cause of death among people over 75 years old.
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