Today’s seniors are living longer lives than their predecessors. In fact, the population of people aged 65 and older has increased tenfold in the last century, and ABC News claims the elderly are living in more comfort and better health than ever before. As a consequence, this development has also led to an increased need for ensuring our elderly have safe homes.
With more elderly wanting to keep their independence there has been an explosion in safety devices. A medical alert system — often referred to as a personal emergency response system (PERS), medical emergency response system (MERS) or fall monitor — can provide increased independence for our loved ones and peace of mind for us as family caregivers.
When selecting a medical alert system, start by evaluating your loved one’s specific needs and abilities — both now and how they might change in the future. For example, if she has dementia, would she understand how to operate a system? Or is something automatic, like a fall-detection device, more appropriate? Does she have a disorder, such as aphasia, that will make communicating with a call center difficult?
And note that for any of these devices, you might ask if a free trial period is offered so you and your loved one can see what works best.
Things to considerare what services will best suit you are your loved one. The most common is a pendent that can be worn around the neck or on the wrist. With a press of a button it will call for help. Wearable devices with buttons to push for help may connect to a live person or directly to emergency services (fire department, police).
There are other more advanced devices which monitor more:
Fall detection or prevention. One in 3 people over age 65 fall every year — perhaps the most common motivator for obtaining a medical alert.
Medical monitoring. Including medication reminders and monitoring health vitals
GPS location detection and tracking. Useful if your loved one is still driving and relatively independent
Activity monitoring. Motion detectors and beacons that track movement in the home
Daily check-in services. Via a live person or electronic check-in
Fitness tracking. Including built-in step counters and tools offering information, health challenges and virtual family connections
Home security monitoring. For fire, smoke and carbon monoxide
It will depend upon the person as to which device will serve them best. Take the time to look into a device for your loved one. Or give Coastal Concierge a call and we can work with you on a care plan and which device would be best.
Coastal Concierge At your service