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Caregiver Insights: Senior In Home Care

Medical Alert Systems: 7 Important Tips

By Patrick Philbrick-Director on Jun 4, 2016 2:16:56 PM

Medical Alert Systems

The IT boom is leading to many advantages of technology for seniors. Medical alert systems have come a long way in recent years. Most seniors don't realize the benefits of theses systems, and areMedical_Alert_System.jpg commonly reluctant to use them.  Here are 7 important features to look for when choosing the right company.

Medical alert systems have come a long way in the last few years. Most elderly loved ones are resistant to these devices because they are afraid it will bring out the "National Gaurd." We learn to be independent as we grow out of childhood, solving problems on our own, and depending less on others, as others become more and more dependent on us. So to reverse this trend after scores of decades is not easy. But the truth is, these systems can actually keep us independent for longer. Since falls are the#1 reason people over 65 go to the ER, and 30% of those have extended hospital stays, preventing these kind of falls with medical alert systems can be very beneficial in keeping us home and aging in place.

1) Find out what kind of phone system you have:

Many of today's internet providers also provide home phone service through what are known as VOIP systems. If your home safety components work only through conventional copper land lines, your system may not be compatible.

2) Don’t sign up for extended contracts:

The better providers will allow you to pay for your service from month to month, with the ability to cancel anytime without a cancellation penalty.

3) Waterproof:

You want to make sure you can wear your device, whether you get a necklace or a bracelet, in the shower or bath, since this is where most falls occur.

4) Automatic Fall Detection:

Although this technology isn’t perfect, it’s come a long way and works pretty well now. Phillips Lifeline and ADT both have outstanding devices with these features. They have installed accelerometers that detect a sudden impact and are calibrated precisely for falls.

5) Alert that can go to Friends and Family first:

You’ll want a system that will alert people on a list that you have personally chosen before 911 gets notified. This list can include your children, neighbors, your home care services agency, even your doctor. When we survey seniors, this is their number one objection to fall alert devices, they “don’t want to make a big fuss.”

6) Quick answers from their 800 Help Line:

Make sure to ask about the response time if you have to call in with a problem or question. You want a company that will respond immediately 24/7.

7) What is the range of the device?

A system won’t do you much good if it doesn’t work back in your bedroom, bathroom, or out in the garden or garage. Make sure the vendor demonstrates and tests the range of the device throughout all the areas in your home.

Download our free guide on how to do a safety inspection for a seniors home:

Senior In Home Safety Assessment

 References:

Conumer Reports Guide to Medical Alert Systems

 

Topics: Home Care Options, Senior Care Technology, Senior Care Tips Sacramento CA