Medical Alert Systems are a pretty new innovation in the field of elder care and you may not be that familiar with them.
It’s essentially an alarm system that an older or a disabled person can have on their person or easily accessible at home.
It will often just be a button with a strap, a speaker and a mic that can be attached to your arm and will connect to a nearby call centre when you press it.
This call centre will then communicate with you as well as contacting a nearby medical facility or whatever other service you need.
Details of you and your medical condition will be readily available at the call centre too and they will be able to contact a family member.
Have a look at this guide on alarms.org to get a better sense of the devices and what the best medical alert system on the market.
There’s a lot of people that would benefit from having one of these, and you might very well be one of them. Here’s a few reasons why you might need a medical alert system.
- Living Alone
As you get older, there’s a lot of reasons why having to spend more time alone can be a problem.
Loneliness is actually something that can have a seriously negative effect on you and can take years of your life.
But on top of this, you are putting yourself in danger of encountering some medical problem that you will need immediate assistance for.
If your circumstances have changed recently and you are no longer sharing your home with anyone, you probably aren’t think too much about this.
If you have a heart attack, a stroke or some other medical issue crops up that needs to be dealt with straight away, a medical alert system will increase your chances of survival significantly.
Being older makes you more susceptible to these issues, but a lot of them can be dealt with if medical attention gets there in time.
And if you live alone this is by no means a guarantee. No matter how healthy you are, you never know when an emergency could crop up.
Anyone who is older but still lives by themselves should get a medical alert system just in case they need it. It will give you peace of mind too.
- Certain Medical Conditions
While it’s definitely important for even the healthier members of the elderly community to have a medical alert system, it’s essential for those with worsening medical conditions.
Having to rely on people for your own health and safety is not a pleasant feeling. Most of us would like to maintain our independence for as long as possible.
And the great thing about a medical alert system is that even if you have some medical condition that requires special attention, you can still live independently.
This applies to things that could put you at immediate risk. So think about the likes of diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis or motor neuron disease.
In the case of diabetes, you could find yourself going into diabetic shock. Even if you’re careful about taking care of the disease, the older you get the more likely this is.
The other three I mentioned are all things that will affect movement and could put you at risk of falling or getting stuck.
Dementia is another illness that a medical alert system could help you with. Eventually, and this is the case with some of the other conditions I’ve mentioned, you will have to surrender control.
That’s just the nature of degenerative diseases, but you can make the early stages more bearable and keep your self-sufficiency for longer if you have one of the alarms.
Even early stage dementia patients could remember the function of the alarm if they get confused about something and it’s on their person.
- Decreased Mobility
I touched on this earlier a little bit while discussing debilitating medical conditions, but mobility tends to be affect the elderly regardless of their health.
Of course, if you’re healthier you’re probably less likely to encounter other physical issues, but our bodies do wear down over time and it’s pretty unavoidable.
If you notice that you’re more unsteady on your feet, or you are starting to feel stiff or in pain while you move around, it might be the safest option to invest in one of these devices.
Don’t wait until you actually fall. The unfortunate fact is that is probably going to happen to you at some point.
As we get older we tend to move with the mindset that we are still young. Muscle memory is hard to shake and even though our bodies aren’t up for it anymore, we still try to push through.
It’s healthy to keep yourself active when your body is starting to get less reliable, but it also puts you at risk of falling.
There isn’t a whole lot of point in just assuming that it’s not going to happen to you. Just get the medical alert system once the signs of decreased mobility start showing.
You never know, you might actually be one of the lucky ones that never falls, but it would still be wise to be prepared for the possibility.
As you’ve probably guessed, the general attitude that I have towards these machines is that it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Hopefully, you’ll never have to push that button, but you’ll feel safer and the people who love you will be more at ease if they know that you’ve got it at hand.