Medical Alert Systems Can Improve Your Loved One’s Independence

Senior pressing button on emergency alert necklace

From home care and companionship services to personal emergency response systems (PERS), there are many ways you can provide care for an aging loved one without limiting their independence.

As our loved ones age, the concern of safety often lingers in the back of our minds. Often, it takes a serious incident like a heart attack or an accidental fall to spur us into action.

This can be an upsetting and traumatic moment for everyone involved. 

How could we have been more prepared? Does mom or dad need someone to watch them at all times? Are they safer living with us or in a senior home? 

And the BIGGEST question: Am I responsible for my aging parents?

People innately want to care for their loved ones, but you need to have limits. While many aging loved ones turn down the idea of senior living or live-in services, medical alert systems can provide the peace of mind you need without restricting your senior loved one from living independently.

Don’t let age restrict your senior loved one from being independent, instead show them their options!

Senior living is often a common topic after serious incidents occur, but nearly 90% of adults over 65 want to live in their current home for as long as possible. 

Sound familiar?

Many families find themselves in this situation. It’s not uncommon for loved ones to refuse assisted living and in-home caregiving services altogether, however, a combination of both in-home care services and a medical alert system can be more appealing.

If your loved one insists against personal home care services, an emergency alert system can be ideal for providing everyone with peace of mind without intruding on your loved one’s independence.

What exactly does a medical alert system do?

Medical alert systems or personal emergency response systems (PERS) offer a way of contacting 3rd party dispatch services or a loved one at the push of a button.

These systems can be connected to a cellular service for use on-the-go and outside the home. They can also be connected to landlines for homebound seniors or those who don’t often leave their homes.

There are a number of medical alert devices available that can offer your loved one independence, some with advanced features such as GPS tracking and fall detection. Systems can include devices such as bracelets, necklaces, and in-home bases that are all connected and able to contact help at the push of a button.

The best personal emergency device for your senior loved one will depend on where it will be used, the level of monitoring you need, and the types of features you want.

Do my parents need a medical alert system?

In the case of a serious incident, response time is often a critical factor. Medical alert systems guarantee your loved one will have immediate access to help even if they are alone.

Your aging loved one may need a personal emergency response system if:

  • Accidental falls have become common
  • They have problems with balance and walking
  • They are diabetic or have experienced drastic weight loss
  • They have had a stroke
  • They have had a heart attack or have heart disease
  • They have been diagnosed with a neurological disorder
  • Their home has excessive clutter or tripping hazards

Talking to your parents about medical alert systems

It’s not always easy to plan for the decline of a family member’s health and bringing up topics such as home care or medical alert systems can be difficult.

While your loved one may not be receptive to the idea at first, the fact is that medical alert systems can provide them with more independence than before.

When approaching your parents or aging loved one about senior alert systems make sure to:

Explain how medical alert systems can keep them independent. 

It’s not about you keeping an eye on your loved one or constantly monitoring them, it’s actually the opposite. Medical alert systems allow your loved one to continue doing what they have always done without extra supervision. These devices provide reassurance that help is just a button press away.

You should explain to your loved one that the wearer maintains control over when the button is pushed and whether it’s emergency services or a family member that is called. They are in full control of who to call and when to call them.

The goal is to keep your aging loved one safer while preventing delayed responses to incidents that lead to further injury.

Be clear that medical emergencies are a real threat.

Provide them with facts. There are a lot of studies on senior safety that show falls are unfortunately a common occurrence.

Did you know 1 in 4 Americans over the age of 65 will likely experience a fall this year?

In 2014, American seniors experienced 29 million falls.

The average cost for treating a fall is $30,000.

(Here are some facts you can use when talking to your loved one.)

If your loved one has already experienced a time where they needed help or they have been diagnosed with a health condition, use facts that are the most relatable to them.

Don’t force anything. 

Discussing care options with a loved one isn’t an easy task to begin with. Patronizing your loved one or forcing certain options on them can make the situation even more difficult.

Make sure you are taking the time to understand what your loved one wants before suggesting your own ideas. Always approach the conversation with respect for their feelings and concern for their well-being. 

Even if your loved one disagrees with your plan of care, remember it is ultimately their choice. At the end of the day, time is precious and you should do your best to give them your love and support their decisions.

Medical alert systems are great in combination with home care services!

In an ideal situation, your loved one could continue living independently in the comfort of their own home, without you constantly feeling worried and having to check-in.

With the right support, it’s all possible.

Many seniors are now embracing a combination of in-home care services and medical alert systems that allows them to continue living independently at home.

As a top provider of home care services in Mamaroneck, NY, we’ve partnered with Philips Lifeline to give our clients 24/7 access to help.

If you are considering home care services or are already receiving care, talk to your provider about what medical alert systems they recommend.

For more information about how to get a medical alert system for your loved one in Westchester County, NY, give us a call anytime at (914)764-7500.

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