How to Talk to Your Loved Ones About Medical Alert Systems
COVID-19 Update: Since the medical alert industry is considered to be “essential” during the COVID crisis, monitoring and customer service centers are still open and ready to help. To learn more about how a medical alert device can help keep you or your elderly loved one safe and connected during this pandemic, take a look at our list of essential products for seniors during COVID-19.
Medical alert systems can provide security and peace of mind to subscribers, their families and their caregivers. But despite the benefits, some older adults are reluctant to use a medical alert device. Keep reading for tips on how to have a productive, caring conversation with your loved ones about signing up for a medical alert system.
Let Them Know Medical Alert Systems Have Evolved
When consumer-grade medical alert systems were first introduced, the bracelets and pendants were relatively bulky and unattractive. Early medical alert buttons looked like medical devices, and that image has stayed with may people.
Show your loved ones how far medical alert technology has come by reviewing our list of the Best Medical Alert Systems of 2020. On this list, you’ll find a wide range of wearable panic buttons that look nothing like those first medic alert devices.
A number of cellular-enabled medical alert smartwatches are now on the market. These wrist-mounted panic buttons are modern, discrete and equipped with practical features such as voice-to-text messaging, integrated calendars and localized weather forecast apps, making medical alert watches perfect for anyone who’s always on the go.
A number of medical alert pendants also double as fashion jewelry, complete with interchangeable gemstone covers that users can mix and match to complement their favorite outfits. There’s even an in-home medical alert system that eliminates the need for a wearable button altogether by using motion sensors, pull cords and voice-activation technology.
Focus on the Facts
If your loved ones feel that medical alert systems are only for people who are frail, elderly or disabled, let them know that’s simply not true.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, 1 in 4 seniors aged 65 and older suffers from at least one fall each year, and falling once doubles the odds of experiencing another fall. Also, 1 in 5 falls results in serious injuries, such as broken bones and traumatic brain injuries, that can make it impossible to reach a phone to call for help.
Many medical alert systems are now equipped with fall-detection technology that triggers a call to the emergency monitoring center automatically, and that can make all the difference when it comes to achieving a good outcome after a fall.
Medical alert systems aren’t just for medical emergencies — activating a medical alert button is far faster, and easier, than dialing 911 for help in any type of emergency. Medical alert users can quickly contact authorities through their wearable medical alert smartwatch, wrist button or pendant in case of a fire, break-in or in situations where there’s a concern over personal safety. In fact, medical alert buttons are ideal for lone workers, commuters, runners and people who are at risk of domestic abuse.
Emphasize the Benefits of a Medical Alert System
Medical alert systems can help older adults and people living with disabilities retain their independence, making it possible for them to age in place in their own home without compromising their safety and security.
Be sure to point out the following benefits when talking with your loved ones about medical alert systems:
- Medical alert systems start at less than $20 per month, which is less than the cost of a cup of coffee daily.
- Users can choose between a number of discrete, low-maintenance panic buttons that can be worn either on the wrist or as a pendant.
- Most medical alert systems come with a battery backup, so users can still call for help even during a power outage.
- Unlike cell phones that need to be recharged daily, most medical alert buttons have maintenance-free built-in batteries that last for years.
- Medical alert devices can be worn in the shower or bath.
- Many medical alert companies now offer cellular-powered systems, so users don’t have to maintain a landline to support a medical alert device.
- Some medical alert monitoring companies offer daily safety checks, and that can help take the pressure off of caregivers and family members.
- In case of an emergency, monitoring center operators can relay critical medical information to first responders.
- Medical alert subscribers can usually opt to have a neighbor, family member or caregiver contacted when they activate their medical alert button.
Remember that your loved ones might need some time to think about getting a medical alert system. Take the time to listen to any concerns they might have, show them the various options and features, and focus on how using a medical alert system can help them remain independent while giving you and your family members added peace of mind.