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.

When a medical emergency strikes, early intervention dramatically increases the odds of experiencing a positive outcome. Strokes, heart attacks, asthma attacks and allergic reactions can all be life-threatening; however, rapid response from medical professionals has been shown to improve the survival rates from these and many other critical conditions.

Medical alert systems can help to ensure that assistance arrives quickly in an emergency situation, and in some cases, medical alert systems can even save lives. Although these small, affordable devices are largely marketed as being useful in the event of a medical emergency, the fact is that medical alert subscribers can use their wearable help button to summon help in many different situations.

Below are some common situations where a medical alert system could save lives.

Accidental Falls

While anyone can trip and fall, older adults are especially vulnerable to suffering from a life-threatening fall. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that accidental falls are the leading cause of injury-related deaths among seniors aged 65 and older.

Risk factors such as poor balance, side effects from common medications and pre-existing medical conditions increase the odds that a senior will experience a serious fall, and the longer it takes for help to arrive, the greater the chances that the fall victim will perish from their injuries. Even a simple fracture can be fatal for older adults, which is why medical alert systems are widely recommended for seniors.

Many medical alert companies now offer help buttons with built-in sensors that detect when a wearer suffers a sudden fall. This feature is known as automatic fall detection, and it triggers a call for help without any input from the user. When the monitoring center operator answers the call, they’ll quickly assess the situation, and if the user can’t respond, 9-1-1 will be called immediately.

House Fires

According to the National Fire Protection Association, adults age 65 and older are twice as likely to perish in a house fire than the general population. Seniors often have mobility issues, vision loss and existing medical conditions that limit their ability to escape from a fire, and the same is true for people with disabilities.

Medical alert systems can help save lives in the event of a fire by eliminating the need to get to a phone to call for help. Medical alert users can activate their help button by touch alone, while the call monitoring center will immediately send firefighters and medics to assist.

Robberies, Assaults and Break-Ins

Nobody wants to think that they’ll be the victim of a violent criminal act, but the unfortunate reality is that seniors, women and people with disabilities are often seen as an easy target by criminals.

Although medical alert systems are largely promoted for use in a medical emergency, these systems can also be used to call for help during home invasions, muggings and assaults. And unlike a landline or cellular phone, medical alert devices are discreet, lightweight and easy to wear 24 hours a day, making them a valuable tool for anyone who wants added protection against violence.

Automobile Crashes

You may not have realized that a mobile medical alert system can be invaluable if you are involved in a car crash, but these wireless devices can be used to call for help in any situation, including automobile accidents.

It’s easier and quicker to simply press the help button on a medical alert smartwatch or pendant than it is to locate and dial a cell phone, and that’s especially true if you’re suffering from shock or you’ve been injured in a car crash and you can’t reach your cell phone. In fact, many mobile medical alert systems include GPS location tracking that lets the emergency call center pinpoint your exact location so the operator can let first responders know exactly where help is needed.