The population is getting older, and that means more and more vulnerable people to care for. There are currently 46 million people over 65 in the USA alone, and according to the Population Reference Bureau, this is set to double by 2060. Of these, 13 million are hospitalized every year according to a report by CNN.
With home care nurses needing to tend to an increasing number of elderly people, and more nurses needed to follow up these millions of visits and to prevent them happening, they have less time to spend with each patient. What do you do when there is no-one there to look after them?
Medical Alert Devices
Medical alert systems can be lifesaving tools. If an older person experiences a fall or any other type of medical emergency, they can then press these devices to receive emergency medical care. This means that they can live an independent life during the times when you can’t be there.
The National Council on Ageing stats say that one in four people over 65 have a fall each year. What happens if these people can’t get up to call for help? In these scenarios, having a medical alert system makes a huge difference. But which one to choose is a much harder question.
With hundreds of models available, some expert advice is needed. We’ve listed some of the most popular names in medical alert systems. If anything piques your interest, just click on the links below to know more from the manufacturer’s website.
To some extent, the device you may want to recommend to a patient depends on what kind of piece they want to wear. Some prefer a pendant like the Philips Lifeline, which has many testimonials from people whose lives it has saved.
Others may prefer a device they can wear around the wrist, such as those offered by Bay Alarm Medical, which some experts have called the best medical alert system you can buy.
Both of these devices, however, are very clinical looking, and some people worry that it will make them look old and helpless. Some retirees prefer something more subtle and discreet. As such, a number of companies offer medical alert devices that have been disguised as jewelry.
Top of the range is a series of bracelets by WiseWear, who teamed up with 93 year-old fashion icon Iris Apfel to create something chic to keep seniors safe. Other systems are designed to look like jewelled necklaces, wristwatches and bangles.
With most of these devices, users pay monthly for the service. However, each service has different features. The number of emergency contacts someone can have differs per package, and some devices, like the Medical Guardian Medical Alert Systems have additional features like GPS trackers.
Some services will call a patient or their emergency contact on the landline or mobile when they fall, whereas some like the Medical Care Alert system have a communication device built in, providing instant communication as soon as the button is pressed.
Prices vary wildly according to how much coverage someone needs and what additional features are needed. Plus, insurance companies will cover some but not others of these devices and features, so shopping around is definitely recommended.
Which Should You Choose?
Medical Alert Systems will definitely be useful for some of your patients (and for your peace of mind), but exactly which ones to buy will depend on what features are needed and what kind of device the user wants. However, hopefully we’ve told you everything you need to know to have a conversation with the patient that could lead to their life being saved by one of these devices.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Sally Perkins is a professional freelance writer with many years experience across many different areas. She made the move to freelancing from a stressful corporate job and loves the work-life balance it offers her. When not at work, Sally enjoys reading, hiking, spending time with her family and travelling as much as possible. Check out her comprehensive and full review of the best medical alert systems HERE.