Stacey Burling works for the Philadelphia Inquirer. Her mother, 83 years old, was in her yard feeding the birds, when her four-legged cane slipped on the ground and she fell over. She had a difficult time getting up and lay there on the ground. Fortunately, her son lived nearby and was able to come to her aid, though he had a difficult time physically getting her back on her feet.
Some senior citizens may spend a lot of time alone and not be totally mobile. Senior citizens who enjoy a certain amount of independence might find that they unexpectedly slip or fall and might not be able to get back on their feet. In some cases it can be very serious if there is bleeding involved, as was the case with veteran journalist Daniel Schorr who fell off the stool when putting on his shoes, hitting his head on the doorframe and lay bleeding. His wife didn’t hear him, as she was downstairs listening to the radio.
AARP recommends a medical alert system for seniors. Schorr, who was 93 at the time of his fall, had a medical emergency alert pendant and his wife received a phone call from a University Hospital operator, she was able to respond quickly, and Schorr received needed medical attention.
If you decide that you or a loved one would benefit from a medical alert system, please keep these points in mind:
- Do your homework before buying a medical alert system. Compare different devices and programs. Determine what type of medical alert device would be best for you or your loved one. A pendant type hangs around the neck of the senior. Is it something that he or she would easily be able to use in the case of an emergency?
- Compare costs of the system. How much is the equipment? How much is the monthly cost? Is there a cancellation fee? Are there any hidden fees? Make sure everything is in writing and read the fine print before signing up for a system.
- For a medical alert system to be effective, service should be available 24/7. Make sure that they are actively monitoring 100% of the time.
- A good medical alert system should come with at least a 30 day trial period with money back guarantee.
- Get any technical details you can about the system. How does it transmit the message? Who and how will someone be contacted in the event of an emergency. Does the manner of communication fit in with you and your loved one’s style of life and communication, or will it require difficult adjustments to be effective?
By choosing a medical alert device wisely, you may have greater peace of mind. A medical alert system for a senior in your life might be something that gives you and your loved senior an added sense of security. By doing research beforehand, you might easily make a small investment that can prove to be of value should you or your loved one experience a large or small accident in or outside the home.