Medical alert systems act as vital life-saving tools that can assist seniors in vulnerable life moments. In the case of an accident, fall, or sudden illness at home, these systems are particularly valuable. Help can be alerted, and assistance on the way, in less than one minute.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heart disease was the number one cause of death in those over age 65 in 2010. When a medical emergency occurs, early intervention almost always improves the chances of a full recovery. In fact, the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute points out the importance of early treatment for heart attacks, emphasizing that survival rates are greatly improved if care is received quickly.
Falls are another health issue that can be treated more quickly thanks to a medical alert system. According to the CDC, one of every three adults over the age of 65 falls each year. A quarter of them suffer moderate or severe injuries. Of the 2.3 million seniors treated for fall injuries in U.S. emergency rooms during 2010, more than 662,000 required hospitalization.
The four key benefits of a medical alert system include:
- Help When You Need It: Medical alert systems are monitored 24 hours a day, seven days a week. These systems can dispatch family members or responders you’ve previously identified, an ambulance, police, or fire personnel within moments. This means you can receive the assistance you want and need, even if it won’t require medical treatment.
- Ease of Use: These systems are specifically designed to be easy to use. They are typically worn on the wrist or around the neck, and open a two-way communication channel with the push of a button. This means that seniors who have been incapacitated don’t need to go anywhere or even shout in order to get help. There is no need to reach for a phone, remember numbers to dial or even press more than one button.
- Peace of Mind: According to a study published in Age and Aging, it is not uncommon for seniors to develop a fear of falling. This fear can shake their confidence, making them scared to continue many of their physical activities. When seniors limit movement, their mobility and balance decline. This actually increases the risk of falling. Knowing that help is available if something happens can offer great peace of mind, both for seniors and for their families.
Medical alert systems are far more than just a communication device. For seniors, they are a link to the help they may need when they need it most. With the confidence gained from knowing help is available, and possibly some extra support services offered through the systems, many seniors are able to remain in their own homes longer.