Senior Medical Alarms
Tips for Choosing the Best Medical Alert System
When do you need to consider senior medical alarms for your elderly loved one?
I think the answer should be sooner rather than later.
There are certain conditions, medications and diagnosis that make an elderly person more at risk, but the single most important factor is age itself.
Once you have determined that now is the right time, you then are going to be faced with so many options that are available on the market today that the choices can get overwhelming.
The first thing you should look at is why you need senior medical alarms in the first place and then narrow down your choices from there.
Senior Medical Alarms for Fall Risks
If your loved one has fallen in the past, chances are they will fall again within six months. Of course, it would be best to prevent all falls, but that is not a realistic goal.
If you are looking for a system because your loved one has a history of falls, or is at high risk to fall, there are some things you will really need to think about.
A large majority of falls occur in the bathroom. An alarm system will usually only work if the button is triggered. Will your loved one have access to the alarm in the bathroom? Is the alarm system waterproof?
Another thing to consider with high fall risk elderly is their ability to remember to push the alarm. If mom can't remember to turn off the stove when she is not under physical or emotional stress, how is she going to remember to push a button if she has fallen and broken a hip and is under severe physical pain and emotional distress??
If you are at home all of the time with your elderly loved one and they are at risk for falls, you might want to consider a simple
Does your mom enjoy working in the yard outside? Will the senior medical alarms you are considering function that far away from the base? These are questions you will need to ask any provider.
Senior Medical Alarms for Wandering
Wandering, and the potential to wander, is common with all people with a dementia diagnosis. It can be very frightening, and life threatening.
If your loved one has a history of wandering, please consider getting a
GPS tracking system
in combination with a medical alert system. Being able to locate them quickly if they should wander is the key to saving lives.
There was an instance in our medical community where an elderly man wandered away from a rehab unit. He did not have a history of wandering, nor a diagnosis of dementia but he still left the building and wandered away. Not more than about 50 yards away, he fell in a ditch, broke his hip, and died before emergency personnel could locate him.
I don't mean to frighten you, just to make you aware of how serious this is. If your loved one has a history of wandering or a diagnosis of dementia, the GPS option may be the best option for you.
Senior Medical Alarms for Medical Conditions
If your loved one has a diagnosis that could make them loose consciousness, make sure the alarm system you chose will be able to summon assistance in the event they are unable to push a button.
There are passive medical alert systems that monitor movement and sound within the home. This may be the best option for you if your loved one has diabetes, heart issues or a history of TIA's or mini strokes.
These are the questions I would encourage you to ask when considering any of the senior medical alarms.
- What is the start up costs?
- What are the monthly fees?
- How far away will the unit work from the base (range)?
- Does the company provide monitoring?
- Is there a cancellation fee?
- Can your system be upgraded if new problems occur?
- Does the company offer a variety of services, from simple help buttons to passive monitoring to GPS tracking?
- What is the company's status with the Better Business Bureau?
- Do they provide references?
Always ask the questions you need to ask and do not get pressured into any sale. A company that can provide a free home evaluation, so you are sure you are getting what you need, would be high on my list of good companies.
On any website for any company, only glowing testimonials will be given. Please take the time to look for complaints also, but you will probably have to do an internet search on "complaints" for that specific company.
With all there senior medical alarms out there, you will find a system that works best for your unique situation. My best advice is to first look at the features you need and then chose among the companies that provide exactly what you are looking for in a medical alert system.
You may want to first review the different
types of monitoring
available to help you determine which system is best for you.
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