The medical alert industry has come to the aid of many patients and seniors. Medical alert systems have been undergoing constant development over the years. For those looking to purchase medical alert systems for the first time, it might be quite a challenge choosing the right device. Each gadget has its own unique advantage and function. In most cases, adult children purchase medical alert systems for their elderly parents.
What are Medical Alert Systems?
Medical alert systems are devices that provide monitoring inside and out of the home. They are used by persons with medical issues and the elderly to call for help in the event of an emergency. What features should you look for?
1. Fall Detection
Statistics show that falls are the most common type of emergencies among seniors. Weakened balance and underlying medical conditions in seniors can lead to dangerous falls. In some instances, people may get trapped or be unable to get back on their feet, leading to further injury. Medical alert systems with fall detection are increasingly coming in handy for seniors.
Some devices have as high as 95 % accuracy in fall detection. When one is about to fall or has fallen, the medical alert system calls emergency medical services and notifies the immediate caregivers. This can help save lives and reduce further injuries.
You need to be fully aware of the actual cost. Are there any discounts, and can the insurance cover any part of the price? What about the cancellation policy? Can you opt-out of the contract at any given time? Do they offer to ship, and at what cost? Are there any extra hidden charges?
Medical devices usually require a monthly subscription for the monitoring services. Avoid companies with long-term contracts. You may also need to avoid paying subscription fees in advance because you may need to temporarily halt the services.
3. Water Resistance
Both wearable and stationary medical alert systems need to have a water-resistant outer shell. Users can call for help in the bathroom or under wet outdoor conditions like when it is raining. When shopping for medical alert systems, medical experts from CPOE.org recommend looking for devices that are 100% waterproof and safe to wear when taking a bath. Ensure that the call button is also waterproof.
4. Easy to Wear
Seniors and other users with medical conditions want a discreet device that can be worn with almost any outfit. Since they are everyday companions, bulky devices may be uncomfortable for some. Users may also experience stigma associated with wearing a device that shows you need help.
A situation like this one might lead to them not wearing the medical alert systems at all. To mitigate this risk, more companies are designing wearable devices that look like typical gadgets such as wristwatches, necklaces, wristbands, and pendants. Look out for smooth designs that can be integrated and even interchanged with daily outfits.
5. Battery Life
What is the medical alert system’s power source? Is it battery powered or can you connect it to electricity at home? A device with low or no battery might be useless in case of an emergency. Be sure to look out for medical alert systems with long battery life.
6. Integrated Reminders
Seniors and other users of medical alert systems might need to be reminded to take their daily medication. Some of these devices come with an in-built reminder function, similar to calendar reminders on mobile phones. Reminders for events such as medical checkups, exercise, or taking medication can be easily set up.
7. Range and Connectivity
Ensure that the range covered by the medical alert system is sufficient and known by the users. Can they use the devices in the outdoors, for instance? Can they go shopping and still be within the range of the base unit? Can the device connect to a mobile phone, or is it landline-based? Understand the range fully in which the device can operate to avoid any unpleasant surprises.
8. Activity Monitoring
Medical alert systems should have features that allow caregivers to monitor users. For instance, there should be a call button that can be pressed at set intervals to signal caregivers that the users are fine. Similarly, any unusual activity should trigger an alert.
9. Response Time
Medical emergencies necessitate immediate response within seconds. Does the company that owns the device have its own response center, or do they outsource? Does the device have a voice feature to allow operators to speak with the users? Avoid companies that take long to respond to emergencies.
Medical alert systems ensure that your loved one gets immediate help the moment they need it. It is also a convenient way to keep tabs with them and give them the necessary support while living away from them. Most importantly, these devices improve security and give you the reassurance that your loved ones are fine.