We’ve all seen those, “Help! I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” commercials — and while the acting could use some work, the message remains as relevant as ever. An older person or someone with health issues may be home alone and find themselves in a medical emergency, with no way to get help.
Picture your loved one in a dire situation — choking, experiencing a stroke, or tumbling down a flight of stairs. Accidents and injuries happen all the time, and getting help for themselves is not always physically possible.
This is a dangerous reality that medical alert systems and devices (also known as personal emergency response systems) can help prevent. These convenient high-tech gadgets often worn by those who may need aid in a potentially life-threatening situation are not as costly as you may imagine. Our vybe urgent care team is here to help you understand what’s available to you and your loved ones. Let’s talk basics!
Selecting the Right Device
There are numerous medical alert systems available today, each with its own selling points and special features. Selecting one that works for you or a loved one is a personal decision depending on factors such as lifestyle, mobility, and budget. If you’re in the market, PC Magazine tested dozens and chose their nine favorites. This group took battery life, help buttons, range of service, and reminders (like when to take your medications) all into consideration when making their recommendations.
There are many differences between devices, starting with how they are worn. Some devices are hung around the neck, others are worn like a wristwatch, and several are carried on a keychain. The device a person chooses may depend on what they find the most convenient and comfortable, however, they all function similarly.
For those who rarely leave the house, choosing a device that connects to a landline for emergency calls makes the most sense. For the more active individual, one that’s cellular/mobile or hooked into a GPS may be a better fit.
Features and Functionality
Most devices activate and reach out to an emergency responder only when the wearer presses the panic button, but some can detect falls on their own and connect to the call center.
In addition to wearable devices, there are also base units available to be placed somewhere in the home easily accessible to the individual, perhaps by the front door or in the bedroom. These one-button gadgets, often voice-activated, make reaching a responder more streamlined than calling 911. Those who choose a wearable can have a base unit placed in their home as a second layer of safety — just in case they’re not wearing their device at the time of emergency.
The person using the medical alert system can set up their service so that a trusted family member or friend will also be alerted in case of emergency. It can be configured so that this person is contacted directly, or the responder can connect with them to inform them of their loved one’s situation.
Another useful feature of many of these systems is a list of the person’s medical information that would be important to have on hand if an ambulance needs to be dispatched, such as blood type, allergies, and any preexisting conditions.
Cost varies for these systems – from the price of the product itself to the monthly fees. That being said, peace of mind is priceless. If you or someone you care about could live a better life with a medical alert system, talk to your doctor or an existing customer for a recommendation. You can also review the aforementioned PC Magazine’s “Best Of” list, just published this June, or check out the Consumer Reports round-up.
Technology is getting smarter by the second, allowing gadgets such as these to only get better. Now is the time to invest in something potentially lifesaving. None of us want to be like those ailing actors in the commercials, nor do we want someone we love to find themselves in a paralyzing predicament. Medical Alert Systems can make all the difference!
If you or someone close to you has been injured or is experiencing pain or another medical issue, visit your local vybe urgent care for immediate attention.