Medical Alert System Advancements for Active Seniors
by Attorney Alan Hougum
There is a common misconception that medical alert systems are for frail, home-bound older adults. While that is true, medical alert systems have evolved in recent years to accommodate older adults with active lifestyles.
Medical alert systems have aided many people and saved countless lives over the past several decades, even though they have changed very little in the services they offer. A user can choose to wear a pin, bracelet, or lanyard with an emergency call button. This device connects remotely to an in-home central unit and, when the button is pressed, an emergency dispatcher talks through the home unit like a person on speaker phone.
Newer medical alert systems employ some of these characteristics, while also providing features that go well beyond the tried-and-true traditional model. With the explosion of technology, new mobile alert devices provide near limitless coverage for seniors who spend much of their time away from home.
Whereas home-based systems have a small range of emergency connectivity, mobile systems allow seniors to move about freely. Mobile alert devices come in traditional forms like pendants and bracelets, but function similarly to smartphones in that they rely on cellular networks to connect directly to emergency monitoring agents. These devices can be more practical than smartphones, which also have emergency capabilities built in, as long as seniors wear the mobile accessories. For instance, seniors can summon help if they slip in the shower, suffer from heat exhaustion, or have an allergic reaction to a medication impacting their speech. Many devices also come with fall sensors that will automatically trigger an alert if a fall-like motion is detected.
Mobile systems utilize a wider-range of technology features and options than in-home systems, such as GPS location. This is especially important if a senior loved one becomes lost, is easily confused, or struggles to communicate effectively. Some GPS systems even link to online maps that can share a senior loved one’s physical location with their caregivers or adult children.
Thanks to new mobile technologies, senior adults who are concerned about these issues no longer have to be confined to their homes to use these important emergency safety systems.
While it is not always easy or convenient to ensure that you or your aging loved ones have the necessary support, try to make time to address concerns as they arise.
If you have questions about this or any elder care issue, we encourage you to schedule a complimentary appointment with Attorney Alan Hougum at (715)843-5001.