Falls are the leading cause of injury-related visits to U.S. emergency departments, according to American Family Physician. While reasons behind falls can differ, the chance of having a serious fall increases as you age. About 9,500 deaths in older Americans are associated with falls each year. However, using a medical alert system can reduce long lie times associated with falls and improve health outcomes while providing seniors the peace of mind they deserve.
But where do you start? With so many alert system devices on the market, it’s easy to become confused or frustrated. Knowing what to consider as you search for the right medical alert system will help you make an informed decision and more quickly protect yourself.
What Should You Consider When Choosing an Alert System?
A medical alert system is an alarm monitor designed to summon help in the event of a hazard or pending emergency. Most systems have a wireless pendant or transmitter that can be activated in an emergency. When the alarm is activated, a signal travels to an alarm-monitoring station and responders can be notified and dispatched. But not all alarms are created equal. Keep these factors in mind when looking for the best system for you.
- Weight: Users of medical alert systems generally wear the device on a body part such as around the wrist or neck. Weight is a key consideration for this reason. Alert systems that are too heavy may become bothersome for seniors. In addition, the user may get in the habit of removing the device during bedtime or during meals to prevent irritation. Ensure that your system is the right size and weight for your body type and strength level.
- Reliability of System: While many medical alert system exist, some are not as dependable as others. When researching alert companies, check the Better Business Bureau to make sure the company you are considering is reputable and has not had a significant amount of complaints. Research whether the device maker has had any recent recalls of their products.
- Company Experience: Quality is one of the most important aspects of a medical alert system. You want a system that is well made by a company that has significant experience creating them. Ensure the system manufacturer has the right knowledge and experience to meet your needs.
- Easy to use: An alert system that is comfortable and easy to use is important. Devices should operate in the background of a senior’s life and not disrupt their daily activities. Routines such as showering or dressing should not be impacted by the alert device. The system’s operation should also be easy to understand and simple to explain to others.
- Device options: Consider what options you want available in your alert system. For instance, do you want your alert system to have an auto alert option? An auto alert function can detect falls and summon help if a senior is unable to use the system him or herself.
Ensuring Your Medical Alert System Is Best for You
The risk of falling or becoming injured is an unfortunate reality in life especially as you age. It’s normal to have many questions about how to prevent falls and to wonder what medical alert system will best protect you. Another option is asking your doctor or a friend what medical alert system they would recommend. Make sure you explain what you want out of a medical alert system. With a little time and research, you will find the right medical alert system for your lifestyle.