Impaired physical mobility isn’t rare in seniors. Sometimes it’s a vision problem that makes it difficult to get around, and other times it’s an accident or illness that’s left you unsteady on your feet.
About 900,000 seniors (or 3 percent nationwide) use wheelchairs due to limited physical mobility, according to 2002 reports compiled by UCSF’s Disability Statistics Center. Many more depend on canes or walkers to get around, and others could benefit from having an assistive device of some kind.
For those with impaired physical mobility, a medical alert device is one of the most important investments you can make for your safety and independence. They also add a level of comfort, knowing that help is never more than a button-push away.
Impaired physical mobility can leave you more at risk of falling than others. This is why using a wheelchair, walker, or cane is so important. They can prevent falls and help you overcome any issues with balance or physical mobility. Still, accidents can happen. And when they do, it can be difficult to get up on your own. After a fall, you could be hurt and on the floor for hours or even days before someone finds you if you live alone — meaning that you’re at risk for not only fall injuries, but also dehydration, pressure sores, hypothermia, and more. With a medical alert system, you can get help at the touch of a button.
As the US population ages, the number of people living with impaired physical mobility has increased. At the same time, the number of seniors living alone has also skyrocketed.
The Administration on Aging reports that in 2010, about 29 percent of all seniors (and 47 percent of women over age 75) were living alone. Today’s seniors want to stay in their own homes and remain independent for as long as possible. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, nine out of every ten seniors want to remain in their own home.
When you live alone, it’s important to have a plan in place in case of emergency. A fall, illness, or other issue could happen at any time. A medical alert device gives you a way to contact help that you can depend on.
Along with impaired physical mobility come other difficult situations none of us want to face. They aren’t exactly emergencies, but they could quickly become an issue if not properly dealt with — for example, when you struggle to get out of the shower or find that your wheelchair or walker is out of reach.
This is why medical alert systems don’t always have to summon an ambulance to your home. Choosing a system that has a live operator and allows you to specify whom you would like to call is always a good idea. Then you can request a friend or a loved one if you’re in a position where you are not injured but simply need some assistance.
Living with impaired physical mobility can be scary and even make you question whether you can continue to live independently. Installing a medical alert system in your home can give you the feeling of safety and security you’ve been looking for to help you be confident and comfortable living in your own home. It may even help you remain more active and independent longer.