Seniors in good health usually want to live independently as long as possible. Inevitably, family and friends will worry — because that’s what loved ones do. They worry, they nag, and they make helpful suggestions such as, “Wouldn’t you be more comfortable in assisted living (or living with us), where you wouldn’t have a care in the world?”
If your answer is a resounding, “NO,” a medical alert system (also called a personal emergency response system or PERS) can allay their fears and protect you at the same time. A medical alert device is an investment that could save you money in the long run — and keep you safe. We’ll take a look at how, but first, let’s set the scene.
Medical Alert Systems Are the First Line of Defense After a Fall
As Golden Girl Sophia Petrillo (Estelle Getty) would say, “Picture it.” You’ve had a fall, but you’re in too much pain to get up. What could have been a bad bruise or similar minor but painful injury has become much worse in your effort to reach a phone. Now, you’ve suffered a fractured hip. Instead of a little first aid, you need surgery. After surgery, you’ll visit a rehab center for a few weeks before coming home.
Now, picture this instead: You press a button on your medical alert system, and help is on the way. You simply relax and breathe deeply until it arrives. After a visit to the doctor, you’re free to come home, recover, and resume most of your daily activities. At worst, you’ll require someone to stay with you for a night or two.
In the worst-case scenario, our hypothetical situation above results in hip surgery. Medicare Part A (hospital/skilled nursing facility coverage) carries a $1,216 deductible before benefits kick in. We need not go any further in this example to prove the point, but you’re still not through paying. Medicare Part B (doctor coverage, including in-hospital doctors) requires a 20 percent copay. Ambulance service, when authorized, also requires a 20 percent copay. You can see how a small monthly payment for an alert device can end up saving you money.
Investment in Your Health and Well-Being
Even more important than saving money is the ability to have access to help at your fingertips. If you should suffer a stroke or heart attack, time is of the essence. A medical alert system gives you access to help 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, just by pressing a button. That’s a lot of peace of mind for you and your loved ones.
We’ve seen that a PERS can prevent further injury, lower health care costs, and bring peace of mind — all at a reasonable cost. But the most important thing a medical alert system can provide is continued independence, allowing you to live life to the fullest without worrying about receiving help in case of injury or sudden illness. The ability to come and go as you please without worry is not only precious, it’s priceless.