Every year, one out of every three Americans over age 65 suffers a fall, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And 20 to 30 percent of people who fall suffer from head trauma, fractures, and other serious injuries, many of which are exacerbated when the affected individual cannot seek immediate help.
Using medical alert systems, you can call for help when you need it most. While the best medical alert system for you might not be the best system for someone else, there are some things everyone should consider before investing in a medical alert system. If you consider your needs and current situation as you make your decision, you’ll choose the medical alert system that’s best suited to your needs.
Consider How It Works
Medical alert systems can work in two ways. Some call for emergency medical help directly, while others call response centers. The former is useful, but calling an ambulance when you only need minor assistance can be both expensive and frustrating. The latter can be more universally helpful, as response centers can help you request police, firefighters, or even a helping hand from a friend or family member.
Learn About the Response Center
If you choose a system that utilizes a call center, it’s important that you learn as much about it as possible. Look for a US-based call center that’s available 24 hours a day. You may also want to ask about the training program for call center operators, as these individuals will be your lifeline when you need it most.
Ensure That It Dials Immediately
Some medical alert systems may not call for help immediately, even after a help button is pushed. Others may call, but leave you waiting on an answer from the call center. Since you’ll be relying on this system in emergency situations, you’ll want to find the one with the fastest average response time available.
Ask About Range
If you have a small home, range may not be an issue; with a larger home or yard, it’s critical to know that your medical alert system works in all areas of your property. For example, the Philips Lifeline HomeSafe system has enough power to meet the needs of most seniors.
Consider a Mobile System
Traditionally, medical alert systems were only used at home; however, today’s older Americans are more active than previous generations. If you enjoy hiking, biking, or just going for a walk around the neighborhood, a mobile system may be a good fit for you. These systems use cellular technology, in addition to GPS and WiFi, to call for help and pinpoint your exact location for first responders.
Consider Your Options
Some companies offer extras that may not be available elsewhere. Such options can include anything from automated medication dispensers to appointment reminders, to brain games that help keep your memory sharp. There are also options that make the device itself work better for some users. This can include fall-detection technology, which automatically places a call when a fall is detected.
The volume of options for medical alert systems available on the market today can feel overwhelming, making it difficult for you to determine what you want or where to start. By considering these factors, you’ll make an investment in the best medical alert system for you, and know that help is never more than a push of a button away.
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