Talking to Your Parents About a Medical Alert Device

Video Transcript

We know how stressful it is when your parent or loved one gets older. Often they are reluctant to make small lifestyle changes, like using a medical alert service -- even if it could save their life.

You know it provides quick access to reliable help in case of a fall or other emergency, but having an honest conversation about a medical alert device can be awkward and difficult. You're bound to hear many objections.

Philips Lifeline has been around for over 40 years, and we've heard them all. You want to be aware of their fears and ease their concerns. Here's how:

Your loved one may say they don't need it: The truth is 33 percent of seniors fall. And with a chronic condition, that likelihood increases significantly.

A medical alert service is a safety measure, like a seatbelt. It can be a lifesaver, but most of the time, it's not needed. Even still, we always buckle up.

They may say they can't afford it: Adding a monthly expense is always difficult, especially for those on a tight budget. But not having quick access to help in case of a fall or incident can lead to long lie times and medical complications resulting in increased medical expenses, like a prolonged hospital stay of long-term care costs.

While there is a cost associated with a medical alert service, it is far less than the costs that could be incurred without it.

They may think their cell phone is enough in the case of an emergency: But, mobile phones aren't enough. When a fall occurs, it may not be accessible or within reach. Or, the battery may not be charged.

It's much more reliable to use a medical alert device. The button is worn, and since it's waterproof, it's always accessible -- even in the shower. And, features like AutoAlert fall detection call for help if a fall is detected, even if your parent is unable to press the button. And GoSafe offers on-the-go protection with six location technologies.  

When your parent or loved one says they don't want to wear a medical alert device: What they're really saying is they're embarrassed and they don't want people to seeit. You need to be truly empathetic. This is a real concern. It's not about vanity.

Show them how the pendant can be worn under clothes. Some devices can be worn on the wrist, like a watch. No one will even notice.

Remember when you and your parents had "the talk"? Timing is everything.

Choose a quiet location, a familiar environment, and speak in non-threatening, empathetic tones. You don't want to be negative, but be realistic. If your parent has recently suffered a fall, been diagnosed with an illness, or has been feeling weaker, it's a good time to discuss the added protection a medical alert device offers.

Convince them to use a medical alert device so they can continue to live independently and to the things they love.

Learn About Philips Lifeline Medical Alert Systems

More Resources for Having the Talk