Medical alert systems can be fixed, in-home systems or mobile systems the person takes with them. They alert first responders to health emergencies and provide relevant details.
The elderly are the most common users of medical alert systems, but hardly the only ones.
In the list below our health experts detail the 10 most important benefits of medical alert systems.
10 Benefits Of Medical Alert Systems
If you are curious about medical alert systems read on to learn about their many benefits.
1: Medical alert systems are affordable.
Of course some are more affordable than others. But the point is that if you are on a budget, it is still possible to get a high-quality medical alert system that won’t force you to choose between safety and eating (1). Before you purchase one of these systems, you should also check to see if your insurance will cover some or all of the cost. Some private insurers will.
2: Medical alert systems are easy to use.
At least the best ones are. And that’s the way it should be. A person shouldn’t need an engineering degree to be able to use their medical alert system. After all, the rest of us can take advantage of all types of plug-and-play technology. So there’s no good reason why a medical alert system should be any more difficult to set up and use than an Xbox controller. Keep in mind that medical alert systems tend to get more complicated to set up if they are integrated into larger systems, like home security systems. This is another reason to buy a stand-alone medical alert product.
3: Medical alert systems provide lots of options.
30 years ago, medical alert systems were in their infancy, and your choices were limited. Who could forget “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” which became a cultural phenom in the late 80s (2)? Today, however, your medical alert system will notify emergency services for you and relay critical health data about you to the EMTs so that they arrive fully prepared to deal with the situation. Also, you have your choice of local, regional, or nationwide services. And you can choose between a device you wear and one that is set on a dresser or table in the house.
4: Medical alert systems provide round the clock coverage.
The chances of a medical emergency don’t disappear when the sun goes down. So the coverage from your medical alert system doesn’t either. Take falls, for instance. Most people assume that falls occur during the day when seniors are out running errands or working around the house. But studies show that 20% of all falls occur during the middle of the night (3) when seniors get up to use the bathroom. Having a medical alert system on the job 24/7 provides much needed round the clock protection.
5: Medical alert systems have lots of features.
Today’s best medical alert systems can be worn throughout the day and provide important real-time health information such as heart rate, calories burned, step count, temperature, and more. Wearable devices also keep track of the person’s location via GPS. This way, if an emergency occurs, the responders know exactly where the person is so they can reach them in a timely fashion. Some medical alert systems today are also waterproof so they can be worn in the bathroom, where many falls typically occur (4).
6: Medical alert systems let you sleep easier.
Insomnia in older folks is a big problem (5). Sometimes it is related to chronic health conditions like arthritis. But other times, the individual can’t sleep because they worry that no one will know if something happens to them at night. Medical alert systems that provide 24-hour watch can help worried seniors sleep a little easier. This, in turn, will help reduce the possibility that they will suffer an accident during the day caused by a lack of sleep. Good sleep will also help the elderly person stay more mentally alert (6).
7: Medical alert systems allow seniors to stay in their own home.
In a large percentage of cases, families decide to move an elderly relative to an assisted living facility out of fear. Fear of what would happen if the loved one had an accident in the house when no one was around (7). But in many cases, the elderly person does not want to leave their home because they are in basically good health for their age. What to do? In cases such as this, where both sides have valid arguments, a medical alert system can be the saving grace.
8: Medical alert systems are available for any budget.
Due to the wide variety of medical alert systems now on the market, it’s possible to pick up a good one for a reasonable price. Some can be had for less than $20 per month. And it’s also possible, as we mentioned earlier, that your private insurance may cover some or all of the cost. So don’t dismiss the idea of getting one because you’re convinced you can’t afford it. You probably can.
9: Medical alert systems can go with you inside or out.
Another great aspect of today’s medical alert systems is that many are mobile. That is, they go with you wherever you go. This is a major step up from the devices of the not-too-distant past that were almost all tethered to the homestead. Now, if you feel like going to see the kids or grandkids, want to go to dinner with friends, want to take a trip, or just want to go for a walk in the park, you’re covered.
10: Medical alert systems could save your life.
Older folks, especially those who live alone or are alone for long stretches of time, need to be able to alert emergency responders in the event of a crisis. But they aren’t always able to get to a phone. And even if they could they might not have been able to convey their situation clearly to the dispatcher (8). Today, however, that has changed. Often times, the system will send vital information with only minimal prompting from the individual. In the case of falls, some will automatically call for an ambulance.
Medical alert systems are an affordable, convenient way for people to make sure health emergencies don’t go unreported. The medical alert system will alert EMTs to your location and inform them of the nature of the emergency so that they arrive prepared. Medical alerts systems help a lot of older folks rest easy at night and relax when they are out and about.