Getting your parent help using an emergency alert device

by the Editor, SeniorInsider | May 31, 2011

There are many reasons you should consider purchasing an emergency alert for your elderly parents. Many seniors have some sort of physical or medical condition which requires the daily use of medication. Some of these medical issues, such as diabetes or heart disease can be potentially serious. As such, an emergency alert is a smart purchase in safeguarding their health. There are many different types of emergency alert systems on the market, so it’s important to do your research and ensure you get the very best system for the money spent, as well as the best emergency alert for your parent’s specific situation.

Types of Emergencies Your Parents May Encounter


The primary emergency that most elderly adults will face is a fall in their home. Every year, one in three adults over the age of 65 will fall, and these falls can lead to severe injuries, including hip fractures and head traumas, and can even increase the chances of death. Almost a third of those who fall will receive severe enough injuries that they may not be able to continue to live independently, and many times the injuries are exacerbated because the senior cannot reach a phone to call for help. They may not be checked on for hours or even days, therefore they lie helplessly in pain, their risks increasing by the minute.

If these people had been wearing an emergency alert, they could have simply pushed the button and received immediate medical help. The emergency alert can be a true lifesaver when a senior falls in their home. Other medical conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, or even the dizziness that many medications cause in the elderly can also be a major reason to purchase an emergency alert for your parents. If your parent is outside and becomes ill, dizzy, or takes a fall, there may be no way for them to get to a phone and call for help.

If you don’t live close to your parents, and they have no close neighbors or a caregiver who checks on them regularly, then they could lie in their yard for a considerable length of time before getting help. An emergency alert can end the worry that comes from senior falls or the consequences of existing medical problems. Aside from medical worries, the time could come when inclement weather or a stranger outside the door would also require a quick emergency response. The emergency alert covers these emergencies as well as medical ones.

Reasons to Buy Your Parents an Emergency Alert


Buying your parents a medical alert is basically buying peace of mind for yourself, as well as ensuring your parents’ continued independence, health and safety. It’s hard to imagine getting all that in one small device, yet an emergency alert provides all these things and more. If your parents have a current handicap, the emergency alert becomes even more important as they could find themselves in a serious situation very quickly. Those seniors who use walkers or wheelchairs typically need more help and must have family or caregivers accessible to them should an emergency arise.

How to Wear an Emergency Alert


An emergency alert system will have a wireless help button which is worn by the senior at all times. In an emergency, the elderly person can simply push the button, which will activate the base station, signaling an emergency situation has risen and the senior needs immediate help. On most systems, the wireless help button is about the size of a quarter, is completely waterproof and should be worn at all times, even during bathing. The typical way to wear the emergency alert is on an adjustable nylon necklace, although it can also be worn on an adjustable nylon wristband or on a belt clip.

How Do I Know My Emergency Alert is Working Properly?


Generally the wireless help button on the emergency alert can be used as far as 400 feet from the base, although this distance can increase slightly depending on the materials used in construction of the home. The battery in the alert will typically last from three to five years; when it needs changing, the user will be notified and a new button will be sent out. If the red light does not immediately appear when the red button is pushed, the company the emergency alert was purchased from should immediately be called. There are a host of reasons to purchase an emergency alert for your parents—and relatively few reasons not to.

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