Are personal protection products a good idea?

by the Editor, SeniorInsider | Jun 02, 2011

Personal safety alarms for the elderly can come in the form of those for home safety, personal safety or the ones which are specifically for the safety of a loved one who is struggling through the stages of Alzheimer’s or dementia. Home security and increasing all security for the elderly can be even more important to seniors who are experiencing memory problems.

We are all aware that falls are more common in the elderly population, and that when a senior falls they may end up breaking a hip. As such, they may not be able to get to a phone. Seniors over the age of 70 have a much higher risk of breaking a bone during a fall than a younger person, and having a personal safety alarm for the elderly can literally be the difference between life and death. Because of this higher risk of complications, having a personal alarm system in place can make an enormous difference in how quickly emergency personnel arrive.

Personal Safety Alarms for the Elderly in the Form of Home Alarm System

An alarm system in your home can be a very important piece of personal safety. These types of personal safety alarms for the elderly can decrease the worry of burglaries and increase senior safety, most especially at night time when you are more vulnerable. There are a wide array of home alarm systems, from very simple ones to very sophisticated 24-hour monitoring systems.  A complete home security system will automatically contact the police, medical personnel or the fire department, depending on the nature of the emergency.

Your home alarm system will have a control panel, an inside motion detector, door and window contacts which cause an alarm to go off when a door or window is opened while the alarm is activated. The keypad allows you to disarm the system.  The more expensive home security systems may also include glass break detectors which go off when a pane of glass is broken, pressure pads which are placed under rugs that can alert you to an unwanted presence in your home, and a panic button which sends out an alarm to all emergency personnel.

Personal Safety Alarms for the Elderly in the Form of Medical Alerts

Medical alerts are common forms of personal safety alarms for the elderly, and are typically worn as a necklace pendant, attached to your belt or worn around the wrist like a watch. Many medical alerts will contact a friend or relative when they are activated, while others only have the option to contact emergency personnel.  Some medical alert units will open a two-way communication system when activated, allowing you to speak with a real person who can offer comfort if needed and contact the proper emergency personnel.

The only worry with these types of personal safety alarms for the elderly is the fear that an elderly person could experience a fall which renders them immobile, therefore unable to activate the alarm.  Some of these alarms offer additions to the service whereby the senior is contacted at regular intervals, and should they not answer, then a relative, caregiver or medical team will be alerted and dispatched.

Personal Safety Alarms for the Elderly in the Form of GPS Alerts

More recently, we have seen the advent of personal safety alarms for the elderly which come with global positioning system (GPS), meaning they have a tracking device which allows a senior to be located quickly in the case of emergency. These tracking devices have proven invaluable when used with seniors who are suffering from Alzheimer’s or Dementia, and who tend to wander and get lost.

Other Forms of Personal Safety Alarms for Seniors

There are other forms of personal safety alarms for seniors, some of them much less high-tech. Carrying a cell phone can readily improve the safety of seniors, in that should they fall or have an emergency, they can call someone immediately.  There are alarms known as danger signal alarms which you carry in your pocket or your bag. Simply pressing a button or pulling out a pin can set off this type of alarm. It then it emits an ear shattering, high-pitched alarm that will hopefully frighten off a would-be attacker and call for help at the same time.

The wide array of personal safety devices can allow seniors to stay in their own homes with much less worry, knowing if they need help it is merely a button push away.  



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