Elderly Care: What are the Signs It’s Time to Get a Medical Alert System?
People often rely on calling 911 in case of an emergency. But, what if you cannot make it to a phone? Medical alert systems alleviate that worry. They detect falls and allow you to connect to an emergency operator with the touch of a button. When older adults hope to hold onto their independence, these systems offer peace of mind. But what age should you begin thinking about getting one for yourself? Read on to learn when to get medical alert systems for elderly people who live alone.
Increased Fall Risk
Every year, 1 and 3 Canadians 65 years and older fall at least once. These falls often result in hospital room visits.
Is Falling Serious?
They can lead to chronic pain, decreased quality of life, and subsequent falls. The longer a person waits for medical attention, the more potential for lingering consequences exists.
As we age, our bones grow more brittle and we lose the protection of youthfulness. So any fall for a senior citizen requires prompt medical attention.
But, injury can prevent a person who lives alone from getting the necessary help. A break may prevent them from getting to a phone while a head injury might leave them unconscious.
How This Technology Helps
Medical alert technology works to ensure any fall triggers a call to a trained emergency operator who can assess the situation and send out help when necessary. As you approach this age, consider your fall risks and get an alert system.
Who Is at Risk for Falling?
Do not use age as a set marker though. Certain conditions can put you at an increased risk for falls early on.
- An unsteady gait
- Muscle weakness
- Prior injury
- Certain medications
- Acute illness
If you fall before turning 65, your chances of falling again increase, so you may need a medical alert button.
Hypertension and Heart Disease
As the body ages, parts and systems can wear down. Again, 65 years old seems to serve as an age of contemplation here.
The risk of hypertension increases. This can lead to stroke and heart disease, both of which require the medical alert button.
The prevalence of heart disease drastically rises as people approach this age. Heart conditions can strike at any time without warning and require prompt attention.
When a person’s heart fails to function properly, they may simply collapse and lose consciousness, taking away the opportunity to call for help. The family may not find them until it is too late unless they keep a medical alert on them to call for help when they cannot.
As you approach this age, ask your doctor to assess your heart health. If you suffer from any type of heart condition, an alert system will serve you well.
Older adults also run a higher risk of serious infections because their immune system does not work as well. Urinary tract infections not only come on more frequently, but they cause much more serious symptoms as well and may require urgent care.
Senior citizens also end up with pneumonia more often from less serious illnesses. With compromised breathing, a medical alert can save your life.
Since infections move quickly, you want an alert system in place before you get sick. Age 65 seems to increase the risk of infections as well.
The age group over 65 uses the most prescription drugs. Medications can cause a host of side effects including dizziness, drowsiness, behaviour changes, allergic reactions, and organ failure.
Any of these side effects may cause an incident that requires immediate emergency help. And, many medications affect elderly patients more adversely than they do younger patients.
If you take daily medications with serious potential side effects, you should consider keeping a button on you in case something goes wrong. Use your medication list as a stronger determinant than your age.
While Canadians over the age of 85 run the greatest risk of suffering from dementia, it affects many people over the age of 65. Anybody with dementia needs to take special precautions when living alone.
What Is Dementia?
This devastating condition refers to the impairment of 2 or more brain functions. It may affect memory, intelligence, judgment, mood, behaviour, perception, etc. This leaves a person incredibly vulnerable.
With these types of impairment, a person may find themselves in unusual and dangerous situations. For instance, they may wander out and get lost outside of their neighborhood, requiring an on-the-go solution.
Dementia also increases the risk of house fires, as you may forget about food in the oven. No worries about getting trapped away from the telephone, as you can press your button the instant you smell smoke.
Following Death of a Spouse
After nearly a lifetime of taking on life with another human, losing them can create a sense of shock and confusion. You may feel suddenly unsafe in daily life where you used to feel comfortable.
Nobody can say for sure at what age you may lose your spouse. But, if you do, you may experience unique obstacles living alone as an older adult and regain comfort knowing 24-hour support is available to you.
If you are a caregiver, you may feel guilty and afraid leaving your loved one home alone while you lead the rest of your life. But, you may also not feel ready to consider putting them into a senior care facility.
When your loved one reaches the age that they need your assistance regularly, consider getting them an alert system. You might notice a decline in their health or mental ability that they cannot yet accept.
Leaving them with a medical alert button allows you the freedom to live your life without excessive worries. You never again need to feel like you left them unattended, as the technology watches over them 24 hours.
Feel Safe with Medical Alert Systems for Elderly People
Considering all factors, you should begin thinking about medical alert systems for elderly people around the age of 65. Falls or medical conditions may require this earlier. Or, good health and a strong partner may allow you to wait a little longer.
When you reach the age where you need our help, we will not let you down. Order your system online!