What are medical alert systems and why are they useful?

Nov 3, 2021 | Blog

For seniors looking to stay independent for as long as possible, medical alert systems can give you and your loved ones peace-of-mind – and even save lives.

So, what exactly do we mean by “medical alert system,” and how do they work?

Medical alert systems are devices that instantly connect seniors to emergency help at the push of a button or – depending on the device – when a fall is detected. Modern medical alert systems aren’t big and cumbersome either. Instead, they can be small, lightweight bracelets or pendants that blend in with clothing. Since they’re designed for everyday use, medical alert bracelets or pendants are often built to be shatter-proof or water-resistant.

What happens if you actually need help? If you’re at home, pushing the help button on your medical alert device sends a signal through specialized equipment connected to one of your telephone jacks. A two-way connection is then established within a few seconds and a live, professional operator will speak with you. And if you can’t or are unable to speak, the operator will determine what’s going on and send a caregiver or emergency services to your home.

How about if you’re away from home? Many medical alert systems offer mobile solutions that operate on cellular networks and use GPS tracking technology. While it may sound a bit James Bond-esque, the idea is to help you go about your day-to-day business knowing that help is always available.

GPS tracking technology can also be hugely beneficial to folks suffering from memory issues – such as dementia and Alzheimer’s. If there’s any danger of wandering too far or away from a pre-ordained area, automatic alerts are sent to caregivers. 

Fall detection is another key component of many medical alert systems. After all, slips, trips and falls are one of the main causes of serious injury and hospitalization among seniors. Intelligent sensors built into medical alert devices can help identify if you’ve fallen and automatically call for assistance.

Four big benefits of senior medical alerts

You’re covered no matter what
For one thing, medical monitoring is always available – 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Pushing the help button on your medical alert device puts you in touch with a trained medical professional right away that can respond to your individual needs. Plus, if you have a fall while living alone, there are no more long waits for help.

Safety and peace-of-mind
As we mentioned right off the top, medical alert systems can help provide you and your loved ones with the comfort and security of knowing you’ll always have access to emergency medical help whenever you need it. In addition to summoning medical attention and detecting falls, many medical alert systems can be used to call in other emergency services too, like fire and police.

They’re customizable to your lifestyle 

Today’s medical alert systems can be built around your lifestyle and unique needs. For instance – are you a passionate swimmer? No problem – some manufacturers offer waterproof pendants for use. Are you someone with an active lifestyle that gets you out of the house regularly? Then choose a medical alert system that offers both in-home and out-of-home monitoring.

The fourth and final benefit? Independence and confidence. Having a medical alert system means you’re not totally reliant on others checking on you regularly. If you have a medical condition, your alert system provides a safety net whenever you’re away from home, doing daily errands or visiting loved ones.

As well, with long wait lists for long-term care facilities, medical alerts provide you with a viable and more affordable option to make aging in your own home that much safer and easier.


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