A medical alert system is a truly useful device for any aging adult. Falls or other medical events remain a serious risk as we age, and wearing a medical alert insures if a fall should occur, assistance is just a button click away.
Studies show that the faster seniors get help after a fall, the greater the chance of recovery. Not getting help quickly enough can put aging adults at risk of broken bones, bruising or other complications such as hypothermia (when isolated). Without a comfortable medical alert system at hand, summoning help could be quite a challenge.
With a quality medical alert, getting help is as easy as pressing a button. Many alert systems are designed to send an ambulance or alert a caregiver even if the wearer cannot talk, or otherwise communicate their needs.
On the surface it sounds like – and is – a wonderful idea. However, there is one hitch: Many seniors resist wearing their medical alert devices.
Why Seniors Might Resist Wearing Medical Alert Devices
Many caregivers are met with some resistance when they first suggest, or even buy a medical device for the senior in their life. The reaction might range from a blunt “I’m not wearing that!” to concerns about looks, efficiency, or wearability.
Sometimes, the issue is simply that seniors don’t feel ready for a medical alert device. They don’t think they need it, especially if they are still independent or have never had a fall. Sometimes it can feel like “admitting defeat.”
For many seniors, the distinctive look of a medical device is part of the problem. They might associate medical alert buttons with being frail or unable to manage for themselves. As such, they worry that if they wear an obvious medical alert button, other people will see them that way.
It’s A Fact – Appearances Do Matter
There’s a certain amount of embarrassment associated with wearing a medical alert button, due to the thought of friends, or even strangers, noticing it and realizing what it is. Nobody wants to be seen as “less than”, or incapable of managing.
It doesn’t help that some devices are just plain unattractive. This is an important consideration for seniors who take pride in their appearance, or who are active in their local community and want to look nice without drawing attention to the fact that they’re wearing a medical alert.
The Importance Of Choosing A Medical Alert That Feels Comfortable
A major concern for seniors is that some medical alert devices are just not easy to wear. The pendants can be bulky, unsightly, and just don’t look good. Some wristbands are clumsy and can get in the way of sleeves.
If a device isn’t easy to wear, seniors are more likely to leave it on the bedside table and not bother wearing it. That means that if they fall, they can’t call for help.
The Benefits Of Choosing A Comfortable Medical Alert Device
There are many benefits to choosing a comfortable medical alert device. The most important benefit is that if seniors have a comfortable medical alert device, they are much more likely to wear it! That means if they need help, they’re covered.
Choosing a device that feels comfortable to wear takes the stress out of having a medical alert for the first time. If the senior in your life is feeling hesitant about wearing a medical alert, having one that they hate the look of is going to make the process even more stressful. That makes it more worrying for you too – how can you be sure they’ll wear it?
Helping the older adult in your life choose an alert that they’re comfortable with makes it more likely that they’ll wear it. It will put your mind at rest, too.
RELATED: WALL MOUNTED MEDICAL ALERT BUTTONS
What Is Comfortable? Identifying Seniors’ Needs
What is comfortable for one senior might not be comfortable for someone else. The key to choosing a comfortable medical alert device is being aware of what comfort means to the wearer:
- For some seniors, comfort means choosing a device that looks good and doesn’t draw attention to itself.
- For others, comfort means a light, streamlined button that is easy to wear with any outfit.
- Comfortable might mean choosing a fully waterproof medical alert device that can be worn while bathing – or even in the swimming pool! Many alerts are water-resistant but not waterproof. However, some models such as QMedic are completely waterproof. If your elderly friend or relative likes to swim, or is at risk of slipping in the bath, it’s a good idea to check whether your chosen button is waterproof.
- Sometimes comfortable means having the option of a wristband instead of a pendant or lanyard. Not all systems offer a wristband option, so it’s worth checking whether having a wristband is important. Several buttons on the market today, such as Bay Alarm Medical, offer buttons that can be worn on the wrist or on a pendant, depending what is most suitable that day.
- For some people, comfortable might mean choosing a pendant they don’t have to wear at all! Some companies such as Bay Alarm Medical, ORA, and LifeFone offer buttons that can be worn on a belt clip. They’re still right there if needed – but until then they’re out of sight, out of mind.
Medical Alerts Don’t Have To Look Like Medical Alerts
Now we’ve covered choosing a comfortable medical alert in terms of how it feels physically, how about one that feels comfortable emotionally? For seniors who feel upset at the thought of wearing a medical alert because of how it looks, there are several options on the market that don’t look like traditional pendants at all.
For example, why not check out RescueTouch? Their space-age looking pendants are small, brightly colored, and ultra modern. There’s also ORA, whose personal alert buttons come cleverly disguised as elegant, stylish jewelry, or a utilitarian keychain. Alert 1’s Kelsi mobile alert isn’t quite so small and delicate, but at first glance it looks like a pedometer or a small cell phone.
With so many styles on the market today, you’re sure to find a medical alert that the senior in your life is comfortable wearing. Why not sit down with them and talk through what would suit them best, so you can choose the best alert pendant for their needs?