For many seniors, the thought of leaving their own home to go to a nursing home or assisted living facility is, understandably, terrifying. It is natural for seniors to want to stay in their own home for as long as possible.
Remaining at home is comforting and familiar for seniors. After all, no one wants to leave their comfortable home to live in a new facility with strangers, a different routine, and unfamiliar surroundings. Staying in the home has other psychological benefits, too – seniors who live at home often have a greater sense of independence, and feel that they still have plenty to do and look forward to.
On a practical note, remaining at home is often more cost effective, too. Assisted living or nursing facilities tend to carry a hefty price tag.
Moving into an assisted living facility can feel a bit like admitting defeat. Although that’s not the case, it’s understandable that many seniors feel that way.
Can A Medical Alert Help Seniors Remain At Home?
Many seniors choose to wear a medical alert. The button, worn as a pendant or bracelet, is pressed to connect seniors to a call center in the event of a fall or other medical emergency. Dispatchers stay on the line until help arrives. Sometimes they send emergency services right away, other times they reach out to an agreed-upon contact or family member.
At first glance senior medical alerts are all about an emergency response to a situation. However, they are also very helpful when it comes to helping seniors stay in their own homes. Let’s take a look at how.
Getting Help Is Key To Continued Independent Living After A Fall
Getting help in a timely fashion is vital after a fall. Many seniors cannot get up on their own after falling. Being immobile has direct effects on the body and can lead to muscle cell breakdown, pressure sores, hypothermia, dehydration, and even complications such as pneumonia.
The complications arising from staying down after a fall have a direct effect on how likely it is a senior will be able to return to independent living. In fact, the website learnnottofall.com states that getting help quickly after a fall dramatically increases survival rates (by up to 80%) and has a direct impact on whether the senior can continue to live independently.
A medical alert means seniors can be in touch with the call center in seconds, which decreases the amount of time spent immobile, cold, or in an uncomfortable and potentially harmful position. Help arrives quickly to remove the senior from the situation and get them the medical attention they need.
Medical Alerts Provide Peace Of Mind For Seniors
Falling is a genuine risk for seniors, so it’s understandable that many seniors have a fear of falling. In fact, the National Council On Aging reports that the fear of falling is on the rise among older adults, and that many seniors limit their activities to try and avoid a fall.
Fear of falling or being unable to get help can even contribute to a senior’s decision to move out of their home and into an assisted living facility.
A medical alert system gives seniors the peace of mind that comes with knowing that even if they should fall or have a medical emergency, help is on hand. The fear of being alone, unable to move or get help, is very real. A medical alert removes that fear and gives seniors extra security.
Knowing they can get help if needed can directly influence a senior’s decision to stay in their home for a while longer.
Many medical alerts offer an additional fall detection option. Fall detection technology in the pendant senses when a senior falls, and automatically alerts the call center. If the senior is unable to speak, the center sends help.
This is reassuring for seniors and caregivers alike – even if the senior cannot press the button, help will arrive. It should be noted that no system can detect 100% of falls, however, fall detection offers an extra layer of protection for seniors.
Medical Alert Systems Support Caregivers As Well As Seniors
It’s not just seniors who benefit from having a medical alert – knowing their loved one can get help when they need it gives caregivers peace of mind, too.
Many caregivers worry that something will happen to the older adult in their life and they won’t find out about it until it’s too late. At some point most caregivers think “but what if they fall when they’re alone / at night / in the bathroom?”
A medical alert makes sure that no matter what the circumstances, help is only a button press away.
Caregivers might suggest a senior move into care because they’re worried that they can’t be there to keep an eye on them as much as they want to. With a medical alert, caregivers know that even when they’re not around, their senior can get help.
Some medical alerts offer extra features to support caregivers, such as daily activity reports, warnings if the device is taken off or the senior has been immobile for a while, health statistics, and online portals where caregivers can manage and track the device.
Medical Alerts Support Everyday Activities
A medical alert device supports seniors to carry out everyday activities such as bathing or cooking, knowing they can reach out to someone if they need help.
Of course if a senior is unable to carry out daily activities such as bathing or cooking, it’s vital that caregivers arrange appropriate help. However, some seniors are healthy and independent enough to carry out their daily activities, but are afraid of what would happen if they slipped in the shower or dropped a cooking pot, for example. Knowing help is available is reassuring.
Most medical alerts are water resistant, and some models are completely waterproof. They’re designed to be worn in the bath or shower, so seniors don’t need to take them off even while getting clean.
Many companies also offer wall-mounted help buttons for extra backup. That way, if a senior takes their pendant or bracelet off, they can still get help by pressing the wall button.
Medical alerts don’t just cover seniors for everyday activities in the home – many models offer a mobile cellular option that works anywhere with cell service. Helping seniors stay safe while out and about in their community fosters independence.
The decision to move into a care facility is a difficult one, and for many seniors it is better if they can stay in their own home as long as they can. As well as making more sense fiscally, staying at home fosters independence and lets older adults stay in familiar, comfortable surroundings. A medical alert device supports seniors to stay at home longer, offering help at the press of a button and the reassurance of knowing someone is always there for them.