Choosing a medical alert system for seniors requires asking the right questions such as why a senior might benefit from having a home medical alert system and does it help address their needs. Choosing the right device can offer peace of mind for caregivers and added safety for senior citizens, especially, if they live alone.
Below we have compiled a guide that takes a look at the different types of medical alerts systems and how effective or beneficial they can be for different purposes. The information will also help greatly when it comes to choosing the right medical alert system that addresses a senior’s needs and is suited to their lifestyle.
What Is A Medical Alert System?
The purpose of medical alert devices is to alert and connect its users to their caregivers and medical services in the event of an emergency. These devices ensure that a senior gets the help they need as quickly as possible, and is highly recommended for seniors that live alone.
Although the systems are primarily used for medical alert functions, they can also protect a senior during other mishaps such as a fire or a burglary.
Previous generations of medical alert services only worked within the limits of one’s home, however, newer innovative technology has allowed companies to develop alert systems that are wearable and can be taken anywhere.
These portable medical alert systems will continue to work as long as there is cellular service and battery life.
Types Of Home Medical Systems
The majority of medical alert system providers offer a range of devices that come in different styles and can have different features.
Some of the most common personal emergency response systems are in-home units, portable devices or a wearable help button/device.
Let’s look at some of the most useful features found on these modern devices.
1. Fall Detection
An automatic fall detection device can be a lifesaver for seniors who are susceptible to falls or have a fall history.
This innovative device can automatically detect a fall and send out an alert to the Response Centre without the need to press any button or do anything.
Falls can easily lead to serious injury and can even cause a senior to become unconscious. These devices alert caregivers and medical personnel immediately, greatly reducing the risk of life threatening injuries.
2. Caregiver Tracking
Certain medical alert systems allow caregivers the ability to monitor a senior’s movements even while not being physically present. A bed sensor alarm, for example, offers this feature.
Other wearable medical alert systems also offer other tracking abilities such as battery level monitoring, geofencing and automatic notifications whenever a senior enters or leaves a predetermined area, such as leaving the home.
Some devices are even capable of location tracking and are ideal for seniors that enjoy being active and outdoors.
3. Automatic Medication Reminders
If a senior or their caregiver is struggling with maintaining their medical schedule, investing in an automatic medication dispenser might be exactly what they need.
These devices are preprogrammed to sound an alert to remind seniors when to take their medications, as well as, dispense the right medication in the correct dosage automatically to avoid any errors or accidents.
Automatic medical dispensers can be extremely helpful for seniors with chronic conditions, polypharmacy, or those with complex medication schedules.
4. Home Safety Devices
Senior citizens that live with dementia or other disabilities are especially vulnerable to home accidents including kitchen fires. Forgetting to turn off the stove or leaving cooking equipment unattended is one of the leading causes of home fires in Canada.
Installing a stove sensor can help ensure such an incident never happens. Stover sensors, such as the ones offered by Northwood Intouch, are designed to constantly monitor the area around the kitchen and will detect any potential fire hazards. If the oven or stove is left on, for example, the sensor will automatically shut it off preventing a fire before it can begin.
What Features To Consider When Choosing A Home Medical Alert System?
Features to consider include:
- Battery life: Does the device need to be charged? How long can the user go between charges? Does the main unit have battery backup in case of a power shutdown?
- Device Range: How far can the user be from the base unit for the device to work properly?
- Automatic Fall detection: Does the device include motion detection to automatically alert the response center in the event of a fall or accident?
- Water Resistance: Is it possible to wear the wearable device in the shower or get it wet in the rain?
- Landline or Cellular Connection: Can the base station be connected via a cellular network or do you need to plug it into a phone jack?
- Portable: Does the device work outside of the home? And if so for how long?
- Tracking: Does it offer any features for smartphone users or caregivers?
Understanding what features you need and which ones can you do without can help you find the right home medical alert system that covers all the bases and won’t break the bank!
The above-mentioned guide will not only help you choose the most effective medical alert system for seniors but it will also help you find a system that is comfortable and doesn’t interfere with day-to-day activities.
If you reside in Canada and are looking for medical alert companies that offer affordable senior emergency alert equipment, contact Northwood Intouch today! You can call us at (902) 492-3346 or 1-800-461-3346 to learn more about what medical alert systems would be best suited to your needs.