We’ve all seen the commercial with the infamous line: “Help, I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!”
The advertisement itself may have been a bit melodramatic, but it raises an important question: what should seniors do if they actually fall and cannot get up?
This is where a medical alert system can be critical.
Medical alert systems, sometimes referred to as life alert devices, are emergency monitors for seniors to use as they go about their everyday lives.
Many medical alert systems are used in the senior’s home. These usually consist of a base unit and sensors that are mounted on the wall of the home. These types of systems can detect a fall in the home and trigger an automatic call to emergency services.
Some systems also come with a portable option for the senior to wear wherever they go. The main feature of mobile options is the help button. When an emergency such as an injury or fall occurs, seniors can press this button to send out an alert and get the help they need.
Oftentimes seniors wear these portable monitors around their neck like a long necklace, on their wrist like a bracelet, on their belt loop, or in their pocket. These monitors should be small and portable so the senior can wear them at all times, and waterproof so they can wear them in the bath or shower – a common location for falls.
Most medical alert systems allow for real-time tracking through the use of voice, data, and GPS technology. This is important because it gives emergency services the senior’s exact location in case of an emergency.
With a mobile device, seniors can press the help button after a fall to alert emergency personnel. An in-home system will automatically alert emergency services when it detects a fall.
Many basic systems simply alert emergency services once the help button is pressed. More elaborate systems are connected to a 24-hour call center that fields the emergencies and determines the next move. They are able to either alert the senior’s emergency contacts (set up ahead of time) or send for emergency services if needed.
All seniors could benefit from having a medical alert system, since you never know when an incident may occur. But, these emergency alert buttons are especially important for seniors who live alone or are aging in place.
If a senior who lives alone has a fall and no one is there to help, a medical alert system is not just beneficial; it can actually be lifesaving.
Additionally, wearing a medical alert system is one way for seniors to maintain their independence at home while still being prepared for an emergency. And it also provides peace of mind for family members and caregivers that their loved ones can access help in case of an emergency.
The main reason for seniors to use a medical alert system is to allow for fast action in case of a fall or other emergency.
According to the CDC, around 36 million falls are reported among seniors every year. Falls can be caused by a number of reasons, such as certain health and cognitive conditions, loss of muscle mass, and weakened eyesight, reflexes, and balance. They can also be caused by unsafe footwear or safety hazards inside and outside the home, like steps, rugs, spills, and clutter.
Falls should be taken seriously when they occur. Falls are the leading cause of accidents, serious injuries, and accidental deaths in seniors. To that end, emergency departments treat 3 million seniors for injuries from falls every year. That is more than 8,000 falls every day.
The risk of falling can also be a major source of anxiety for seniors, as falls can threaten their independence, mobility, and physical health.
Oftentimes when a senior falls, they need help from someone else to regain their balance and get back up. But, if they live alone or no one is around, they may not be able to get themselves up at all. Being stuck on the ground for a long period of time is extremely dangerous for seniors and prolongs their risk of serious injury.
Therefore, getting help quickly after a fall is key. With a medical alert system, even a senior who lives alone can have peace of mind that help is available when they need it – all at the push of a button.
As with all technology, the price of medical alert systems can vary based on equipment, activation, monitoring type, extra devices, and additional features.
Some companies allow you to rent their medical alert system equipment, and some require you to buy it. Buying the items may cost anywhere from $50-$350 depending on the type of equipment.
In addition, many medical alert systems charge a monthly fee to use their service. This fee pays for access to the 24-hour emergency call center.
Generally, the service cost for at-home medical alert systems is around $25 per month or $239 per year. The service cost for on-the-go-devices is slightly more expensive at around $30-$45 a month.
Sometimes there is an additional one-time installation or activation fee that can range from $25-$100. However, this fee is often included in the package when you purchase and initiate a medical alert system.
Usually medical alert systems are not covered by insurance. But, some options might be available to help you cover the cost.
For example, your HSA or FSA may offer a deduction for medical alert systems. Medicare Advantage may also cover some of the cost of medical alert systems. You may be able to get coverage through Veterans benefits as well.
However, make sure you check with your insurance provider or your state’s Medicare/Medicaid program, as benefits can vary by policy or state.
If you need assistance funding a medical alert system, be sure to contact your local sheriff’s office or Area Agency on Aging, which sometimes have grants or resources available.
There are hundreds of companies that sell medical alert systems. Some of the top-rated, affordable options are as follows:
MobileHelp - The National Council on Aging (NCOA) voted this company as “Best All-Around System.” Their monthly fees start at $19.95 and fall buttons are available for an additional $10 per month. They also offer a free trial period.
Bay Alarm Medical - The NCOA voted this company as “Best for the Price.” Their fees start at $25 per month and fall buttons are available for an additional $10 per month. They also offer a free trial period.
Lively - Voted “Best Health Services” by the NCOA, this company’s fees start at $25 per month, with fall detection buttons for an additional $25 per month.
Other options include Get Safe as a basic option, Medical Guardian MGMove as a wearable option, and Fast Help as an easy, quick option available on Amazon. Some other notable providers of medical alert systems are ADT Medical Alert and Life Alert.
Medical alert systems are one impactful way to gain confidence about your senior loved ones’ safety as they age. For some seniors, this is all the reassurance they need about their safety and independence. But, other seniors may need a little more support.
Having a fall can reveal or trigger the need for additional support. Whether you are looking for support in a senior living community or are seeking home health care services, Florida Senior Consulting can help.
Our expert senior advisors will find your loved one the care they need to lead a healthy lifestyle, stay safe and lower their risk of falls and injuries. With this peace of mind ultimately comes a better quality of life for seniors and their families.
When the decisions become too overwhelming, our experts are here for you. And, we offer these services at no cost to seniors or their families.
Senior living on your terms. The choice should be yours.
Ensuring the safety of seniors at home is paramount for their well-being and independence. Creating a secure living environment involves a comprehensive approach that addresses various aspects of their daily life. Begin by conducting a thorough assessment of the home, identifying potential hazards such as loose rugs, uneven flooring, or cluttered pathways. Installing handrails in key areas, such as staircases and bathrooms, can provide valuable support and prevent accidents. Adequate lighting throughout the house is crucial; consider motion-activated lights to illuminate pathways and rooms, reducing the risk of falls. Additionally, make necessary modifications in the kitchen, such as lowering countertop heights for easier access and installing nonslip flooring to enhance traction. Regular communication with seniors about their comfort and safety concerns is essential, fostering a collaborative effort in maintaining a secure home environment.Incorporating technology into the home can also significantly contribute to senior safety. Smart home devices, such as medical alert systems or sensors that detect unusual movements, can provide an added layer of security. Consider implementing a video monitoring system to keep an eye on key areas of the home, providing both caregivers and seniors with peace of mind. By addressing these physical and technological aspects, we can create an environment that not only promotes the independence of seniors but also assures their safety, allowing them to age in place with confidence and dignity.
Did you know that Pennsylvania has the fifth largest older adult population in the nation with 3.4 million individuals?1 As the population continues to age, more people are weighing their options when it comes to downsizing, moving into a senior living community, or choosing to age in the comfort of their homes. According to a 2021 Home and Community Preferences survey by AARP of 2,826 U.S. adults, about 75% of people over the age of 50 expressed that they would like to remain in their current houses and communitiesmeaning aging in place is becoming a more prevalent life choice among older adults.2What to Know About Aging in PlaceIf youre leaning toward spending your years in the place where you feel the most content and safe, then you need to be willing to make some modifications to your home. As you age, your needs change, which means certain features in your home may need to be adjusted. Wider doorways and walkways; accessible bathrooms, kitchens, and bedrooms; ramps and lifts; non-slip floors; and stability aids like grab bars and handrails are some of the most common enhancements that come to mind, but assistive technology can play an important role in aging in place too.Many people choose to age in place because they want to maintain their independence, and assistive technology helps make that possible. From smart home devices that allow you to control the temperature or lights with voice commands to amplified phones and doorbells, there are plenty of high-tech tools that can help you navigate your day-to-day with ease. If youre a senior with hearing loss, Captioned Telephone Relay Service is a free service that allows you to read captions of whats said to you during phone conversations using a uniquely designed CapTel phone.CapTel Makes Phone Conversations Clearer Using CapTel, you can confidently and securely age in place knowing that you can effectively communicate over the phone. Whether youre calling loved ones to catch up, chatting with your doctor, or contacting first responders in an emergency, CapTel is a dependable communication solution for older adults who have hearing loss.Best of all, the CapTel captioning service is free and available in English and Spanish, with captions appearing on the bright, built-in display screen of the CapTel phone just moments after the other caller has spoken. CapTel phones can be purchased directly for $75 through a third-party vendor, or qualified Pennsylvania residents can apply for a CapTel device through the states Telecommunications Device Distribution Program (TDDP)which provides specialized equipment to individuals who find it difficult to use a standard phone. Age in Place Confidently with CapTelTo learn more about CapTel, including how to purchase or apply for an assistive communication device, visit pactrs.com today!Sources:1Master Plan for Older Adults, Pennsylvania Department of Aging 22021 Home and Community Preferences Survey: A National Survey of Adults Age 18-Plus | Joannne Binette & Fanni Farago, AARP Research CapTel is a registered trademark of Ultratec, Inc.
In today's fast-paced world, where time seems to fly by and responsibilities often pile up, caring for our loved ones can be challenging. Aging relatives, individuals with disabilities, or those recovering from illness often require additional support and care. That's where services like A Bridge For Independence (ABFI) step in, serving as a crucial bridge between the need for care and the desire for independence. ABFI is a reputable organization that operates in Sarasota, Manatee, and Charlotte counties, offering a range of in-home companionship and caregiver services. Their mission? To provide compassionate care, promote independence, and enhance the quality of life for their clients. Understanding the Need for In-Home CareAs populations age and families become more dispersed, the demand for quality in-home care services has grown substantially. Many individuals prefer to receive care in the comfort of their own homes rather than in a nursing facility. ABFI acknowledges and addresses this need by tailoring their services to suit the unique requirements of each individual. Tailored Companionship ServicesOne of the standout features of ABFI is their dedication to providing not just care but companionship. They understand that social interaction and emotional support are as essential as physical assistance. Their companionship services encompass activities that stimulate mental engagement, such as engaging in conversation, playing games, or sharing hobbies. This holistic approach ensures that clients not only receive necessary assistance but also maintain a sense of fulfillment and joy in their lives. Personalized CaregivingBeyond companionship, ABFI offers personalized caregiving services. This includes assistance with daily activities such as bathing, dressing, meal preparation, medication reminders, and light housekeeping. The caregivers at ABFI are trained professionals who approach their roles with empathy and professionalism, ensuring that clients feel comfortable and supported in their own homes. A Bridge For Independence: A Testament to Quality CareThe reputation of ABFI rests on its commitment to providing top-notch care while respecting the dignity and autonomy of their clients. Their caregivers undergo rigorous screening, background checks, and specialized training to ensure that they meet the highest standards of professionalism and empathy. Client-Centered ApproachABFI takes a client-centered approach, recognizing that every individual has unique needs and preferences. Before commencing services, they conduct thorough assessments and consultations to create personalized care plans. These plans are continuously reviewed and adjusted to accommodate any changes in the client's needs or circumstances, ensuring that the care provided remains effective and relevant. Empowering IndependenceThe essence of ABFI's mission lies in empowering individuals to maintain their independence to the greatest extent possible. By providing tailored care in the comfort of the client's home, ABFI enables individuals to retain control over their daily routines and decisions. This empowerment fosters a sense of dignity and autonomy, significantly contributing to the client's overall well-being. Serving Sarasota, Manatee, and Charlotte CountiesABFI's reach extends across three prominent counties in Florida: Sarasota, Manatee, and Charlotte. Their presence in these areas ensures that individuals and families in these communities have access to high-quality in-home care services. Sarasota County: A Hub of CareSarasota County, known for its vibrant culture and beautiful coastline, is also home to numerous retirees and seniors. ABFI's services in Sarasota County cater to the diverse needs of this population, offering them the support and care required to continue enjoying their lives to the fullest. Manatee County: Providing Reliable AssistanceManatee County, with its mix of urban and suburban communities, benefits from ABFI's reliable and compassionate caregiving. By delivering personalized care services, ABFI contributes to the well-being of individuals within this dynamic county. Charlotte County: Enhancing Quality of LifeIn Charlotte County, where tranquility meets a growing population, ABFI's presence enriches the lives of those seeking in-home care. Their commitment to enhancing the quality of life for clients in this area plays a pivotal role in supporting independence and well-being. A Bridge For Independence stands as a beacon of compassionate care and unwavering support for individuals and families in Sarasota, Manatee, and Charlotte counties. Their dedication to preserving independence, providing personalized care, and fostering companionship exemplifies their commitment to enhancing the lives of those they serve. As the need for in-home care continues to grow, ABFI remains a vital bridge, connecting individuals to the care and support they need to thrive while maintaining their independence.