Medical Alert System Add-Ons for Senior Adults

Medical alert systems are important safety technologies that can facilitate emergency assistance and save lives. They are particularly well-suited for seniors, many of whom face elevated risks of falling and other health-related emergencies.

Do you know how medical alert systems work? Let us provide an example: A senior user wears a pendant, lanyard or bracelet with an emergency call button that when pressed during a health crisis, emits a signal for emergency medical assistance. Depending on the system, 911 would automatically be contacted or a live agent from a care control center would assess the situation through a two-way intercom and dispatch an appropriate response.  

Several important add-on features can include a variation or combination of the following tools:

1. Voice Extenders. Home-based alert systems, as opposed to mobile systems, require the wearable alert device to connect to a central plug-in unit that functions like a speaker phone. When the call button is pressed, a medical dispatching agent speaks to the senior through the unit. Voice extenders allow the senior and responder to hear each other from anywhere in the senior’s home.

2. Wall Buttons. Wall buttons are additional alert items that are placed on walls in potentially hazardous areas, such as bathrooms, kitchens and at the bottom of stairs. They can be similar to fire alarms, except an emergency dispatcher contacts the senior through his or her home unit when a wall button is pressed.

3. Voice-Activated Wall Buttons. These add-on features are a variation of wall-mounted alert buttons. They allow injured seniors to call for help by saying an emergency password or phrase two-times in rapid order. They may also come with long, vertical pull cords that automatically connect to an emergency monitoring agent when pulled.

4. Lockbox. This is a simple, no-tech feature that does not have to be purchased from a medical alert company, though it is extremely important. A lockbox should contain a key to the senior’s front door, open with a combination and be clearly visible to emergency responders. This can help them get inside a senior’s home during a health crisis. The lockbox combination, along with detailed health information, can be retained and communicated to emergency responders by the medical alert company. 

These are just a number of add-ons to consider when looking for the best medical alert system for your senior loved one. With August being Medical Alert Awareness Month, take the time to sit down with your family and go over your options. If you need tips and ideas on how to approach this conversation, don’t wait to reach out to our law firm.

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