Medical Alert Home Systems

Provide a Safe and Secure Environment While Aging in Place

Senior Woman Knitting

Time keeps on moving no matter where people live, or what their lifestyle looks like. Some may recognize that they are starting to slow down. Others may notice their mothers are not as clear-headed as they once were, or perhaps their fathers are less steady on their feet than when they used to play sports years ago. Once it is concluded an aging individual either needs help or should not be left home alone, it can be difficult to know what to do next.

Is a Medical Alert Device Cheaper than a Nursing Home?

When friends and families begin to recognize the signs of aging in their loved ones, a few courses of action tend to arise: nursing or assisted living care, in-home health aid, or aging in place. Often, family members feel pressure to leave jobs with much-needed income to care for their loved ones. Depending on the depth of health needs, the possibility of a nursing home is often mentioned. In the United States, nursing home costs are soaring. As of 2020, the American Council on Aging reported private nursing home rooms nationwide cost around $100,000 annually — and that is just for one room! Many people cannot afford these kinds of costs. [i] Medical alert home systems are some of the least costly options for providing in-home support to aging adults, access to emergency help, and peace of mind for the elderly and those who care for them. Medical alert home systems from Alert 1 Medical Alert Systems start at just $19.95/ month.[ii] This means nursing homes cost roughly 400 times the cost of medical alert home systems.

 

Can Medical Alert Home Systems Help You Age in Place?

Predominantly, medical alert home systems are used by seniors who wish to age in place. They prefer the idea of spending their golden years in the home in which they raised their families-- the home to which they feel connected. Remaining in their own home can make the difference between seniors feeling anxious and depressed or feeling comfortable and relaxed from day to day. According to a 2016 AARP study, 90% of seniors prefer to age in place because living at home allows them to have more control over their daily routine and activities.[iii] According to Visiting Angels Living Assistance Services, this added independence and comfort helps seniors to enjoy “better health outcomes on average, despite lower care costs.”[iv]

People who use medical alert home systems are free to age in their own homes all while having 24/7/365 monitoring that is unobtrusive. This can be an excellent and safe solution for elderly family members who wish to remain in their own homes rather than move to assisted living or nursing facilities. Many parents and grandparents spend the last years of their lives arguing with their adult children about whether they can stay in their homes as they age. This unpleasantness can be avoided. Medical alert home systems can help to make staying at home, a place filled with memories and love, a realistic and safe option. 

For those who wish to age in place, but require an in-home caregiver, these devices can be used either in conjunction with an in-home caregiver, or even as a tool that caregivers can use as well, pressing the alert button if the person in their care has fallen or needs immediate emergency attention. If caregivers are unable to provide round-the-clock aid, Alert 1’s 24/7/365 monitoring center is always at the ready.

Can Medical Alert Home Devices Be Used In Nursing Facilities?

While medical alert home systems provide freedom and security to individuals in their own homes, they can also be used in nursing and assisted living facilities. Sometimes seniors require high-level, around-the clock nursing care that their family members simply cannot provide. Nurses, doctors, and other nursing home staff are highly trained and capable of providing expert care for the seniors who reside in their facilities. Even still, these medical alert home systems can provide additional support. The dispatch protocol for these devices can be adjusted to contact the nursing station before contacting EMS. This is beneficial to both the residents and the nursing staff. Using this protocol, nursing staff are alerted within a minute of residents requiring assistance. What’s more, residents can wear the button alarm all around their room or facility and press it whenever they need help. This is safer and more reliable than depending on one pull cord in the bathroom or a button on a bed. 

Who Are Medical Alert Home Systems For?

Many people believe medical alert home systems can only be used by those who plan to remain in their homes as they age. They are very good for that purpose, however medical alert home systems can be used by anyone who wishes to feel safe and secure indoors or out (mobile medical alert systems are available). The button alarms can be used within 600 feet of their base units, so they can be set up and used in any space. As well as in private homes, these devices can be used in apartment buildings and office spaces. These personal emergency alarms provide a general sense of safety and security to those who wear them and the people who care about them. 

Individuals of all ages wish to feel secure at their homes and workplaces. Especially for those who may live alone, the extra security provided by a medical alert home system could allow police or other kinds of help to arrive quickly in the event of a break in. The monitoring center would already have the device user’s name and address available, streamlining the deployment of assistance. These same security benefits could extend to the workplace. Business owners who pay their employees to work late into the evening, or to work on the premises alone, may want to invest in medical alert systems. By doing so, they would know that if their employees were to feel insecure on the premises, they would have a button they could push to get help right away.

What Medical Alert System Options are Available?

Medical alert systems come with various options for those who use them. People can choose to wear a necklace pendant, wristband, or include a fall detection feature (built in sensors that can detect falls and send automatic alerts). There are also mobile systems with GPS and fall detection available to those who still leave their homes or prefer to speak directly through the button instead of the base unit. For those who prefer a more “modern” look, there are even medical alert systems that look like wrist watches. Many Alert 1 members comment on how lightweight the necklace pendant feels. Some people prefer the fall detection pendant’s ability to detect falls when worn around the neck at heart level. Knowing that a fall could be detected right away provides peace of mind to pendant wearers and their families alike. Others dislike having things around their necks, or may have other things already there such as oxygen tubes. These people may prefer wearing wristband button alarms with their medical alert systems. 

Set Up and Maintenance

How are Medical Alert Home Systems Set Up?

Setting up medical alert home systems is a relatively simple process. Selecting the location for the device is key. It is ideal to place the device in an area central to where the device is to be used such as a living room, bedroom, or kitchen. This allows the individual using the device to hear the monitoring center loud and clear though the speakers on the base unit of the system during testing or emergency situations. Likewise, the monitoring center can hear those using the device. All devices have a power cord which must be plugged into a wall outlet. Medical alert home devices can be wireless or connected via a landline. Those who use Alert 1 Medical Alert devices have their necklace pendants and wristbands already programmed before shipping. This makes the Alert 1 Medical Alert System easy to set up and use. As always, Alert 1 members are encouraged to contact Alert 1 Member Support with any questions or concerns about the set up or use of their medical alert home systems.

How are Medical Alert Systems Maintained?

Once medical alert home systems are set up, the pendant can be worn around the house, at night, and in the shower. With a press of a button, the monitoring center is reached in seconds. Alert 1 members and their families are encouraged to verify for themselves that the device is working by testing the device one per month. By pressing the button on a pendant or base unit, they will be able to hear the 24/7/365 monitoring center answer the call and be assured that if a real emergency were to occur, they and their loved ones can get help in minutes.

Why Is It Important to Test a Medical Alert Home System? 

It is best not to wait until an emergency occurs to press the alarm button. People with medical alert devices are encouraged to press any and all buttons they have once a month to be sure their devices are functioning at their best. It is during these tests that the monitoring center and customer support can see the battery levels on the buttons and base units. These support representatives are well-trained and can quickly determine if simple adjustments such as adjusting the length of a necklace pendant or moving the base unit will help the system function more effectively, ensuring you the best care if a true emergency should arise.

Should I Add Fall Detection?

Medical alert home systems can be used with or without the addition of the fall detection feature. For some, fall detection can be a vital life-saving feature. Those who are fall risks, who have fallen before, or who are unsteady on their feet should strongly consider getting a medical alert home device with fall detection. Fall detection functions by utilizing three important factors: speed, impact, and time without movement. This means that if someone is wearing the fall detection pendant and falls suddenly and hard against a surface such as a floor, and remains unmoving for at least ten seconds, the fall detection pendant will send a signal to the monitoring center on its own. The monitoring center will answer and ask if the individual is okay. If there is no response, they will send EMS. Those who wear the fall detection pendant and are knocked unconscious during a fall can still get help. Getting help quickly in a situation like this may affect whether the individual suffers lasting damage from their fall or if they survive. Although injury and death can be unpleasant things to consider, the alternative of losing one’s life or a loved one in such a way, would be much worse. 

How Do I Choose the Best Medical Alert System For Me?

There are no steadfast rules for how to age and care for others as they age. There are only guidelines. Each family will eventually find the course that works best for them. Making decisions which affect the quality of life can be daunting. These decisions are made a little easier when it is possible to consider what circumstances are preferred in addition to what is needed. Many aging Americans have always valued staying in their homes and view it as a preferred way to age. If the decision is made to age in place, medical alert systems may be the best choice to assist in caregiving.

 

 

[1] American Council on Aging. (2021 January 14). 2020 Nursing Home Costs by State and Region. American Council on Aging. https://www.medicaidplanningassistance.org/nursing-home-costs/

[2] Alert 1. (2021). Alert 1 Medical Alert Systems. Home Medical Alerts for Seniors - 24/7 Monitoring (alert-1.com)

[3] Snider, N. (2016 Mar 24). Home Matters: Aging in Place Housing Survey. AARP https://states.aarp.org/virginia/home-matters-survey

[4] Living Assistance Services. (2020). 4 Benefits of Aging in Place. Visiting Angels. https://www.visitingangels.com/knowledge-center/care-options/4-benefits-of-aging-in-place/348

Senior Woman Knitting