Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Top Products to Make a Long Life at Home Easier- the Medical Alert

Continuing my series of the top products that make a long life at home easier, today I want to talk about one that several of you have mentioned in response to previous posts—the medical alert.

Let me start with a story about a friend’s mother, Joan, who is 84, and doing just fine for her age, but has fallen several times in the last year.  Each time it was a freak occurrence. 

Her first fall involved her 80-pound Labrador retriever, Susie. Yes the dog is not a good choice for a senior, but that’s no longer negotiable.  Susie does offer some health benefits as Joan takes her for a two-mile walk every day.

Susie’s generally a good girl, but the lure of a fast-moving cat is simply irresistible.  And the urge to chase comes on unexpectedly.  So one day last year when Joan and Susie were enjoying a walk through a field, Joan suddenly felt the tug of the leash. She had always told herself that if this happened, she would let go, but she wasn’t quick enough.  She was pulled forward, set off balance, and collided with the ground.

Nothing serious--she was just a little bruised.

Another fall happened when Joan got up from bed too quickly after a bout with the flu. She managed to go downstairs, but when she reached her townhome’s first floor, she fainted.  Once again, the results were similar to the Susie-induced fall. 

The third fall happened recently when Joan was climbing up the stairs. She was using the stair railing to help her maintain her balance when it abruptly broke, propelling her forward onto the stairs in front of her. The hardware that supported the railing had simply cracked in two.  Luckily she was going up and not down and, once again, got away with a light bruising.

Joan is a woman, like so many other seniors, who wants to enjoy her independence and live life on her own terms as long as possible. But the warning signs are there. Three times lucky, but what is the next fall going to bring?  Because in all likelihood there will be another fall.  When a senior falls even once, the odds are good that they will fall again.

What if on any one of those three occasions she had not been able to get up?  She could have been stuck in a field with no one to assist her. (Susie isn’t Lassie and wouldn’t have run for help.)  What if Joan, alone in her townhome, had a broken hip and could not crawl to the nearest phone?  She could have lain there for hours, or even days, before anyone discovered her. And the longer it takes before a senior receives help, the more severe an injury is likely to become.

That’s why medical alerts are one of the top products to make a long life at home easier. With a medical alert, Joan could summon help with the touch of a button without breaking the budget.  Medical alert monitoring is generally around $25 to $30 a month, less than most people’s cable bills.  And what’s more important Mom’s safety or the latest TV show?

Medical alerts are not overly intrusive either. The devices consist of a base console plugged in the home’s telephone jack and a wearable device.  Seniors can get an alert in a necklace, a wrist band or a belt clip.  If they get a medical alert that’s safe, waterproof and UL listed, they can be as independent as they like, but with the full assurance that help will be there if they ever need it.

While you might be familiar with the medical alerts that enable you to call for help, some go beyond that. They actually detect when a senior needs help by sensing falls, odd movements, and long periods when the user isn’t moving. In these situations, help is on the way. It’s not only perfect for seniors who are unable to call, but also those who are too embarrassed or to call.

 Please help me to create a comprehensive list of the best products for aging in place.

What products or services do you recommend for living a long, safe life at home?

What successful experiences have you had medical alerts?

Goodbye for now….George Flowers

P.S.  If you live in New Jersey, Pennsylvania or Delaware, please contact us for a free in-home consultation—we’ll let you know if your loved one is safe and what we recommend.  Or call us now at 1-877-426-8466.

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