Fall Alert Your Guide to Medical Alerts

fall alert devices

Fads in fall alert devices

by admin on August 15, 2013

I’ve been writing about fall alert devices for a number of years now, and it’s been interesting to me to be able to have this unique view of this industry. I’ve seen a lot of medical alert fads come and go now. With so much change in the industry, one thing remains the same: These devices are so important for aging seniors who want to continue living independently.

When I first started, people looking into fall alert devices couldn’t get enough of the wall button. What tends to make a fad just a fad rather than a lasting development in medical alerts, is reliability. These wall buttons made seniors feel safe and secure even without them wearing their necklace or wrist band, and that proved to be a problem. There was no guarantee that mom would fall within reach of a wall button, so the wall button’s presence actually prevented the proper use of the medical alert. Similarly, a couple years back fall detection became the thing that certain companies really pushed. Eventually, consumers began to understand that fall detection could lead to many false alarms and a good amount of frustration. Fall detection was actually getting in the way of the intended long-term use of a medical alert. Seniors could become frustrated from the false alarms and even become scared of wearing their button! While both fall detection and wall buttons still exist, they both have proved to be useful in certain situations, but harmful in others. The current fad in fall alert devices is GPS mobile devices. While GPS devices are a nice way to help cover mom or dad outside of their home, they just don’t work as reliably as you’d need inside a home. Many seniors are using GPS devices as their only medical alert system right now. And many are learning the hard way why using GPS mobile devices instead of a standard in-home medical alert is just a fad.

The most important thing I can tell you, is that medical alerts have been around for a long time! Ignoring the fads and choosing standard reliable fall alert devices is easily your best bet for long-term success!

Everyone knows that these fall alert devices are real life savers for seniors during emergencies or falls. But hopefully this sort of thing is just a single occurrence, at most happening once out of a full year of wearing that medical alert button. What people don’t often consider is what that button does for a senior during the rest of the year… Wearing fall alert devices allows seniors to have confidence that they’ll be able to get help during an emergency. Their life is no longer consumed with caution and worries. Once your mother or father starts using these fall alert devices, you might notice some big positive changes! Maybe its that mom feels comfortable venturing into the garage, or doing certain things for herself that she wouldn’t consider doing previously. Even if it is just a matter of your mother feeling more confident living alone in her home, that is well worth incorporating this type of system into her life. More importantly, when a fall or emergency happens she’ll be able to get help quickly and easily. Getting help fast means she’ll recover quicker without developing ongoing health problems. This empowers her to spend more time living in the home that she loves! It really is an ongoing positive cycle! So here’s looking forward to a longer life of living more confidently!

When you order one of these fall alert devices, you’ll want to consider whether you have someone around and available who can help you plug in this device. Medical alert systems are very easy to plug, and most seniors are able to do it themselves! It simply plugs into a phone jack and an electrical outlet and you are done. But lots of seniors out there have heavy furniture in the way of their outlets or have limited mobility. And those with these obstacles should consider whether a family member or a neighbor might be able to help with this set up. Some companies offer to send a representative out in order to plug everything in. But this involves paying up to $100 for that installation and you’d have to bother with scheduling an appointment. For most seniors, simply ordering one of these fall alert devices from a good company that will ship their system out to you with no installation, activation, or shipping charges works best. That way you can set your medical alert systems up at your convenience and save up to $100 along the way! What if your daughter is able to help, but she’s not that technical of a person? Don’t worry! It really is that easy. And if she needs help, any good medical alert company will be able to walk her through that set up over the phone!

Under no circumstance do I recommend mobile fall alert devices to be used instead of a standard medical alert in your home. I have heard of too many seniors who switch back to a standard medical alert because they learned the hard way that the cell signal that their mobile device uses is much less reliable than a standard phone line. But some families want to protect their parents even when they are outside the home, out in public. Mobile fall alert devices certainly are a reasonable solution, but many seniors do just as well with a cell phone. These mobile devices tend to be about the size of a cell phone, and the GPS inside them is actually no different from the GPS inside of a cell phone. In fact, because the GPS in mobile devices only can locate within 100 yards of an individual many agencies will not dispatch to a GPS signal alone. So your parent would have to be able to speak to the operator to let them know what is going on and where they are (exactly the same as using the speed dial in a cell phone). The main advantage to a cell phone is that it provides flexibility in a non-emergency situation. What if your mom just needs you or your brother called? The added benefit of a cell phone is that it is a cell phone! While many seniors want to be protected while they are out and about, there will be other people around if they were to experience a fall. Many seniors only use a fall alert inside their home for when they are alone for prolonged periods of time.

When you order one of these fall alert devices, you want to make sure that it is going to cover you exactly where you need. A lot of seniors walk in their yard daily – whether they are working in their garden or just getting some sunshine. So it’s important to know whether or not your medical alert works out in your yard. All medical alert systems are designed to cover you in your yard and most have a big enough range to even cover your entire property. For most of them, you will not be able speak to an operator from outside – but they will have to assume you are in trouble because you pressed your help button and they will send help. Now, some fall alert devices offer a speaker in the pendant that will allow you to speak to an operator from outside. I do not recommend these devices because having that speaker means that the device is no longer waterproof and will not be able to be worn in the shower or tub. It is very important for your medical alert system to be waterproof so that you can be covered in the shower where so many falls happen! With whatever type of button you choose, you will be able to test that range once you plug that system in at your home. Call your medical alert company and they’ll be glad to instruct you on how to do that… It is so very important to test that range in order to know exactly where you are covered! You can always adjust the location of the fall alert devices to optimize the range outside. So don’t worry, you will still be able to go outside and enjoy the sunshine while being protected!

I’m always surprised how often families try to use fall alert devices as a short term solution. Maybe mom has health issues and dad is planning on being out of town for a couple weeks. Many people start investigating a fall alert that they can get for just a matter of weeks. This sort of decision makes little sense to me. The benefits of these fall alert devices are long term benefits. Improved health and independence for your mother and your father. With a fall alert in the home your dad can go to run errands without having to constantly worry about something happening to mom. Having a system in the home can even be helpful if your dad is in the other room or a different part of the house. Often getting help quickly can mean a big difference to a senior’s health. Your father will hear the medical alert sounding off when mom presses that button, and will be able to rush over to help her. So I really hope you approach these fall alert devices from a long term perspective. It will be a great help to mom’s health and happiness in the long run!

Trust me I know. If you are the main caretaker for your mom or dad you’re easily working more than a 50 or 60 hour week! It can be a very big job for one person to handle – emotionally, mentally, and physically. It’s important for you to know that fall alert devices can help. If you’re mom has a medical alert in her home, it means you can go out to get her groceries or even just go out for a little “me time” without having to worry. It’s also nice to have one of these devices in the home while you are around. If mom were to fall or have an emergency while you were just a couple rooms over, you would know immediately. When your mom activates her medical alert, it makes a loud alarm sound hat you will be able to hear from your entire house. You will know much quicker that their is an issue, and you will be able to come to mom’s aid much quicker! There are tons of great reasons to get your mom started with these fall alert devices. Start by talking the idea over with her! I think you’ll find that she is open to taking these important steps for her safety.

There are a few important things to look for in these fall alert devices. Of course, you know to find a medical alert company with great customer service and reliable monitoring… but are you remembering to also get a flexible service? Whether or not a fall alert devices service is flexible comes down to a few points. Do they offer a month to month service that you can cancel at any time? Do they give you a money back guarantee just in case? And will your monthly medical alert price ever change? Finding flexible fall alert devices for you mom is going to make sure that she gets her reliable service at the same rate for as long as she is a customer. It will also make sure that should the time come, she is free to cancel at any time! So protect mom. Choose flexibility…

It’s important not to let the topic of fall alert devices become a contentious one between you and your mother. I have a lot of faith that you can win her over with a serious heartfelt conversation about how having a fall alert can improve her life. I imagine your mom feels like somehow having fall alert devices will take her freedom away. It’s quite the opposite actually. Fall alert systems help mom live independently longer (not to mention just flat out live longer and healthier). So explain to mom how much you care for her and that you want her around for a long time! I’m sure you can win her over on this conversation. Fall alert devices simply are the smart way to protect her…

I have to admit that I just don’t get it. A lot of seniors talk about fall alert devices as if they take away a seniors independence. The reality is that having a fall alert is the perfect way to live in the home that you love for a much longer time. Not only are you able to get help whenever you need from anywhere in and around your home, but doing so helps you stay healthier and happier for longer. Fall alert devices enable you to stay at home, they empower you to be prepared for otherwise damaging emergencies, and they certainly do not take away your independence. It’s interesting to see more and more seniors coming around to this simple fact as knowledge about fall alert systems spreads. All I am saying is protect yourself, get on the bandwagon!