We’ve talked before about how technology for seniors can be helpful and necessary to ensuring that our loved ones are safe. Family members may have concerns about the safety of their loved ones when they are aging in place. What if they accidentally turn on the gas? Or what if they forget to lock their doors? What if they fall or wander and get lost? These are all valid and common concerns to have.
With the right supports in place, it’s possible for older adults to safely age in place.
Just because you’re getting older it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to move into a residential care home or independent living facility. Whether your support structure is family, friends, a medical care team, caregivers, home health, or other services — it’s imperative for you to have a plan. Technology like medical alert systems and wearable devices can be a part of that plan.
I’m sure you’ve heard about the original Life Alert and have seen the commercials. This type of service comes with bells and whistles with connection to a dispatcher and costs about $80 per month. That may be a justified as a necessary cost to ensure a fast response and safety for your loved one. Especially if your loved one is more prone to the risk of falling with limited help or assistance from someone.
Not everyone is consistent with wearing such devices which negates the benefit if a device ends up unworn or readily available to them. But there are many options available now and that’s what I want to touch on today.
Medical Alert Companies
Most popular medical alert companies like Life Alert, Philips Lifeline, and Medical Guardian all have monthly fees. There are also other companies with fewer features. Instead of a live person, text messages are sent to personal contacts or sent to 911 emergency with Mace Personal Alarms, Help Dialer 700, and Silent Beacon.
Wearable Devices & Medical Alerts
Another great option is a wearable device. If you looked into an Apple iWatch for example, more of an investment up front as they can cost anywhere between $250 – $800 dollars. But if you’re used to wearing a watch or jewelry already, you may be more prone to wearing this watch on a daily basis as opposed to a necklace or a pendant. With features such as a bright screen display, advanced health app, and safety features like GPS tracking, voice-to-text or call capabilities. Newer versions can even be worn in the water. Smart devices are very versatile and may tie in nicely to your advanced care plan.
The possibilities are endless! Plan how to safely remain in your home. Wearable devices and medical alert systems can accompany your caregiving arrangements. It’s important to have a strong support system and care team set up. They’ll be able to provide necessary recommendations and oversight to support you, as the patient or the caretaker. Age in place with applying simple safety measures today to help take care of yourself, maintain independence, and keep your family informed in the case of an emergency.