Choosing the Right Personal Emergency Response System for Your Parent
Made famous by the catchphrase repeated in the Life Alert commercial, “Help, I’ve fallen and I can’t get up,” Personal Emergency Response systems have changed the way medical emergency responders are reached. According to Life Alert’s official website, their Personal Emergency Response system saves a life from a catastrophe every 10 minutes. There are now a multitude of systems for you to choose from.
The Basic Premise
Your parent wears a pendant around their neck or wrist. If they fall, they push the button located on the pendant and the call monitoring center is notified. Staff at the call center determines if their caregiver or the emergency first response team needs to be notified.
In today’s quickly evolving technology, medical emergency response systems are changing rapidly. In addition to different models, you can currently purchase, rent or lease a unit. A good resource is your local Area Agency on Aging that may be able to tell you what options are available in your area. Primary considerations include:
- Make sure that the call monitoring center is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
- Find out who is alerted and what their average response time is.
- Ask what services and features are provided.
Services and Features
Your parent’s physical and mental limitations will, to a large degree, determine the services and features that you and your loved one requires. Here are the options to consider:
- Several models contain an optional fall detection device. For those families that are not sure if their loved one can push a call to request assistance, this option is an important one to consider.
- These devices only work if your parent is wearing the pendant. For those that are forgetful, some models offer help buttons that are wall-mounted near the floor in several rooms in case your loved one falls and does not have access to the pendant.
- Some models provide GPS tracking. This is ideal if your loved one has dementia, or should they fall and not be able to report their location.
- A mobile alert device is better for seniors who are often on the go. You can connect to the monitoring call center from anywhere and do not need to be home or within a certain number of feet for it to be useful.
Senior Care Provider
No technology compares to hands on assistance and personal care. Should your loved one require help with the daily activities of living, consider a senior care provider. They can be your eyes and helping hands when you can’t be there, providing both care and companionship.