How Can Seniors Carry Medical Alert Buttons Discreetly at All Times?:

How Can Seniors Carry Medical Alert Buttons Discreetly at All Times?:

time icon 3 min read update icon Sept. 17, 2019


Medical alert buttons are powerful devices that can put an older adult in touch with nurse practitioners, medical response teams or family and friends in the event of an emergency.


By simply pressing a button, a radio signal from the keychain, pendant or wrist-based transponder alerts a base unit or call center of a potential issue. What’s more, these devices are not strictly meant for use by older adults, but also folks recovering from surgery or undergoing any type of long-term treatment that has left them in a weakened state. Buttons and devices are ubiquitous across all age groups, as they are a reliable way to reach out for help no matter the emergency.

Medical Alert Buttons As Jewellery, Smartwatches

Wearing a medical alert button is a traditional means of ensuring safety for a reason: it works. Seniors have historically been able to wear the radio-based pendants in and around the home to get in touch with emergency personnel faster. The latest designs allow for use outside of the home, and buttons now blend in with other high-tech pieces everyone uses such as smartwatches, phones and software applications. No one besides the user needs to know that a certain necklace, keyring or cuff doubles as an emergency response beacon.


  • More likely to wear them:  One of the biggest issues with the adoption of medical alert devices is their actual use. Many older folks might not want to use them because they are bulky or awkward. That said, there are now wristbands, jeweled cuffs, necklaces and apps that make it easier for the button to go unnoticed by everyone but the user. 
  • Stigma:  With the advent of smartwatches and smartphones, very few folks even notice larger wrist pieces or devices. The stigma of a large grey or red button can be still further hidden in a jeweled cuff—one which could even draw compliments.
  • Safety:  Medical alert buttons were traditionally only able to function in the home, but now have more powerful ranges that allow them to go anywhere an older adult would normally go, such as the yard or garage. What’s more, many buttons can link to smartphones and GPS sensors that allow seniors to travel even further and more safely than ever without anyone else knowing they have an alert device on their person.

There is little question that medical alert buttons may carry some stigma, which is a shame. Medical alert buttons are a trusted means of alerting trained call center representatives of an issue so that they can dispatch the necessary resources to the senior in crisis. Buttons no longer have to be a sign of old age, though, as many can be safely nested into pieces of jewelry or ordered with specifications that are discreet. 

For example, you can now order a gold necklace with a matching pendant that houses a medical alert button, and no one would be the wiser! What’s more, sports watches are also available as are keyrings. There are many discreet options available, which should encourage more than just older adults to invest in such life-saving technology!

Kate Papenberg - Senior Advisor

Kate is senior researcher with Grandfolk® providing in-depth product and service reviews to empower senior buying decisions.