Many older adults inherently recognize the benefits of investing in a medical alert system, as it allows them to age in place longer. Unfortunately, many might know how they operate or how to maximize their capabilities.
Few would argue that the general populace of the United States is aging, with the average citizen being just over 37 years of age. To wit, there are now over 49 million persons, or 15 percent of the overall population, that are age 65 or older. What is of far greater concern for many leaders and government officials, however, is the anticipated increase in that cohort over the next three decades.
Those nearing retirement age account for 37 percent of the population or 1.32 billion persons. That is billions with a “b”! Thus, many programs and projects are now dedicated to helping seniors age in place longer, which reduces the financial strain felt by medical facilities, healthcare systems and retirement communities. One way to achieve this goal is to invest in a medical alert system.
Medical alert systems are a traditional means to ensure an older adult has ready access to emergency first responders or a call circle should they need a medical intervention. The systems are dependable in that they rely on information transmitted by the user via either a line-of-sight radio signal or a cellular, Bluetooth or WiFi connection.
The advent of technology has decreased average response times to mere seconds, which can mean an increased likelihood that a senior will have a much faster recovery. The range and effectiveness of systems vary based on the technology deployed, but the vast majority of the medical alert devices functional well within a home as well as near areas with strong wireless or cellular signals.
Whether a senior elects to purchase a more traditional or high-tech medical alert system is completely up to the user, but some type of system should be a strong consideration for those older persons living alone or aging in place. Medical alert devices are fairly simple to set up and only require a monthly subscription so as to maintain access to the call center or call circle in use by that plan.
Older adults that want to travel can still employ the same basic principles of reaching out for help, but simply relying more on GPS and cellular radio signals versus more standard line-of-sight transmissions to a base unit in the home. Just having the peace of mind that help is a moment away could instill confidence in an older adult and help them recapture their sense of independence, dignity and freedom.