Medical Alert Tags for Seniors

Medical Alert Tags for Seniors

time icon 5 min read update icon Sept. 28, 2019


As an older adult, you have seen your fair share of hard times, and perhaps even participated in an overseas conflict, deployment or war. Not only should you consider yourself a patriot, but also a survivor. That said, if you served our country, you probably wore what has become known as a dog tag.

These little metal identification tags were meant just for the Department of Defense to keep tabs on you, right? Well, not necessarily, and what’s more, they can now used as a means to keep you safe.

Medical Alert Tag Overview

Medical alert tags might remind you of your time of service, but they are still useful today.

The history of the dog tag dates all the way back to the days of the Roman army. In those days, they were a way to identify recruits based on legion. Since that time, however, the military dog tag has become much more than just a form of soldier identification. By the Second World War, one tag had become two, and these tags provided vital information about the soldier or sailor, including name, Social Security number and blood type.

Today, tags can be customized, and provide just the essential details in the event you require first responder assistance.

Advantages of Medical Alert Tags in Medical Alerts

It goes without saying, but medical alert tags not only speak for you when you are unable or incapacitated, but they are universally recognized as a piece of identification that first responders look for when in crisis management mode. This might not always be the case with newer or trendier identification means such as tattoos or watches.

  • Historic:  As previously mentioned, dog tags have been around for millennia, so medics know where to look and what to look for in the event of an emergency.
  • Customizable:  Not only can you decide what pertinent information you want on display, but you can also pick different designs, colors and metals to get your message across.
  • Affordable:  Unlike bracelets, watches or USB-enabled bands, these tags are quite affordable, with many costing only $24.99 to $29.99. That said, there are options that come in gold or silver if the wearer would like to make more of a fashion-forward statement.
  • Dual-purpose: Tags are both fashionable and forward thinking if the wearer knows they suffer from bouts of forgetfulness or are prone to diabetic shock. These tags can relay critical information in the event you are unable to do so on your own.
Disadvantages of Medical Alert Tags in Medical Alerts
  • Stigma:  As with all medical alert systems and technologies, older adults might feel as though they bear a heavy stigma. In other words, wearing a medical alert tag or set of dog tags may make them feel helpless.
  • Effort:  Medical alert tags can be forgotten, as they are not as ever-present as, say, an in-home monitor or a tattoo. Bracelets, necklaces and tags should be placed in a location that older folks know so that they can put them on daily. Better yet, the tag should be light and fashionable enough that the older person does not take it off. Ideally, the senior should feel great wearing it all the time.
Medical Alert Tag Enhancement Options for Medical Alerts
  • Short and sweet:  Medical alert tags can carry a lot of information by using universally recognized abbreviations such as “ICE,” which means in case of emergency, contact a friend or family member that is designated on the tag. Other well-known abbreviations include no known allergies (NKA), no known drug allergies (NKDA), currently taking (ON) and allergic to and should not take (NO).
  • Wearer preference:  Unlike bracelets, tags can be placed on shoes, hiking boots, necklaces and other creative locations. Additionally, due to their low cost, wearers can elect to display one tag and carry another in a wallet, or leave one in the car should they be out on a walk or in a grocery store when they become forgetful or incapacitated.
Cost Consideration Associated with Medical Alert Tags

Medical alert tags are one of the cheapest options when it comes to providing emergency response personnel with your critical information. As previously mentioned, semi-fashionable tags average roughly $30 and can be worn on a simple ball chain necklace or laced through a sneaker shoelace. There are considerably more expensive tags that come in silver and gold. The latter option could run the wearer up to $1,249.99.

While this might seem excessive to some, these high-end tags might be just what the older person wants. If so, they may be more likely to wear them. Ultimately, is this not the best of both worlds?

Additional Considerations Medical Alert Tags in Medical Alerts

Medical alert tags, or dog tags, have been in use on battlefields, in the air and on the sea for as long as there has been reason to wear them. Today, older folks can use them to alert medical personnel and care teams of symptoms they may be experiencing, as well as new or chronic conditions that could leave them incapacitated or feeling suddenly forgetful. Military dog tags and medical alert tags do the talking for the wearer, and are a simple and affordable option for family members who want to ensure a loved one is quickly treated should they be unable to communicate an allergic or medical risk.

Kimberly Sharpe - Senior Advisor

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