In-home and mobile medical alert systems can keep a senior safe. With an in-home medical alert system, a senior wears a pendant to summon help in the event of an accident or medical emergency. Many pendants also have fall detection and will automatically call for first responder assistance if a senior should fall and be knocked unconscious.
Currently, there are approximately 700,000 seniors in the state of Alabama and that number is expected to grow significantly as baby boomers reach retirement and the overall life expectancy of Americans increases. The University of Alabama's Center for Business and Economic Research projects that the senior population will grow by 543,000 people by 2040. The Alabama Department of Senior Services (ADSS) is working hard to meet the needs of the burgeoning population of seniors. Medical alert systems are not available through state government services, but they can be purchased from several independent dealers.
When a medical emergency or life-threatening incident occurs the length of time between the call for help and the arrival of a first responder is critical. It typically takes first responders 8 minutes within city limits to arrive after being summoned. That time frame increases substantially for rural areas. Outside city limits, it is not uncommon to have a wait time of 14 minutes or greater. In some cases, a senior may wait up to 30 minutes for help to arrive if they live a substantial distance from a metropolitan area. Unfortunately, rural Alabamians stand at a distinct disadvantage to their urban counterparts. Such extended wait times appear to be worse in the Black Belt area of Alabama (an area named for its distinctive black soil) In Alabama’s Jefferson County, the wait time for an ambulance can average between 12-42 minutes. The disparity in response time within the Black Belt counties compared to other counties in the state is believed to be because of the low number of hospitals in the region.
U.S. News ranked medical care at a dismal number 46 out of 50 in the state of Alabama. The ranking was based off three factors: health care access, health care quality, and public health care availability. The state has the distinction of ranking number two for cardiovascular deaths. Alabama also has the third-highest rates of premature death and diabetes compared to all other states. Overall, medical care in Alabama consistently ranked in the lowest 15 percent ratio compared to over states which have far better healthcare according to the Commonwealth Fund.
Studies rate the level of senior health care in Alabama to be one of the lowest in the country. CBS News and Wallethub place the state at a number 8 in their 10 worst states for healthcare list. The factors used to determine the health rating for the state were the overall cost of both medical and dental visits, quality of the hospital care throughout the state, life expectancy, heart disease rates, cancer rates, and insurance premiums.
No matter what state you opt to live within, having a medical alert system can be a true lifesaver by providing you with quick access to emergency first responder assistance. Medical alert services also provide peace of mind for any senior. Many states rank higher for overall healthcare and emergency response time, but despite their superior ratings over the state of Alabama, medical alerts are invaluable for any senior living an independent life in any region of the country.