Seniors who are concerned about their safety in the home may find assurance in a medical alert system. These systems can be a great option to provide security while maintaining dignity and independence. Medical alert systems can be modified to accommodate most budgets and specific needs. Medical alert systems are simple to assemble and usually only include a wearable device and a base unit.
At the onset of an emergency, a senior can press the alert button on the device, signaling an emergency to the monitoring center. The senior can then communicate the emergency through a 2-way speaker on the base unit. Systems can also be customized to include fall detection and GPS capabilities.
Fort Worth, Texas has a population of nearly 900,000 residents. Fort Worth has the 10th largest population of seniors ages 65 and older in the U.S. Its senior population makes up eight percent of Fort Worth’s population, according to data from the 2010 United States Census Bureau. The data also show significant trends in the increase of the senior population. Since 2000, the number of residents 65 and older has increased by more than 70 percent. Furthermore, the population in Fort Worth of seniors 85 years and older has more than doubled in the past decade.
A city’s emergency response time is defined as the amount of time it takes for emergency personnel to respond after being notified of an emergency. The target emergency response time for Fort Worth is five minutes. However, on average, the city exceeds their goal by 47 seconds. Fort Worth’s goal is to minimize systemwide response times in efforts to decrease the rates of complications associated with illnesses and injuries.
Medical alert systems can help to minimize response times. When a senior presses an alert button of a medical alert system, a signal is sent to a central monitoring center. Certified agents can then assess the situation and immediately dispatch the medical response authorities. Agents can also alert pre-determined emergency contacts of the emergency as it occurs.
Each year, U.S. News & World ranks the best hospital in the nation. UT Southwestern has been named the best hospital in Dallas-Fort Worth on the 2017-2018 Best Hospitals list. Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital in Fort Worth ranked fifth and Medical City Fort Worth Hospital ranked seventh. These exceptional rankings are clear indicators of the dedication of the staff delivering high quality care to patients and their families.
The most common diseases in Fort Worth are cancer and heart disease, followed by Alzheimer’s disease and diabetes. Diseases such as asthma and hypertension are also diseases that plague many in the city’s population. The county’s Chronic Disease Prevention division aims to help seniors understand and better manage the diseases they are facing. The city also reports a very high rate of hospitalizations due to injuries from falls among older adults
Unfortunately, Medicare and most insurance companies will not cover medical alert systems in Fort Worth. However, there may be other state programs that will assist in obtaining a system. Accidents usually occur when seniors are alone, and data shows that nearly 30 percent of the seniors living in Fort Worth live alone.
A medical alert system can aid in providing reassurance to seniors who are alone when an emergency occurs. By simply pressing an alert button, they will be connected to an agent who can immediately summon help. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 25 percent of seniors ages 65 and older fall each year. When a senior reaches 80 years old, their chance of falling increases to 50 percent.