Medical alert systems can offer a fast and simple way for seniors to receive help during an emergency. Whether the emergency is a medical issue, a fire, a fall, or any event that entails emergency or medical care, medical alerts can be used. When the alert button is pressed during an emergency, the senior will be immediately connected to an agent.
The most basic systems usually consist of a base unit and a portable unit that can be worn in the home. There are, however additional options available, such as GPS-based mobile solutions for seniors who are more active, as well as options that automatically transmit an alarm when a fall is detected. Reminder services are also available.
New Orleans is the largest city in the metro area of Louisiana. The estimated population of New Orleans has decreased significantly from a decade ago. Pre-Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans’ population was estimated to be nearly 500,000. Its population today is estimated to be 369,000. The senior population, ages 65 and older, is 12.2 percent. A study in 2016 found that the number of residents who moved away from New Orleans exceeded those who moved in. It is anticipated that with each new year, Hurricane Katrina’s effect on New Orleans will fade.
The city improved its emergency response time in 2016, reducing the time it took EMS personnel to arrive to the scene by nearly 15 percent, according to a study completed by the New Orleans Advoc. The city’s most significant improvement was seen in the department's emergency dispatches, which dropped from an average of 20 minutes in 2015 to less than 16 minutes last year. The decrease in emergency response wait times was attributed to more staff and newly implemented training.
Only one New Orleans hospital received an “A” on Leapfrog’s Hospital Ratings for 2016. Leapfrog is an organization whose goal is to regulate hospital’s standards across the board. The group was founded by employers and health care experts. They publicly report hospital performance data in hopes of saving lives and reducing errors, accidents, injuries and infections. New Orleans’ Ochsner Health System was nationally recognized due to its extensive research and wide array of medical specialties. The Ochsner Medical Center houses nearly 700 physicians and 80 medical specialties, six of which were ranked among the best in the nation by the U.S. News & World Report.
Nearly 25 percent of the senior population in New Orleans reported being in fair or poor health. These numbers reflect a widely recognized trend of increased health complications in seniors. In New Orleans, 21 percent of the elderly population lacks health insurance. Additionally, New Orleans had some of the poorest health statistics in the country, with high rates of chronic diseases, such as AIDS, asthma and diabetes. The city also has high rates of heart disease, cancer, stroke, high blood pressure and heart disease. The New Orleans population accounts for over 40 percent of total health care spending in the state of Louisiana.
New Orleans has long been recognized as one of the most appealing cities in the country. The city’s uniqueness, food, entertainment and people make it a top tourist destination. In 2015, a landmark retirement survey was released by Merrill Lynch. The survey revealed that the baby boomer generation is slowly beginning to migrate to parts of New Orleans for retirement, and 76 percent of the boomers plan to maintain an active lifestyle.
A medical alert system could serve as the peace of mind needed to allow seniors to maintain the active lifestyle they desire. Mobile systems can also be worn when the senior leaves their home, and GPS technology can aid in pinpointing a senior’s exact location during an emergency.