Having ready access to a medical alert device can help an older adult that is new to an area feel more confident and help them get out of the house and more involved in the local community. Many medical alert devices pair nicely with cellphones for more immediate access to emergency first responders, call centers, family or friends.
North Las Vegas, Nevada is just one example of a city that is on a strong and steady trajectory of growth across all demographic cross-sections. North Las Vegas, which is the area just north and east of Sin City, is no longer considered a sprawling suburb, but, rather a city in its own right. The town boasts a population just shy of 250,000 people, which is up from 230,000 people just two years ago. Of those, 8.9 percent are ages 65 or older. The state has one of the fastest growing retiree populations and saw a 53 percent increase since 2000. Growth is only expected to continue, especially in areas just outside of Las Vegas and Henderson.
Like the rest of Nevada, North Las Vegas is able to take advantage of a vast array of hospitals and trauma centers that span from the Mojave Desert to the Hoover Dam and beyond. The state has the fourth-lowest wait times for emergency care, with patients typically only waiting 14 minutes before being admitted for long-term care or treated immediately for less urgent matters. Moreover, broken bone care will take place after a brief wait of 42 minutes with long-term transfer times only lasting 151 minutes. Discharge and paperwork tally another 150 minutes, but, again, these times pale in comparison to more populated states on the East Coast where wait times typically exceed six, seven and eight hours.
Travel times to the emergency room are also very speedy due to the flat geographical features of the Mojave Desert. That said, being exposed to such harsh conditions means that seniors should take their safety seriously and know when a heat wave is in effect. If they must go outdoors, then it is strongly encouraged they take a medical alert device or similar means of communication should they feel overly fatigued or faint.
The greater Las Vegas Valley boasts over 34 hospitals with many having Level I and Level II trauma facilities. One such hospital is Mountain View, just outside of Las Vegas. This facility is well known for its ability to treat heart failure in a timely and considerate matter. This is an incredibly important factor to consider given that the leading causes of death in North Las Vegas and Nevada are heart disease and cancer.
Older adults in North Las Vegas should be aware of the many safety considerations associated with living in a town that takes its name from a place known as Sin City. Not only is crime on the rise in places north of McCarran International Airport and just beyond Nellis Air Force Base, but increases in tourism and construction can bring an unpredictable crowd to the area. Additionally, weather can be extreme, with winter temperatures being unseasonably cool and summer feeling more arid than humid due to the elevation of the Mojave Desert.
While North Las Vegas continues to grow and expand into the far reaches of the Mojave Desert, seniors should not assume that being outside of city limits means they can leave their doors unlocked or windows open. To wit, seniors should be aware of not only how hot the area can become during the day, but also that crime is of concern. In order to combat both extremes, many older adults might want to invest in either an in-home or a mobile medical alert system.