If a senior is concerned about maintaining an active lifestyle while simultaneously remaining safe in the home, then a medical alert device might be a good investment. There are other options, however, when it comes to maximizing and boosting quality of life, especially in the great outdoors. There have been a series of developments in medical alert tattoos and pendants that interact with the user to let them know if their blood sugar is too low or if they are in danger.
Performing research is critical when selecting for an appropriate device, but there is little argument that even a small bracelet or waterproof wallet card is a good bet when trying to increase one’s safety.
Portland, Oregon is the 26th largest city in the nation. The population continues to age and grow, however, with 11.6 percent of the 600,000 city dwellers having exceeded 65 years of age. Demographers only anticipate this portion of the populace to increase as baby boomers—those born between 1946 and 1964—continue to age. The 65-and-over crowd grew by 18 percent from 2010 to 2014.
A senior worried about his or her safety, especially when it comes to urgent care response times, has good reason to be concerned in Portland. Portland, Oregon ranks number 42 in the nation when it comes to emergency response times, at 27 minutes. The wait is made still worse by door-to-door discharge times of nearly three hours, with broken bones taking 53 minutes to be treated. Long-term care check-in times are on par with national averages, but still exceed 90 minutes in most cases.
The dense populace, as well as the geography of the region, mean that ambulances may take between 17 to 18 minutes to travel seven miles or less, as is often the case with Providence Hospital and OHSU Hospital. In order to reduce some of this time, seniors are encouraged to invest in medical alert systems or medical filing technology that enables the patient to carry their data in the form of a USB pendant, USB bracelet, tattoo, wallet card or phone app.
Portland, Oregon has three top-rated medical facilities for geriatric care, as scored by the U.S. News and World Report. OHSU Hospital ranked 30th in the nation, with Providence Portland Medical Center and Providence St. Vincent Medical Center each reaching high performing status. OHSU scored exceptionally well for aneurysm repairs, hip replacements, knee replacements and heart failure, while both Providence facilities scored satisfactory marks for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease treatment.
Ultimately, there are 20 top-ranking facilities in the region for both long-term and more immediate care scenarios.
Portland is a vibrant and fun city for all ages. The city is ranked well for quality of life, cost of living and healthcare costs. The Oregon Department of Human Services has a special division devoted to elder care with a focus on reducing incidents of abuse and neglect. Additionally, the department provides information on senior employment, vocational rehabilitation, food benefits and disability benefits. If a senior wants to get out of Portland for a while, Mount Hood and the Cascades are but a quick drive to the east.
Portland, Oregon has a rich history driven by its pioneering founders and constant need to reinvent itself. The city is densely populated but does come with a vast network of healthcare providers and hospitals. Still, Portlanders ages 65 and over should consider adding a medical alert device or in-home system to their lifestyle to further ensure their ability to age in place.
Seniors no longer have to be confined to a 600-yard radius when using a fall-detection device; they can now simply synchronize the pendants they have with call centers, family, friends or mobile apps. Portland is certainly worth exploring, and it’s better if a senior can do so worry-free!