Medical alert devices are great assets when it comes to ensuring the physical safety and mental well-being of an aging adult. Those nearing retirement age might not fully anticipate the changes taking place in their brains, which can negatively impact balance, mental acuity and response times. Additionally, many older folks might be unprepared to deal with the loss of a friend or a family member, as the frequency of such occurrences drastically increases in mid to late retirement. Thus, a medical alert device that detects sudden changes in the physical environment and offers a two-way means of communication is a great tool to assist a senior as they continue to age independently.
Reno, Nevada is known as The Biggest Little City in the World, and for good reason! The town offers older folks access to wonderful golf courses, ski resorts, casinos, mountains and lakes. These are just some of the reasons that Nevada continues to see such an increase in the senior population. The population of those ages 65 and older grew some 53 percent since 2000, with no projected decrease anytime soon. This portion of the population accounts for some 8.5 percent of Reno, or 20,800 persons.
People in Nevada should only plan to wait 14 minutes in the emergency room for care with an additional 42 minutes awaiting pain treatment for broken bones. This ranks Nevada as fourth in the nation for wait times. In Reno, Nevada, however, these wait times are compounded by long transfer times and travel durations due to the mountains, winter conditions and limited Level-I and Level-II trauma centers. While there are 10 hospitals in the area, only one has a trauma center and ambulance response times range from eight minutes in one direction to 80 minutes for a roundtrip.
Without a medical alert device or ready access to one’s medical records, these travel times are a wasted opportunity for first responders to begin initiating care. Wearing a bracelet or having a medical USB ready could be helpful prior to arriving at the emergency room.
As previously mentioned, Reno only has 10 large hospitals or medical facilities in which to provide short-term, long-term and trauma care to its nearly 230,000 residents. Surrounding locations such as Sparks, Truckee and Carson City drive this number up to 13 hospitals, but these areas are much harder to access and must also care for the influx of tourists that want to ski, boat or gamble. What’s more, the U.S. News and World Report only gave two hospitals high-performing marks, with one facility receiving a strong ranking in colon cancer surgery and another for diabetic care.
Suicide rates in Reno, Nevada are unfortunately on the rise. The town and county strongly encourage older folks to know how to get in touch with the Suicide Prevention Lifeline as well as how to call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Older adults should not be ashamed of feeling sad or lonely, as these are natural feelings that can be made worse as one ages and loses dear friends. Medical alert devices, especially those with enhanced technology, can get the older person the care they need both mentally and physically.
Reno, Nevada is truly a big town in a little town. The area is more than casinos and resorts, with boundless opportunities to explore lakes, villages and mountains. Being able to do so is made all the more special when an older adult has a medical alert device and does not have to worry. Such tools are smarter than ever and can detect barometric changes while also measuring for sudden accelerations or decelerations. Any drastic changes mean that a senior can program the device to alert a medical responder, family member or nurse in the event they are unable to speak or explain the nature of the emergency. Having such tools at the ready means seniors can be at their best both mentally and physically, regardless of the circumstances.