Medical alert services were designed to save lives by providing prompt emergency assistance at the press of a button. Many seniors find the service highly beneficial in maintaining a safe and independent lifestyle. If an emergency should occur, the senior presses the button on the wearable, waterproof pendant and is immediately put in contact with a live, trained operator who dispatches first responders. The operator will stay on the line with the senior until help arrives.
Over 2.4 million people live in Riverside, California. Seniors make up 13.9 percent of the city’s residents. Researchers theorize that in the next decade, the population of individuals over the age of 65 will double as the baby boomers start to reach retirement. There is no doubt that the senior density in Riverside will burgeon as life spans increase, more individuals hit 65, and retirees move into the area.
The emergency response time starts as soon as an ambulance leaves the garage/firehouse on a call and runs until EMTs are on-site rendering aid. The U.S. national average emergency response time hovers at around eight minutes. The city of Riverside knows the importance of rapid service. In the city of Riverside, the emergency response time hovers at 5.40 minutes or less in 90 percent of all calls. This is an impressive time considering the city’s sheer size and numerous residents.
Three hospitals were bestowed with an A rating in Riverside County by the nonprofit group Leapfrog. Kaiser Permanente Riverside Medical Center, Temecula Valley Hospital and Eisenhower Medical Center were recognized for their skills at preventing medical errors, accidents, injuries and infections. The San Gorgonio Memorial Hospital received a B rating in 2015 but has now plummeted to a D rating. Parkview Community Hospital Medical Center in Riverside has bestowed an F rating.
Diabetes in the senior population of Riverside hovers at the 20 percent level. Obesity is also a significant problem in the elderly population. Within the community, Native Americans suffer from significant obesity problems, with over 70 percent of the population being obese, according to the County of Riverside Department of Health. Unfortunately, 31 percent of the seniors in the city live below the poverty line, which contributes to food insecurity and the inability to purchase necessary prescription medications.
The city of Riverside has a high prevalence of seniors living in poverty conditions. Many do not have the funds necessary to pay their rent, buy food, pay utilities, or fill necessary prescriptions. There are medical alert services within the city that are geared towards fitting numerous budgets. Unfortunately, many people do not have monthly funds to pay for these services. Medicare or private insurance companies do not pay for medical alert services. Seniors who lack the funds should check with city, state and federal organizations to find qualifying programs that may cover the cost.