Seniors who live in Tennessee may find comfort in knowing that a medical alert system could increase their sense of confidence in and around their homes. Medical alert systems were also designed to help seniors receive an emergency response in a timely manner. A medical alert system comes equipped with an alert button that allows a senior who is in distress to press it and summon help. Medical alert systems allow some seniors to live independently with minimal assistance.
Tennessee’s population consists of nearly 900,000 seniors ages 65 or older. The senior population has increased by 25 percent since the year 2000. This population increase is one of the largest increases among seniors in the southern states. The senior population is expected to continuously rise in the upcoming years. Many seniors in this population live alone, however, a medical alert system may provide the needed link to save a life in the event of an emergency in the home.
Research has shown that when emergency assistance arrives sooner, the senior is more likely to make a full recovery from injuries. If a senior does not have a medical alert system, it may be hours or days before help arrives. When the alert button of a medical alert system is pressed, help is guaranteed to arrive within minutes.
A local I-Team investigation analyzed a year's worth of data and found that emergency first responders in Tennessee sometimes took 15 minutes or longer to respond to an emergency call. Many of the extended response times took place in rural areas, such as near Davidson County's border. The National Fire Protection Association dictates that a person in an emergency needs emergency support within eight minutes. The state is steadily implementing upgraded technology in hopes of improving call processing and response times.
In 2015, The Commonwealth Fund rated the medical care provided in each state. Tennessee placed 43rd out of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. In its 2017 rating, Tennessee dropped to 44th place. The healthcare score was calculated on many health indicators related to access to medical care, treatment, and prevention. The state failed to rate in the top ten of any category, including avoidable hospital admissions, medical care costs, and healthy residents. At 11th, its uninsured rate came close to being just below the national average
Research shows that seniors who live in Tennessee are more prone than their peers in other states to being malnourished, physically inactive, and injuring themselves from falls.
In general, the health of seniors in Tennessee is among the lowest rated in the nation. A shortage of geriatricians may be blamed for the low health rating, according to a study completed by the United Health Foundation.
Also noted were challenges in the quality of life and the quality of care provided to seniors. America's Health Rankings Senior Report found that nearly 60 percent of seniors across the country live with four or more chronic conditions. Additionally, more than 34 percent of the population of Tennessee is obese.
The senior residents of Tennessee may be at a higher risk for falls, medical conditions, and other life-threatening medical issues; however, medical alert systems can provide them the ability to receive the help they need when they need it most. A medical alert system can also help family members protect their older loved ones when they cannot. Medical alert systems can not only help to keep seniors safe, they can also help to keep them independent and living longer in their own homes.