Medical Alerts for Seniors in Virginia

Introduction

Many seniors wonder how they will call for help if an emergency occurs when they are alone.   Medical alert systems can help seniors to call for help with the simple press of an alert button. When the button is pressed, the senior will be immediately connected to an operator. The operator will ensure that the senior will receive the needed help. To provide additional assurance, the operator will stay on the line until help arrives. 

For an added benefit, most devices are waterproof and can be used in the event an incident occurs in the shower or while bathing. If the senior cannot speak, the agent will take the necessary measures to ensure that help will be on the way. 

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Population Density

Recently released population predictions project that Virginia’s total population will increase to nearly nine million by the year 2020. It is also predicted that the population will increase to over 10 million residents by 2040. A large number of the projected residents will be ages 65 and older. Virginia’s senior population is expected to double by the year of 2030, accounting for 20 percent of the state’s population. 

This rising population of seniors aged 65 and over will account for the largest overall population growth in the nation. By 2030, the increased senior population will account for over 50 percent of the total population growth.

Emergency Response Times

When a senior calls for help during an emergency, the time it takes for help to arrive may seem like an eternity. In recent years, first responders in Virginia have been working to decrease their response times. Officials have begun examining the department's practices and procedures. From the moment a call is received at the 911 center to when a dispatcher inputs the information into the system, every minute matters. Virginia’s response times have decreased by more than 30 seconds over the last year. Virginia’s response time now averages 5 minutes and 15 seconds.

Medical Care in Virginia

Four metrics were compared in a national study that evaluated medical care in all states. The metrics included: the quality of Medicare, nursing home quality, hospital readmissions and preventable hospital admissions. Virginia received an overall ranking of 29 out of 50. The study provided a broad outlook on the nation’s healthcare. A state’s health care quality is essentially linked to the accessibility of health care, which contributes significantly to its health.

Senior Health Rating in Virginia

The latest federal government analysis was completed on each state across the nation. Virginia was among the top 10 states in the assessment in regards to health care quality. Out of 100, the state received a score of 62.5. According to the Commonwealth study, Virginia scores ranged from 46 to 52, placing the state in the median range among other states. The Commonwealth report is mandated by Congress, to provide residents with a complete overview of the state’s health rating and quality of health care.  

Other State Considerations

Medical alert systems can be utilized by seniors in Virginia from cities along the coast to the inland towns. Falls are among the leading causes of injuries seniors experience, report the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A medical alert system allows seniors to have access to emergency services by simply pressing a button. If necessary, seniors can also use their alert buttons during non-emergency situations. 

Furthermore, seniors may use their alert buttons to request an agent to call a neighbor instead of first responders. Regardless of the situation, a medical alert system can provide the assurance needed when necessary.  

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