Medical Alerts Wristbands for Seniors

Medical Alerts Wristbands for Seniors

time icon 6 min read update icon Sept. 30, 2019


Perhaps you are considering a medical alert device but are getting discouraged about the costs involved. New technology can be expensive, and many devices require monthly subscription service costs. When you are on a fixed income, this can start to feel like a heavy burden. In order to maximize your safety and provide critical information on your behalf should you fall or suffer a bump to the head, one cost-effective option might just be a medical alert wristband.

Medical Alert Wristband Overview

There are affordable and effective options when it comes to maintaining your safety and ensuring that medical first responders can get to the root of your symptoms and save you from unnecessary tests that only prolong your stay in hospital. While in-home systems and GPS trackers are great tools, having the means to maintain them is another thing. So, why not keep it simple with a medical alert bracelet or wristband?

These highly customizable trinkets are more than just a fashion piece—they can convey a lot more information than initially meets the eye. Just consider that a small bracelet made of silicon stating ‘TYPE 1 DIABETES’ would cost you only $9.99 for a pack of five, and also potentially speed your diagnosis and get you on the path back to health that much faster.

Advantages of Medical Alert Wristband in Medical Alerts

Besides their low-cost point, medical alert wristbands are an effective means to communicate your vital health statistics in the event you are unable to do so. First responders will also be less likely to make errors or spend crucial time trying to contact someone who knows more about your condition. Other advantages include the following:

  • Safety and security:  A simple investment in a silicon wristband or metal-based band could prevent a much longer stay in hospital if you have a known allergy or are mistreated at the incident scene.
  • Great for all condition types:  Even if you are only experiencing short-term symptoms, a medical bracelet is not so major an investment that it cannot simply act as a reminder or charm after its intended use. Additionally, more severe or long-term issues like Alzheimer’s and dementia are just as easily communicated by a piece of jewelry on an older person’s wrist.
  • Upgrade:  Some wristbands now have a one or two-way button that does not require WiFi or GPS in order to communicate with a command center should you fall within your home. What’s more, the range is up to 600 feet in some cases!
Disadvantages of Medical Alert Wristband in Medical Alerts
  • Depression:  Feeling like you have to wear an emergency or medical alert bracelet may come with unexpected feelings of depression or anxiety. Worrying about your next fall or hypoglycemic event might make you feel older than you are, and a bracelet may compound those feelings. This may negatively impact your quality of life.
  • Daily use:  Forgetting to put on a wristband or failing to get into a routine regarding the use of your wristband is likely for seniors who are not used to wearing jewelry.
  • Technological failure:  In some advanced wristbands, the technology might fail or miss an update. If this happens, it can leave you at risk of not being able to convey your medical needs should you take a spill.
Medical Alert Wristband Enhancement Options for Medical Alerts
  • Advancements in technology:  While advances in technology can be both a blessing and a curse, some of the latest studies are looking to add features that provide pulse, heart rate and heart rhythm statistics to the wearer through use of light-detecting signatures.
  • Long-range monitoring stations:  Some older wristbands were no more than alert buttons that functioned only in the home. Nowadays, however, there are waterproof options that have a range that allow users to go outside comfortably.
  • Customizable:  When your condition changes or improves, the bracelet can be redesigned for only the cost of the tag.
  • Connectivity:  Many wristbands now feature watches, health monitoring technology, magnetic bands, USBs and cellphone data storage easily accessible by a QR code.
Cost Consideration Associated with Medical Alert Wristband

Depending on your health, symptoms and tastes, the cost of a wristband is highly variable. Again, and at the lower end, a pack of silicon bracelets is less than $10, while a more capable device could exceed $50. The initial cost should not be on the only consideration when purchasing a bracelet, though, as you should select something that you will wear in a material that will not result in skin aggravation.

A final cost consideration might be maintaining the bracelet, especially if it comes equipped with GPS or is cellphone enabled. Keep in mind that updates to your phone or operating system might leave you without the ability to communicate your medical issues in the event of an emergency, so it’s wise to have a backup plan.

Additional Considerations of Medical Alert Wristband in Medical Alerts

While simple, medical alert wristbands are a tried-and-true form of identification when you are not able to speak for yourself or have forgotten where you are. Wristbands can provide such seemingly universal information as blood type or who to contact in case of an emergency, as well as more nuanced details such as condition or allergy considerations.

Leaving home without your wristband can happen, but should happen less frequently once it becomes part of your routine. Finally, with the advent of more and more technological features, a wristband can be just the key a first responder needs in order to access more detailed information via cellphone, app or USB.

Kate Papenberg - Senior Advisor

Kate is senior researcher with Grandfolk® providing in-depth product and service reviews to empower senior buying decisions.