Tag Archives: Medical alarm

‘Convincing’ Your Loved One To Use A Medical Alarm Device

Aging in place is one of the last bastions of independence for many seniors. If your aging loved ones have been determined to hold onto their independence in this way, you know that equipping them with a personal emergency response system can help them achieve this goal. Investing in a personal medical alarm device should be brought up to your loved ones in such a way as to let them know that using one of these devices isn’t taking away any independence, but is actually assisting them with their desire to age in place.

Many individuals will say they don’t want to wear a personal medical device because they believe it will mean they are “unfit” or “not healthy enough” to live alone. If you share with them that these devices are worn as a preventative measure in the event they suffer a medical emergency or a trip or fall (which is a very real and startling statistic for individuals aged 65 and older) they may see the benefit of wearing one.

How can you appeal to the emotional side of this conversation? Here are some tips:

  1. “It’s a fact of life, Mom and Dad, that people over the age of 65 are more likely to experience a trip or fall” as a way to let them know that if they have a personal medical alarm device, a simple push of the button will provide access to medical care and treatment and therefore they have a better chance at recovery.
  2. “We worry about you.” This statement could be especially true if your parent is widowed and lives alone. Even if both parents are still living, each of them can have a personal medical device and this will provide peace of mind for the family.
  3. “It’s for peace of mind.” If you let your aging loved ones know it’s as much for your peace of mind as it is for their health they may agree to the device as a way to not only allow them to remain independent in their own home, but as a way to provide you peace of mind. It’s a win-win.

If your loved ones are more logical than emotional, here are some logical arguments you can share with them for the importance of having a personal medical device in their home (and on their person):

  1. One out of three individuals aged 65 and older will fall in the home. The longer they lie there without receiving medical care, the more serious the medical complications could become. Being able to press a button to gain access to medical assistance could mean the difference between a positive outcome or a negative one from a fall.
  2. A personal medical device will allow you to age in place. These devices offer you the ability to remain independent while providing access to medical care if needed. In the event of a trip or fall or another medical emergency, you may not be able to reach a phone and with one of these devices, you won’t have to.
  3. If your parents do not want to move into an assisted living facility, you should stress to them that one of these devices may mean they won’t have to. A personal medical device can delay that move for years, or perhaps for the duration of their lives.

If you can explain the viability of a personal medical device and equate it to an insurance policy – it’s something you pay for and hope you never need to use, but you are grateful it’s there if the time arises that you need it – your loved ones may see the benefit.

Selecting the Right Medical Alert System

products-lifefone-medical-alarm-system-bigWhen discussing the safety and security of your loved ones, deciding on the right company to monitor your aging senior is of the utmost importance. Here are the six things you ought to search when looking for a medical alert system.

1. Transparent Pricing – Verify that the home medical alert system company posts its pricing plainly on their website. This is an important factor as many companies only discuss pricing once an inquiry call is initiated. By putting the prices on the web for everyone to see it insures there are no hidden costs and everyone is paying the same thing.

2. No Contracts – The process of deciding on the right medical alert device is daunting enough without having to sign a long-term contract. Verify that the procedure is hassle free, from the first ring to ordering to canceling your alarm.

3. Endless Call and Talk Time – Nothing is more soothing than learning that in any given circumstance, there is somebody paying special attention to you. The ability to push your personal emergency response system at anytime without having to worry about going over your limit is priceless.

4. Positive Track Record – Seniors are frequently the focus of con artists; verify the organization you pick is part of a reputable business and holds a better business bureau rating. It is important to pick a company with a long track record for ease of mind.

5. All American – Be sure the medical alert system company you choose has its call center based in America and that they speak only clear plain English. Never bargain on quality or consistency when choosing this type of product for the ones you love.

6. Brilliant Customer Care – When you’re using your hard earned cash to provide a safety product for your loved ones, verify your medical alert provider treats you like family, like a part of their gang.

Essential Elements of a Medical Alert System

Author: John Clinton

John ClintonWhat are the components of a quality medical alert device?

Do you know what to look for?

Choosing the best medical alert system is a necessity. At some point, every senior who wants to continue living in their own home well into their golden years without having to worry about the risk of a medical emergency needs to have one.

The problem is finding the best system for you.

I want to share with you my experience in the world of medical alert systems and help you determine what to look for. Here are some essential elements that you should look for.

Company Background and Customer Service

The first thing you want to consider is company history. Alert systems aren’t always about the equipment or the technology involved.

Beyond the alert device you receive, an alert company provides a vital service. They are the people who guarantee that your equipment will function properly and the people that will pick up when you press the “help” button on your alert base station or monitoring device.

You want a company with 24/7 operations, well trained operators that you know you will be able to understand — don’t consider a company that outsources its operations to another country.

Personally, I recommend companies that own their own call centers. That way, you know right up front that they do their own training and that the company you are doing business with is responsible for the center that will answer your call. Many companies outsource their operations to other US-based call centers.

Do your research. Choose a reliable company with a history in the industry that owns their own call centers.


Technology is the part of the puzzle that most people focus on. Beyond determining if the company is credible and the call centers are company-owned, you’ll want to make sure that you are receiving the latest, most reliable, and trusted medical alert device.

Devices come in a variety of styles. Base station models with included pendants or wristbands that allow for remote operation are the most popular.

One of the most important decisions on base station and pendant technology is range. You’ll want a device that will accommodate for the size of your home and maybe your yard. Most systems are effective in the 400-500 foot range — meaning that the remote pendant will work 500 feet from the base station unit.

The best devices offer a range of over 1000 feet. The best I’ve seen on the market is 1500 feet.

Do You Need a Cellular Base Station?

Many people are doing away with landline telephones.

Some emergency alert providers can’t provide service without a landline.

If you want to install an emergency alert base station in a room or home without a landline telephone, you need to check to see if the company you choose offers cellular technology.

Search for providers that have 3G cellular base stations. These devices will provide connectivity as long as you can get cell phone reception at your home. Most cellular stations rely on the AT&T mobile network.

Additional Emergency Features

Some medical alert systems can provide more than emergency medical coverage.

Look for systems that allow easy integration with fire, smoke, and carbon monoxide detection systems. A few companies provide add-on features that combine these alert systems with a medical alert base station.lf-complete-package-web

Carbon monoxide is a silent killer and a constant threat that many people forget about. Having a medical alert system that doubles as fire or carbon monoxide detection can increase response time in the event of an emergency situation. I would bet that your current fire alarm does not automatically call the fire department for you!

Do Your Research

The most important thing to remember is to research your options completely.

Think about the company you want to do business with. These are the people you will rely on in an emergency.

Here are some questions to ask while researching:

Does the company you’re considering have a long history in the emergency alert business? Do they provide the technology you need? Are they accredited by the Better Business Bureau?

It’s worth the time to investigate your options completely. This could be a life-saving decision.

About John

John Clinton is the co-founder of medicalalertsystemsratings.com, a review and resources site specializing in medical alert systems.




Learning to Avoid Conflict While Taking Care of an Ailing Family Member

The family is at the core of our entire civilization and in many cultures the family unit is the foundation of society.  And where the family unit is strong the people tend to be more stable, caring and giving.

In many communities the mother is forced by economic necessity to work and as such needs to give her children to someone to look after while she is away from home. In some communities, the tendency has been for younger generations to remain in the city of their birth and the role of babysitting  is usually given to the grandparents or other relatives.

But so often it happens this older generation becomes feeble or ill and needs care in return. Where families are strong there is a good chance that this nursing and elder care will be managed by the various family members fairly seamlessly.

However, within modern and urban environments the family unit is under severe stress. Divorce and family breakdown leading to 1 parent homes is far too common. And even those families , which are reasonably stable, the connection between siblings and parents of both spouses can be weak.  It is not uncommon for the various households to be miles and even cities apart.

Thus when one or both of the older members of the family starts needing care there are a huge number of stresses and strains that can be put on the various relationships and marriages can fall under a lot of strain. It often falls on the adult child who lives closest to provide a lot of the time, attention and care leaving his or her family lacking the proper attention. This can sometimes lead to frustration because they are getting less attention than they are used to, or feelings of neglect, resentment or discord in the family.

The Solutions to these are far from straightforward and need some care and forward planning.

It is suggested that the siblings agree in advance the various roles each will play and do the best to share the load both physically as well as financially. The burden may be considerable including the employment of a professional care giver so as to free the family member  from some of the burden. One very easy step is to equip the loved one with a medical alert service to ensure they have access to quick help in the event of an emergency. In so doing, this frees the family member up to have more time to devote to their own career and family.

Vacationing With Your Aging Relatives


Remember all of those vacations your parents treated you to when you were growing up? If you’re in the “sandwich generation” you may now find yourself in the midst of caring for your own children as well as your parents. When you’re planning the family vacation you may want to make plans to invite your aging relatives along for the trip. While it is a viable option to bring your parents along, it’s wise that you plan ahead. For peace-of-mind consider the medical alert system from LifeFone. Your loved one can take their pendant to a new location whether you’re relocating for a week or a season. If you travel to a place with no land line, you can take advantage of the Emergency


As with traveling with children, timing is everything to ensure a successful trip. If you’re driving plan to stop every hour simply to let everyone stretch and use the restroom; don’t make your parents have to ask for a restroom break as it will make them self-conscious, just plan extra stops into the trip. If you’re flying, plan to arrive two to two and a half hours early to the airport to accommodate check in time and time to make it to the gate.


Choose a vacation spot that is amenable to the elderly. While you may have your heart set on a theme park vacation you will also want to find a spot that your parents will enjoy as you enjoy the rides.


Pack water and snacks when you’re visiting theme parks or other sites on your road trip. Also, don’t forget your parent’s medications and keep to the schedule they are on for eating and taking the medication so no one falls ill.


Choose accommodations that meet the needs of the elderly. Make certain there are elevators if you can’t book a first floor room and ask for senior-friendly rooms, if possible.


With preparation and planning, the vacation can easily be a memorable one for all family members involved. A family vacation is a great time for bonding between the generations and the memories made will last a lifetime.


Benefits of Medical Alert Systems

Medical alert systems are not new; they’ve been aiding the elderly and making it possible for them to live independently since the mid-’70’s. A home medical alert system is a device with components that make aging in place a possibility. A home base monitoring device, a telephone jack and a medical alert pendant are all that are required to enhance the safety and security of your loved one. If your aging parent suffers a fall or other medical crisis, they need only press a button on the pendant that they wear 24/7. Once the button has been activated, the central monitoring representative contacts the user; if there is no response, emergency medical personnel are dispatched and calls are made to family members and other medical providers of the user’s choice.

A loss of independence is typically a top of mind worry for individuals as they age, but the installation of a home medical alert system brings with it the ability to age in place and provides peace of mind for both the user and his family members. Using a medical alert system can actually prolong the number of years your loved ones can live independently.

Consider these facts on the aging population put forth by the U.S. Census Bureau, the National Center for Health Statistics and the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

  • The older population (65+) numbered 40.4 million in 2010, an increase of 5.4 million or 15.3% since 2000
  • Over one in every eight, or 13.1%, of the population is an older American
  • Persons reaching age 65 have an average life expectancy of an additional 18.8 years (20.0 years for females and 17.3 years for males)
  • Older women out-number older men at 23.0 million older women to 17.5 million older men
  • About 29% (11.3 million) of non-institutionalized older persons live alone (8.1 million women, 3.2 million men).
  • Almost half of older women (47%) age 75+ live alone
  • The population 65 and over has increased from 35 million in 2000 to 40 million in 2010 (a 15% increase) and is projected to increase to 55 million in 2020 (a 36% increase for that decade)
  • The 85+ aged population is projected to increase from 5.5 million in 2010 and then to 6.6 million in 2020 (19%) for that decade

When you consider that 60% of the visits to emergency rooms by individuals over the age of 65 are because of a fall accident that occurred in the home, it becomes more apparent that there is a need for individuals to be equipped with medical alert systems. If the senior in your life lives alone, he or she could suffer a medical emergency and be unable to summon help if he can’t make it to the telephone to call 9-1-1. The New England Journal of Medicine wrote that the “mortality rate is five times higher for individuals that lay incapacitated for 12 hours as compared to those that get immediate medical help.” The more quickly your loved one is found and treated the better the chance for recovery; the benefit of the medical alert system as a way to quickly summon assistance becomes more obvious, especially if there isn’t a caregiver that visits on a daily basis.






Medical Alert Systems Benefit Seniors And Disabled Individuals

More than one third of the population over the age of 65 is likely to experience a fall. If your relatives live alone and you’re not able to stop by daily, your aging relative could lie hurt and alone until your next visit. If, however, they have a medical alert device, they could take steps, at the mere push of a button, to access emergency medical care. Access to immediate medical care greatly enhances the chance for a complete recovery from a trip or fall accident or other health emergency.

Offering the senior or disabled adult in your life a medical alert device means he or she will always have access to prompt medical care if an emergency arises. Whether they have indicated it to you or not, the fear of falling is likely in the back of your aging relatives mind whenever he or she is home alone. This fear could cause them to restrict their daily activities and this can lead to increase risk of health issues. Remaining active is crucial to long term health as we age.

Equipping your relative with a medical alert system can enhance their life and help them retain their independence and add to their quality of life if they’re no longer afraid to undertake daily activities. The medical alert device can even be (and should be) worn when they go out into the yard to enjoy a warm summer day or even do light yard work. Consider too that a medical alert device is waterproof which means your relative can wear it when he is showering, something you can’t do with a cell phone. Even if you have a cell phone for your aging loved one, there is a chance they could drop it, the battery will lose its charge, or in the event of an emergency, they may be too flustered to even remember what phone number to call. With a medical alert device, at the push of a button help can be summoned and this can help to diffuse stressful, painful situations.

With a medical alert device you can also rest assured that your relative will be protected because the medical alert systems come with battery backup devices.  Medical alert devices add to peace of mind and can reduce fears of living alone, something that could be crucial if your relative is widowed. These systems are also affordable and reliable and can enhance your relative’s ability to age in place for many more years to come.

Senior-Friendly Benefits Of Medical Alert Systems

The idea of a medical alert system seems like a good idea to the person suggesting it, but it may feel like an invasion of privacy to the elderly individual wearing it. The senior who’s faced with wearing a medical alert pendant may not want to consider that they are in need of that type of equipment because it forces them to face their fears of aging and mortality.

The medical alert system is a godsend for many as it provides a sense of independence and a feeling of security, an especially important feeling if they live alone. Whether they want to admit it, the senior in your life may feel a sense of apprehension at the idea of living alone, and this is more true if he or she has suffered a fall or is dealing with an ongoing health concern. For individuals living alone, a medical alert system provides a sense of security because they know if they are injured or fall ill when they are home alone, they can summon assistance at the push of a button.

The components of a medical alert system include a transmitter base unit that is placed in a central location in the home and the medical alert pendant or bracelet that your aging relative wears. The pendant can, and should be, worn 24 hours a day; the devices are waterproof which allows for wear in the tub or shower. If the wearer suffers a medical emergency, he or she needs only push the button on the pendant and a signal is sent to the base unit which then transmits a message to the medical alert monitoring center. Trained specialists at the center then provide assistance. The way the device works, in practice, is that once the individual presses the button and the monitoring center is alerted, there will be verbal communication between the center and your aging relative. The monitoring center specialist has access to the individuals’ medical records and emergency contact numbers. As a fail safe in the event of a power outage the base unit is equipped with a backup power system to ensure that the elderly individual remains protected.

When signing up for a home medical monitoring service, you will be asked to complete a health information intake form and will be asked about medications and current health condition and any disabilities. The individual being equipped with the system will also have an option to add preferences on who should be contacted in the event of a health crisis – family, doctors, specific healthcare providers, etc.

If the senior in your life balks at the idea of this constant monitoring, impress on them what they’re gaining – the ability to age in place, peace of mind in the event of a medical emergency and an overall feeling of security for those who live alone. For some individuals, wearing a medical alert pendant may mean they can delay having to move into an assisted living facility because this device may allow for more years of independence because it is a lifeline to emergency care.

Taking Care Of The Caregiver

When it comes to jobs that are both physically demanding and potentially emotionally draining, being a caregiver is one of the toughest. Caregiver stress is a very real situation as many are in the “sandwich generation” – so called because the caregiver is in the midst of raising his or her own family, pursuing a career and also taking care of aging relatives. There are some practical items that will help make caregiving a little less daunting. These not only make life easier for the caregiver, but provide safety, security and peace of mind to the relative living alone.


  • Medical alert devices provide peace of mind when the caregiver goes home for the day. These devices provide the senior in your life with a medical alert pendant that they wear 24/7. In the event of an emergency or a slip or fall accident all they need to do is push a button and emergency help will be contacted.
  • Motion sensors are indispensable for individuals living alone. They can be installed in household fixtures including faucets, stoves and are also ideal for turning on lights in rooms that your relatives are entering. Many of these sensors have automatic shut-offs so your relatives don’t have to worry whether they’ve turned the lights off when they leave the room. Don’t forget to purchase LED nightlights. Once the ambient light is low enough, these lights turn on automatically; they are also a low cost, energy efficient way to shine light on darkened hallways and rooms.
  • Make use of a large wall calendar to keep track of who’s coming to visit, when the doctor’s appointments are and to jot a simple “Hello!” message that your relatives can look at once you’re gone. Having a central calendar also keeps all siblings and family members on the same page when it comes to the goings on in your loved ones life.
  • Use riser blocks for furniture to make it easier to get into and out of. If your loved ones have furniture that sit low to the floor it can be a challenge. There are riser blocks that can be purchased and placed under the furniture to make it taller which will make it easier for them to use.
  • When it comes to preventing trip and fall hazards, purchase non-skid slippers or even traction socks; these are perfect gift items. If your loved one’s home has hardwood floors, it may make for easier housekeeping but it can be difficult to navigate those slippery floors if they have balance problems or difficulty walking because of achy joints or arthritis. Traction socks not only provide warmth but have non-skid rubber treads on the bottom that makes it safer for them to navigate the house.

When a caregiver can go home at night knowing that their aging relative will be safe at home it allows them to rest and relax and unwind from the stress.


Winterization Tips For The Elderly

Many of us look forward to the first snowfall with anticipation, especially after a long, hot summer. For the elderly, however, winter isn’t about snowflakes, sledding and warm cups of hot cocoa. Winter can be an overwhelming time for senior citizens, especially if they live far from caregivers that can help with the demands that winter weather bring with it. From shoveling sidewalks to clearing snow and ice from the cars to fears of frozen pipes and simply keeping warm and safe, winters can be long, lonely times for senior citizens.

If you or your aging relatives live in an area of the country where winter is a concern, here are some steps to take to alleviate winter worries for the seniors in your life:

  • Make certain the house is properly insulated. By installing insulation around the windows and doors you can reduce the cost of heating bills and this will make it easier to maintain a steady temperature in the home. Draft blockers for all doors will also help keep the home warm and wintery drafts out.
  • Make certain there is a plan to keep the driveway, doorways, sidewalks and porches shoveled and de-iced at all times. If a family member doesn’t leave nearby, you will want to hire someone to take care of these issues.
  • Install programmable thermostats. This will be one less item they will need to remember and the thermostat can be scheduled to turn the temperature up and down based on the bedtimes of your aging relatives. Turning the heat down when they’re sleeping helps keeps the utility bills manageable.
  • Have the furnace checked well prior to the first snow fall. Having a professional come in once a year to clean and check the furnace can help alleviate any problems in the dead of winter and can find any potential problems before the heating season is in full swing.
  • Medical alert devices. It happens that in the winter people get out less and should an elderly person fall, they could perhaps lay on the floor a few days before someone stops by.  A medical alert device offers peace of mind that should a fall or medical emergency occur, help can be aleterd at the push of a button.
  • Make sure the pantry is stocked with nonperishables and foods that can be eaten without having to be cooked in the event the power goes out or weather is so bad they can’t get to the store.

Taking steps now, while the weather is still warm, could prevent issues once winter settles in across the country.