7 Reasons Why Medical Alert Systems Are a Caregiver’s Best Friend

April 15, 2014

Being a caregiver is like being a super hero, but every super hero needs a side kick.

Did you know?

According to the CDC, as of the year 2008 there were more than 34 million unpaid caregivers providing care to someone age 18 and older with an illness or disability. The caregivers surveyed reported having difficulty finding time for themselves, managing stress, and balancing their work and home responsibilities.

As a caregiver, you are like a superhero. You give your all each and every day to ensure your loved ones are taken care of. After awhile, you find yourself exhausted and quickly becoming spread too thin. So what’s a caregiver to do?

Well, even Batman needs Robin. Here’s 7 reasons why medical alert systems are a caregiver’s best friend.


1.) Low cost



Long-term care costs such as those covering nursing homes and assisted living are on the rise. US News revealed that in 2013, the median average annual cost of a private room in nursing home room was $83,950. They state that in-home care is a more affordable option, with the average hourly rate of a home health aide starting at $19 per hour.

While the cost of a home health aid is significantly lower than that of a private room in a nursing home, consider the fact that most medical alert systems range from $20-$30 a month.


2.) Innovative technology



In addition to the rising costs of healthcare, AARP released a survey in which they predict a shortage of family caregivers by 2030. In the study, they emphasize that advances in technology, such as medical alerts and phone apps, will help to fill that gap.

Many med alert companies are coming out with cutting edge GPS (coming soon!) and cellular units to help you keep track of the user in real time.


3.) Added comfort



Having 24/7 help available can allow the care recipient to continue aging in place. Most patients prefer to stay in their own homes as that is more comfortable for them. The user gets to retain more of their autonomy too, which is great for those who may be resistant to the idea of giving up their independence.



4.) Instant relief



Although a medical alert is not a replacement for the unique brand of love and compassion that only you can provide, it’ll always be there when you need a little extra help. You can use this when you need to go out to run errands, or when you need a little personal time to decompress from all your duties.

You can rest easy knowing that the patient will have 24/7 help available to them. Keyword: rest, since you need time to recover so you can replenish all the strength you’ll need to continue caring for your family.


5.) User friendly



Cell phones can be tricky for seniors, and disabled adults, to navigate. Their functions and features can be confusing. In fact, my grandpa outright refused to use one for the longest time.

Some seniors may have a hard time navigating through phone contacts, remembering important numbers, or pressing tiny phone keys to dial your number. As long as they can press a large button on a necklace or wristband, medical alerts will be easy for them to use.


6.) Personalized help



With a medical alert system, you get to set the emergency protocol. You dictate any emergency contacts you want called, in what order, and any other pertinent medical information you’d want the emergency responders to know. When the the user presses the button, the dispatcher will immediately know who they are and their home location.

This will save you a lot of time, since it could take several minutes for you to relay to the 911 dispatcher your location, any cross streets, and how to gain access to the home or facility, as well as any medications the person might be taking. All of the user’s information will be stored in a profile that will pop up as soon as the help system is activated.


7.) Flexibility



Most providers offer flexible payment options to fit even the tightest of budgets. Most services are transferable. Many health facilities keep medical alerts on hand to assist patients undergoing rehab, and other forms of treatment or recovery. As one patient moves on, an incoming one can use the system.

In addition, many medical alert service plans are offered contract-free. Providers realize that your circumstances may change at any time. You may need to discontinue service abruptly for a number of reasons, and you may have the flexibility to do so at any time and avoid being locked into a long-term contract. Always call and ask about their cancellation policy to be sure.


Important things to note


Before making the decision to purchase a medical alert system, you should consult with your family, and perhaps the care recipient’s primary care provider, to determine if the system will be a good fit for them.

If they have major cognitive issues, a health condition that will quickly decline without constant treatment, or may have trouble pressing a button, then other help options may be more beneficial.


What do you have to lose?


Many medical alert providers offer a trial period, so you can test out the system and be sure that it is a good fit for the person who’ll be using the device. If it doesn’t work out, simply return the unit within that period for a refund.

We’re always happy to answer any questions you may have. Please feel free to call and discuss your options with us today at 1-877-522-9633.

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