Medical Alert Systems: A Christmas Gift or a Lump of Coal?

November 19, 2012


Christmas is a time of gift-giving. So is it a good time to give your aging father or mother a medical alert watch? It all depends on how you give the gift. Give it too bluntly and you might find yourself with a fight on your hands.

Picture it: You’re a 75-year old man who is in generally good health and lives independently. You don’t need a retirement home. Those are for old people. It’s Christmas morning and your kids have a present for you. What is it? A watch? A wallet? Let’s see…

WHAT THE HECK!?! It’s one of those medical alarms! They think I’m old!!!

We’re keenly aware that that’s the reaction many seniors have when they get one of our medical alert systems. They see it as a vote of no-confidence from their children. Tying the kit up with a bow doesn’t make it any easier to accept.

But how you present the gift just might make it more acceptable. Here are some suggestions that might help.

1. “Now, this is a serious gift.” Before you give your parent their gift, say something to let them know this won’t be the usual sweater or pair of socks. Don’t surprise them. The more shocked they are, the greater the chance they’ll reject the gift.

2. “This is a gift from all of us.” If you have brothers or sisters, make sure they’re on-board with giving a medical alert. You are, in essence, staging an intervention with your parent, and having multiple family members involved makes it harder for the senior to focus a negative reaction on you alone.

3. “We want you to live independently. That’s why we’re giving you this.” Most of our medical alert systems are given to seniors who live independently. Make it clear that you aren’t sending them to a retirement home, you want them to continue living where they are. A medical alert helps them stay independent!

4. “Do it for our sake.” Tell them that you worry about them, and giving them a medical alert helps you have some piece of mind. This can help shift the focus to you and away from the “you’re old” thinking.

We hope these tips make the gift-giving go a little easier.

Are you giving one of our kits this Christmas? Let us know how it goes. We’d love to share your story with others.

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