Medical Alert System – Each of us has a responsibility to look after our elderly relatives and friends. After all, they did the same for us when we were young. If you have elderly parents or other relatives who are independent and remain living alone it can be a constant worry. What if they fall and are injured? How will they let you know? What about those who are infirm or ill, and need to be in contact with someone at all times?
Not many of us can afford to spend all our time looking after a relative in need, but there are things we can do to make life a lot easier for them and us. For example, we could install a medical alert system in their home.
What is such a system, how does it work, and what benefits will it provide? We are going to answer all of these questions in the article that follows, so please read on.
Medical Alert Systems Explained
If you want to see a typical system, then check out this medical alert website for a full description of how they work. This is not the only system available, but it is one of the most popular. So, how does a medical alert system work?
A medical alert system consists of three elements: a central hub which is a wireless receiver, a pendant worn by the user which has a button to press when they need to activate the system, and a remote operations room. The latter is the key element that you want to check out.
Let’s imagine you have an elderly parent who lives alone, and who suffers from illness. They feel chest pains, for example, and are worried. All they need to do is press the button on the pendant (or, in some cases, it is on a bracelet.)
This sends a wireless message to the hub unit. This unit is plugged into the telephone line (or, in some, a broadband connection.) The hub telephones a computer in the control room. In the control room are a team of qualified and trained operators.
One of the operators will see the message on their computer, bring up the user’s details, and telephone them. This will have two possible outcomes: one is that the wearer of the device will not answer as they cannot get to the phone. In this case, the emergency services will be despatched immediately.
Should the patient answer the phone the operator will talk to them about their problem and choose to either send an ambulance if they deem necessary, or message on of – usually – three chosen ‘responders’ on the patient’s account. We’ll cover the responders later, but first, we want to talk about the possibility of the patient enduring a fall.
What Happens if the Wearer has a Fall?
Accidents happen, and it is not unusual for frail and elderly persons to trip and fall. This is a worry for family and friends. What if the person is injured, or knocked unconscious, or unable to get up for some reason?
Many medical alert systems have a movement monitor within the pendant or bracelet. During daylight hours – where the wearer would usually move around once in a while – it will alert the control room as to lack of movement. This results in automatic deployment of the emergency services and an ambulance or police will be sent.
This clever feature is one that you must make sure is present when you purchase your system. Now, let’s finish by talking about who should be your chosen responders.
Who are the Chosen Responders?
Most medical alert systems will ask you to nominate three responders. These are people who can be contacted when an alert is sent. One is usually a family member who generally looks after the patient. Another could be a neighbour, for instance, or a carer. Sometimes the local police are included as responders. We recommend choosing and nominating responsible persons who will be available in emergencies out of hours.
We can’t stress to much how these medical alert systems provide untold peace of mind to relatives and friends who have elderly and frail persons they care about, so start researching now and you’ll find one that suits you.