People joke all the time about the TV ads with the senior citizen on the floor exclaiming, "Help, I've fallen and I can't get up!" There's really nothing funny about it once you know that 3 million people are treated for fall related injuries every year to the staggering figure of $50 billion in health care costs! It's definitely shocking and not funny at all to realize that the average length of time someone spends without help after a fall is 18 hours!! My mom was one of the "lucky" ones since she waited about four hours before she was found on the floor, and I think that's four hours too many. Falls can happen to anyone at any age. I was recently brought to the floor by a tiny piece of lettuce at a luncheon! It’s definitely embarrassing and not funny when it's happening to you. I was fortunate to have help and my injuries, besides to my pride, were minimal.
So, what can we do to reduce suffering and get immediate help when needed? My advice is to take advantage of today's innovative devices and systems for 24/7 protection. First and foremost, don't think that a cell phone or a landline will be the answer when you or someone you love is in the middle of a life threatening health or safety emergency. In most cases, it just isn't feasible or realistic. Plenty of accidents happen in the shower and you sure can't take the phone or a fancy watch in with you!
Today's innovation has far outpaced "your grandma's medical alert". Instead, you can rely on a stylish wrist pendant from Electronic Caregiver to connect you to emergency operators, 24/7, at home, in the shower and on the go. With the push of the pendant, your location will be known via GPS locators, the operator will ascertain your situation and dispatch local emergency responders if needed. Another operator will be calling your emergency contacts to alert them. Wouldn't you rather have local emergency responders know who you are and some details about your major medical concerns, your medications and healthcare directives rather than coming to your aid knowing nothing? I sure would. Our operator stays on the line until they are by your side. I call it Concierge-911.
If you're like most adult children of seniors, you spend a lot of time worrying about their well-being and make frequent phone calls to them daily to check on them. When you're comparing personal alert devices, find out if the one you're considering has a cell phone app connected to the system. Being able to locate your loved one, and recording messages to the device such as medication and appointment reminders, and scheduled check-ins are just a few tools available with Electronic Caregiver. Wouldn't it give you some much needed peace of mind if you could know that your message was received instead of calling repeatedly or rushing over unnecessarily? Wouldn't you want your loved one to preserve his/her dignity and independence along the way? I'm sure you would.
In a nutshell, a personal health & safety alert is like car insurance. You know that you must have it, but you hope you don't need it. Chances are that you will need it, so don't "fall" for your grandma's medical alert. We are so far beyond that now!
Dot Boyd, Senior Safety Specialist