My parents live in the country and are 750 miles away from me. My mother has dementia, which is of course getting worse. They stubbornly refuse to move. Please let me know if you have any experience with the "Life Alert" type system. I'm afraid she would forget to wear it! Thank you.
@sb93152855 That's a real concern - the system won't do any good if she won't wear it! So the best you can do is select a system that she's most likely to wear. I generally like those that you can wear on your wrist like a watch - people seem less likely to take them off as opposed to a necklace that an get in the way. But I also know people who prefer the necklace devices!
There are also other options depending on the purpose. There is new technology coming out all the time - from motion sensors to video cameras etc etc. that might be helpful.
AARP could be of great service if you would research the 5 Medical Alerts System advertized in your magazine and bulletin and publish a list of pros and cons for each. This would help us decide which product meets our indvidual need.
Also, I have read that contacting 911 directly can get you a response more quickly. Perhaps carrying your cell phone might be the fastest response.
@helenjordan I meant to respond to your question about carrying a cell phone vs using a medical alert system...
The issue is whether or not people will be capable of making phone calls if something happens to them. So if someone falls, will they drop the phone and not be able to reach it? What if the person is unconscious (in that case a medical alert that detects a fall would be extremely helpful)? What if the cell phone battery has no charge left, or they are in an area where there is no signal? If someone has a heart attack, will they be able to dial a number and make a phone call? If a person has a stroke will they be able to cognitively dial a phone number?
These are all issues to consider when selecting a medical alert system too. That's one of the reasons I like the fall detection alert devices, and I like those that have GPS feature so they will work when loved ones are out in the community.
Hope this is helpful! Let me know if you have any other questions!
@helenjordan Thank you for your suggestion and I will pass this on to our editors.
I did write a column with a summary of issues to consider when choosing a medical alert system - it oulines the options, prices and features to ask about that can help you choose a system. The medical alert companies change options, prices and features, so it's difficult to keep editorial content up to date.
I signed up for Bay Alarm Systems last year for my elderly sister. We got the cell phone system and it seemed to work very well. Good coverage in and around her home up to about 1000 feet away from the unit. They have a land line version too. She recovered, and since there was no long term contract there was no charge for returning the unit. Now she is having serious health issues again, and I plan to sign up (again) for Bay Alarm. And this time I am not going to let her talk me into cancelling the service!