by ROAD iD Staff May 27, 2021

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Caring for a senior family member is essential. They surely committed a great deal of money and time to you as a growing child, and it’s only right that you provide the same for them, caring for them in their later years as they begin showing clear signs of aging. But what’s an easy way to care for your senior family members, especially if you live hundreds of miles away from them? 

Your best bet is to use various medical alert systems in combination with other devices. From installing a fall alert device in their home to having them wear a dementia bracelet, here are the essential items you should provide to your senior relatives, ensuring they have various forms of protection in their home. 

Fall Alert Devices

Chances are that your senior relative lives alone. While it’s a perfectly reasonable thing, it also presents numerous dangers to their well-being. In the event of a fall or an accident, they are going to be without assistance and without anyone to physically call out to for help. 

That’s why we recommend they wear a fall alert device while in their home. They work pretty simply. Fall alert systems connect to an in-home phone connection. If a fall is detected, the fall alert system will call local emergency services — or, depending on the device, a specifically programmed phone number.  

The device works by wirelessly connecting to a device that is worn on the body, either as a belt clip, wristband or necklace. Most devices will be able to detect a fall, depending on its motion. Others will simply contain a button best described as an SOS call. In the event of a fall, a senior can press the button to initiate their fall alert system. Local emergency services will be called. The device, which contains GPS tracking, will alert local EMS of your location. 

Mobile Emergency Devices 

Devices go beyond the home, though. Accidents also happen while we’re on the go, especially among active seniors. Mobile emergency devices are similar to their in-home counterparts, except they connect to a mobile device — most often a smartphone via an app. While it might take time to teach a senior about how the tech works, it can be lifesaving in the event of a fall while hiking or a severe cramp while taking a dip in a nearby lake.  

a person pressing their emergency button bracelet

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Elderly-Specific Alert Systems

There are other systems designed specifically for seniors, with LifeStation being one of the most trusted. While their devices have similar features to the above products, often being based directly off of them, LifeStation stands out for having an auto fall alert system. This will immediately contact local EMS in the event that a fall is detected via the device the senior is wearing. Otherwise, the in-home device can be used by caregivers in the event that a patient with Alzheimer’s becomes excessively confused, dazed or aggressive, calling for extra help from EMS officials. 

Medical Alert Bracelet and Necklace 

Outside of medical alert systems, it’s especially important that a senior wears a medical alert necklace. In the event of a fall, a senior could pass out from pain, especially if they happened to hit their head. EMS will have a difficult time if they arrive and find an unconscious patient, as they have no information to work from. 

Medical alert necklaces nip that issue in the bud. By having a senior wear their personal medical information right around their neck, they can carry their most pertinent information wherever they go. Whether it’s listing their allergies, medical conditions or prescriptions, this information could be highly relevant to EMS professionals, who are attempting to assess the situation for potential treatment methods. 

For example, it’s easier to diagnose an unconscious senior if you know they’re diabetic and recently had bypass surgery versus having no information at all. 

a person using their bedside emergency button and intercom

Source: Suprachai Akkho/Shutterstock

Protect the Seniors in Your Life 

Protecting the seniors you care for shouldn’t feel overwhelming. Medical alert necklaces and other systems make it easy to keep an eye on those closest to you.