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A dear friend of mine lived a very independent life in her own home at the young age of 75. She still walked several miles each week, did all her own lawn care, and ate the healthiest of diets. Up til the last couple of years, she had traveled alone back east, as she was caring for elderly parents who didn’t live near and wanted to check on them in person on a regular basis until they passed away. When she collapsed in her bathroom from a stroke, it came out of the blue, and no one expected it, least of all her. Sadly, she lay in that bathroom for three days before someone finally came to check on her. She passed away about six months later, without ever fully recovering from that experience.
Because of that, I am a strong proponent of any elderly person who lives on their own having one of the cell phones for senior citizens like the Jitterbug cell phone or wearing one of the medical alert devices – either pendants or watches – with a button that, when pushed, is continuously monitored. This is not the same as the MedicAlert bracelet I wrote about yesterday. This is similar to a monitoring company for your home burglar alarm.
These emergency medical alert pendants or watches make it easy for our beloved seniors to notify the monitoring site (which usually operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week), if the wearer has fallen. Some plans monitor smoke alarms, carbon monoxide gas alarms, and even notify the client when they need a battery change. If the elderly client pushes the button, the monitoring site is notified that a client is down on the floor. They will try to contact them directly, and then they will send emergency personnel to their house.
I encouraged another friend to get LifeAlert’s emergency pendant several years ago and she loves it. She has fallen twice and they have gotten her help in an extremely speedy manner! LifeAlert.com has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, as of 1/31/09. For some elderly parents, that might be easier than using a cell phone, which many of them are not comfortable with. I noticed they also have a 50+ option for those in my age range who live alone. I almost always have a mom, grandkid, and/or cell phone with me so I’m ok for now, but for someone who is alone a lot, that could be very useful!
ConnectAmerica is a Better Business Bureau accredited business and they have an excellent Medical Alert System. Good Housekeeping listed their medical alert device in their recommendations in 2005.
LifeStation.com is another BBB accredited business, as of 1/31/09. It was recommended by one of my readers, Igor. You can find the article, “11 Crucial Tips You Need to Know When Choosing a Medical Alert System,” at their site. I love their slogan, “You’re Never Home Alone.” That sums it up quite nicely.
If you are a member of the never-aging Baby Boomers generation caring for elderly parents from a distance, or if they are home alone throughout the day, one of these emergency medical alert monitoring systems would be an excellent way to give them an extra measure of security and might even allow them to live in the comfort of their own home much longer.