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Safety For Your Aging Parent

Monday, June 27th

Safety for Your Aging Parent

Managing aging parents can place tension on family relationships and create stress for all of those involved. It's especially concerning when safety becomes a daily worry and the adult children live too far away or are unable to check on their parents regularly. Sending a parent to a nursing home seems like an easy fix but many don't have the financial means to pay for the steep costs of elder care or they aren't ready, even unwilling, to leave their home at this time.

If your elder parent is still living independently several steps may be taken to improve their safety and reduce the worry with leaving them alone:

  1. Assess their driving skills. Age does not determine if someone is still equipped to drive or not. However, age can impact a person's response time, vision, hearing, and concentration. Certain medications can also impact a person's ability to safety drive even short distances. Making sure your parent is still capable of driving safely is imperative to their safety. On a regular basis identify if your parent or relative can:
    • Drive appropriate speeds, neither too fast or too slow?
    • Is aware of pedestrians and other cars.
    • Is able to turn around to see while backing up.
    • Knows directions to and from grocery stores and doctors offices.
    • Appropriately responds to street signs and traffic lights.
    • Is not involved in an accident or near miss.
    • Stays within the marked lanes.
    • Can still physically turn the wheel and open/close the door.
  2. Choose a neighbor to assist and provide them a key. If your parent has a neighbor or friend that lives close by it's a good idea to get their contact information and provide them a key. Should you call and not make contact after several attempts it's a good idea to call that person and have them check the house before calling 911. This will help avoid unnecessary emergency response calls.
  3. Obtain a medical alert system. Should your loved one have a real emergency a medical alert system will provide the fastest response. Should they fall, have a medical emergency or even have a fire or an intruder a medical alert system will provide the fastest response. Typically a your loved one will wear a pendant that allows them access to speak to a 24 hour service. Should a situation arise the service will attempt to talk to your parent and then will determine if an emergency exists. When looking at different medical alert systems you should consider:
    • Is the equipment waterproof?
    • How much is the monthly fee and how long is the monitoring contract?
    • How easy is the equipment to use?
    • Does the system offer GPS tracking?
    • Will the company periodically check-up on your loved one?
    • Do they have a good reputation?
  4. Equip and modify their home to improve safety. Install hand railings in the shower and on stairs to avoid falls. Move the washer and dryer to the first floor to avoid steep climbs to and from the basement. Move dishes and kitchen utensils to within safe reach.

Improving the safety and surroundings of an elderly person will allow them to love independent longer and reduce their risk of injury. Regularly assess their driving abilities, utilize a medical alert system and make their home more user friendly.

The Best Medical Alert Systems Compare Medical Alert Systems Compare Medical Alert System Reviews What are the best Medical Alert Systems Best Medical Alert System Reviews

Medical Alert System FAQ

A medical alert system is often used by seniors who want to "age in place" rather than move to an independent/assisted living facility. Using a button on a pendant or wrist strap, they can let loved ones and/or emergency responders know that they need help due to a fall or medical situation.
Most systems on the market include a wearable panic button and round-the-clock remote monitoring. You can choose a plan that covers in-home use only or one that includes coverage when the wearer is out and about.
That depends on the person using the system and what kind of help they might need. Some medical alert systems include automatic fall detection, GPS tracking, and even smartwatch features like heart rate monitoring and tracking health goals.
Pricing varies, but you can anticipate monthly service fees ranging from $19.95 to $56.95 - the higher your coverage, the more you'll pay per month. You'll also need to factor in equipment costs: some service providers let you choose between buying it outright (lower monthly fees) and renting it (higher monthly fees).
Unfortunately, you won't get coverage for a medical alert system through Original Medicare or Medicaid. But, if you have a supplemental insurance plan, you might be able to get a discount. Check with your carrier if this applies to you.
The majority of medical alert systems come with a 30-day trial or money-back guarantee. However, with respect to the equipment, you'll want to read the fine print to understand your provider's terms if something goes wrong with your panic button or with any other devices down the line.
Yes. Very few medical alert providers lock you into a long-term contract. Most often, you'll get a prorated refund for any prepaid months of coverage once you return rented equipment. Plus, you have that initial trial period of 15-30 days that's offered by most medical alert services.
Your best bet is to see what other customers have to say. Look for reviews, preferably on third-party sites not affiliated with the provider. Another great resource is the Better Business Bureau: an "A+" rating and accreditation are good signs that you or your loved one will be well-protected by a particular medical alert service.

Compare Medical Alert Systems

Select any 2 Medical Alert Systems to compare them head to head

best-medical-alert-systems
  • Bay Alarm Medical
  • LifeFone
  • LifeStation
  • MobileHelp
  • ADT
  • Medihill
  • Alert 1
  • Philips Lifeline
  • Medical Guardian
  • Life Alert
  • ResponseLINK
  • Rescue Alert
Bay Alarm Medical vs LifeFone Bay Alarm Medical vs LifeStation Bay Alarm Medical vs MobileHelp Bay Alarm Medical vs ADT Bay Alarm Medical vs Medihill Bay Alarm Medical vs Alert 1 Bay Alarm Medical vs Philips Lifeline Bay Alarm Medical vs Medical Guardian Bay Alarm Medical vs Life Alert Bay Alarm Medical vs ResponseLINK Bay Alarm Medical vs Rescue Alert LifeFone vs LifeStation LifeFone vs MobileHelp LifeFone vs ADT LifeFone vs Medihill LifeFone vs Alert 1 LifeFone vs Philips Lifeline LifeFone vs Medical Guardian LifeFone vs Life Alert LifeFone vs ResponseLINK LifeFone vs Rescue Alert LifeStation vs MobileHelp LifeStation vs ADT LifeStation vs Medihill LifeStation vs Alert 1 LifeStation vs Philips Lifeline LifeStation vs Medical Guardian LifeStation vs Life Alert LifeStation vs ResponseLINK LifeStation vs Rescue Alert MobileHelp vs ADT MobileHelp vs Medihill MobileHelp vs Alert 1 MobileHelp vs Philips Lifeline MobileHelp vs Medical Guardian MobileHelp vs Life Alert MobileHelp vs ResponseLINK MobileHelp vs Rescue Alert ADT vs Medihill ADT vs Alert 1 ADT vs Philips Lifeline ADT vs Medical Guardian ADT vs Life Alert ADT vs ResponseLINK ADT vs Rescue Alert Medihill vs Alert 1 Medihill vs Philips Lifeline Medihill vs Medical Guardian Medihill vs Life Alert Medihill vs ResponseLINK Medihill vs Rescue Alert Alert 1 vs Philips Lifeline Alert 1 vs Medical Guardian Alert 1 vs Life Alert Alert 1 vs ResponseLINK Alert 1 vs Rescue Alert Philips Lifeline vs Medical Guardian Philips Lifeline vs Life Alert Philips Lifeline vs ResponseLINK Philips Lifeline vs Rescue Alert Medical Guardian vs Life Alert Medical Guardian vs ResponseLINK Medical Guardian vs Rescue Alert Life Alert vs ResponseLINK Life Alert vs Rescue Alert ResponseLINK vs Rescue Alert
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