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Safety For Your Aging Parent

Sunday, September 26th

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
  • Medical Guardian
  • Bay Alarm Medical
  • Mobile Help
  • Life Fone
  • Philips Lifeline
  • Life Station
  • Rescue Alert
  • ADT
  • Life Alert
  • Alert 1
  • Response Link
Medical Guardian vs Bay Alarm Medical Medical Guardian vs Mobile Help Medical Guardian vs Life Fone Medical Guardian vs Philips Lifeline Medical Guardian vs Life Station Medical Guardian vs Rescue Alert Medical Guardian vs ADT Medical Guardian vs Life Alert Medical Guardian vs Alert 1 Medical Guardian vs Response Link Bay Alarm Medical vs Mobile Help Bay Alarm Medical vs Life Fone Bay Alarm Medical vs Philips Lifeline Bay Alarm Medical vs Life Station Bay Alarm Medical vs Rescue Alert Bay Alarm Medical vs ADT Bay Alarm Medical vs Life Alert Bay Alarm Medical vs Alert 1 Bay Alarm Medical vs Response Link Mobile Help vs Life Fone Mobile Help vs Philips Lifeline Mobile Help vs Life Station Mobile Help vs Rescue Alert Mobile Help vs ADT Mobile Help vs Life Alert Mobile Help vs Alert 1 Mobile Help vs Response Link Life Fone vs Philips Lifeline Life Fone vs Life Station Life Fone vs Rescue Alert Life Fone vs ADT Life Fone vs Life Alert Life Fone vs Alert 1 Life Fone vs Response Link Philips Lifeline vs Life Station Philips Lifeline vs Rescue Alert Philips Lifeline vs ADT Philips Lifeline vs Life Alert Philips Lifeline vs Alert 1 Philips Lifeline vs Response Link Life Station vs Rescue Alert Life Station vs ADT Life Station vs Life Alert Life Station vs Alert 1 Life Station vs Response Link Rescue Alert vs ADT Rescue Alert vs Life Alert Rescue Alert vs Alert 1 Rescue Alert vs Response Link ADT vs Life Alert ADT vs Alert 1 ADT vs Response Link Life Alert vs Alert 1 Life Alert vs Response Link Alert 1 vs Response Link
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