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One of the hardest things about growing older is admitting that things may not come as easily to you as they once did.
While desiring to maintain one's independence is understandable, adult children of aging parents experience the daily stress that comes with worrying about their parents' safety.
Data released by the Centers for Disease Control indicates that people over the age of 65 are more likely to suffer from falls than their younger counterparts. One in every three people aged 65 or older will fall this year. Another two-thirds of those will suffer from a second fall within six months of the initial occurrence.
Falls, especially in older people who may have weaker bones and joints, can cause significant injury. Therefore, anyone in this age group - particularly those who live alone - should consider purchasing a medical alert system.
Medical alert bracelets and home emergency response systems have existed in some form or another since the early 1950s. As technology improves, so do the offerings for such systems, expanding the ways in which these devices can be used, as well as the response time by medical personnel when they are activated.
There are many emergency alert systems on the market today, and it can be confusing as to which is the best option for your individual needs. All of the ads and promotions found when a website search is conducted for emergency alert systems can be enough to leave a person's head spinning for hours. So what is available and how do these systems work?
Medical alert systems may differ in some respects, but they all work in the same general fashion. When activated - usually by pushing a button on a device you are wearing or through a voice-activated system - they send a signal to an alert monitoring center. It is the job of the people who operate the monitoring center to assess the medical situation, then to call in the appropriate personnel to handle it. If a client requires medical attention, a 911 call will be placed on their behalf and the proper authorities will be dispatched to the scene. Some medical alert systems also will contact a designated friend or family member in the event of an emergency.
Even for adult children who live nearby, it is difficult to monitor aging parents every minute of the day. The effectiveness of medical alert systems makes them a number-one choice for adult children of aging parents, when their parents insist on remaining at home. But getting elderly parents to agree to use one can be a difficult task.
Beginning the conversation early can help to make the transition easier when the time comes. Long before your parents need a medical alert system, discuss with them how one works and the benefits to possessing one. By discussing it when the need is not an immediate one, it will seem less about pressuring one's parents into something they do not want, and more about planning for the future.
If you find yourself in the situation where the need is immediate, then getting elderly loved ones to agree to a medical alert system can be a little trickier. In this instance, a good old case of reverse psychology can be all that is needed to get them to agree to use a medical alert system. Gently encouraging elderly loved ones to use such a device - rather than all-out insisting on it - is a more effective way to accomplish your intended goal.
Sadly, there also are instances where nothing an adult child says or does will convince an elderly parent that it would be in their best interest to have one of these devices. For some people, it takes the unfortunate experience of having an accident to make them realize that a medical alert system isn't such a bad idea after all.
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