Medic Alert Systems – Augusts’ National Focus
August sees Canada focusing on, and bringing awareness to Medic Alert Systems.
Sales of med-alert services are growing quickly as the baby boomers age. The makers of medical alert systems promise that their products will come to the rescue, whether you’ve fallen and can’t get up or you’re experiencing symptoms of a heart attack, stroke or seizure.
Medic Alert systems were introduced in the 1970’s as simple push-button devices worn around the neck. They summoned help by signalling a base station connected to a home phone line that would alert a call-centre operator. Advances in technology have ensured that today there are a variety of options that include wearability, motion sensitivity and two-way calling, to the handling of the call.
Who needs one? Most buyers purchase a system for an aging parent who lives alone so that they can get help quickly if needed. That person might be at a heightened risk for falls because of poor eyesight or memory changes. The systems can also be useful in non-emergency situations where the user doesn’t need an ambulance but does need someone to come to their aid. The call centre will alert a preselected relative or friend who can come over and assist.
Choosing the right medical alert system requires some diligent research and comparisons to ensure that you are dealing with a reputable and reliable company. Here are some recommended criteria when looking for a medical alert system:
- It works for a user’s specific disability. For example, a stroke survivor may need a device he or she can activate with one hand.
- It offers a choice of a wristband and/or neck pendant. Cords worn around the neck can pose a strangulation risk; wristbands may irritate those with skin ailments.
- It includes help buttons that can be wall-mounted near the floor in multiple rooms in case the user falls and isn’t wearing the pendant.
- It offers multiple choices for whom to contact if you need help, from emergency services to a friend or relative who lives nearby.
- It has a battery backup in case of a power failure.
- The base station can be contacted from anywhere on your property—even in your yard or at your mailbox.
- The company has its own monitoring centre, in Canada, and employs its own trained emergency operators (rather than contracting that function out).
- The monitoring centre has been certified.
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