Lately I’ve had a lot of families ask me about medical alerts for a loved one living at home alone. Type “medical alert” into Google and you get thousands of results for medical alerts that you can purchase online. These devices have come a long way since those “I’ve Fallen and I can’t Get Up” videos you remember from your youth, but now choosing the right one can be confusing, complicated, and time-consuming. This is the kind of device you hope to never use, but it sure better work when you do! Trust is key for me in recommending these kinds of products to our local families.
I figured it was time to have a chat with the local expert, Monica Buckentin from Empress Partners. I really never thought anyone would devote their days to researching and vetting the best medical alert system out there, but Monica does just that.
The product she represents, the Belle or Belle Plus, is a 2 oz. device that offers the option of fall detection, pinpoint GPS, and wifi location technology, which means that you are covered wherever you are out and about town. Imagine a loved one with early stages of Alzheimer’s begins to wander in the evening while you’re out a work. A life alert can help you pinpoint their precise location using the Belle online portal.
According to Monica, whichever medical alert company you decide to use, it is important to consider the quality of the call center. Find out if you’re calling here domestically or overseas and see if you can get feedback on their responsiveness.
Consumer Reports offers a nice comparison of some features to consider before purchasing your life alert.
Not Just for Grandma Anymore
Baby Boomers are changing the face of what “senior” looks like nowadays. Retirement means an increase in activity and a zest for this new stage of life. However, normative aging related changes can make medical emergencies more likely, and medical alerts are recommended for everyone over the 75. Imagine you’re out gardening on a hot day and the unexpected happens. Who will hear or see if you need help? Or, you’re out for an early morning walk and trip and fall outside of earshot of the neighbors. Medical alerts save lives at the end of the day and offer peace of mind to family.
I’m excited to see where we are going in the future – certainly toward lighter, more attractive, and more precise GPS on all life alert devices!