So, you’ve set the stage and followed our tips for talking to your loved one about a medical alert system. You talked about costs and you talked about how a medical alert pendant doesn’t have to look like that old, ugly button that used to hang around your neck. Then, one of two things happened.
Your loved on flat out refused the medical alert system. Or worse, you got them the system, but no matter what you say or do, they simply won’t use it.
At the end of the day, it’s up to your loved one to decide whether they need or want a medical alert system. If mom has decided it isn’t something she needs, no amount of badgering is going to get her to change her mind.
Just because your loved one refuses to wear a medical alert device doesn’t mean there aren’t a few things you can do to make sure they’re safe and healthy. Although a medical alert system really is the best way to get peace of mind and assistance in the case of an emergency, these tips are definitely worth your time if a medical alert system isn’t an option.
The 24-hour rule
It’s true that a medical alert system can provide assistance in an emergency situation, but it does, even more, to bring peace of mind to everyone who cares about mom or grandpa. If there’s an emergency, everyone on the contact list will be notified immediately.
That’s not the case if your loved one doesn’t have a medical alert system.
It’s easy to worry or panic if you call or text and you don’t hear back. At what point should you consider it an emergency? After a day has gone by? After a week?
The 24-hour rule means that your loved one has to get back to you within 24 hours, even if it’s just to say, “I’m fine but I just don’t feel like talking.” That way, if the 24 hours pass and you don’t hear back, you know to check in on your loved one.
The cell phone or smartwatch
We definitely don’t recommend using a cell phone or smartwatch (at this point)* in place of a medical alert system.
If mom refuses to use a medical alert system, a cell phone in her pocket around her wrist is better than nothing. Especially if you download a medical alert app.
Tell your loved one that they need to have it with them at all times. It may not help if they fall and are knocked unconscious, but at least they won’t be stranded in the middle of the kitchen floor for days if they slip and twist their ankle.
*At the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) earlier this year, there were announcements that some medical alert providers would be integrating their medical alert (emergency response) capabilities into a smartwatch, which would be released later in 2018. This is exciting news and we are looking forward to reviewing, testing and providing our assessment of this type of solution when they are available.
Loneliness is a real problem for seniors. It’s such a problem that it is even being considered a disease. Not only can it make life depressing and miserable for seniors, it makes life dangerous too. With no regular friends or family that live nearby, how would anyone know if something is wrong with your loved one?
If you can’t check in on your loved one regularly, enlist some friends to help. Speak with neighbors who might be willing to knock on the door every now and again and have friends drive by periodically to make sure things look okay. You should also have someone you can call at a moment’s notice to check in on mom or grandpa.
Open lines of communication with doctors
Whether your loved one has a medical alert system or not, you should maintain open lines of communication with doctors. Not only can they help you understand the medical challenges your loved one faces, they can become your biggest ally in convincing your loved one that they really do need a medical alert system.
Don’t be afraid to revisit the idea of a medical alert system
Just because your loved one refuses to use a medical alert system today doesn’t mean their attitude won’t change tomorrow. Whether one of the cool new medical alert system watches catches their eye or a medical emergency convinces them a professional system is the best way to remain independent in their home, your loved one may come around. That’s why it’s important to keep talking to them about a medical alert system.
We’d be happy to help! Sit down with your loved one and review our best medical alert systems together. You just may stumble across a unit that gets mom or grandpa excited about the idea of using a medical alert system!