What to Look for in a Medical Alert System for Your Elderly Parent

Also known as “PERS” a Personal Emergency Response Systems are purchased for an aging or ill person who lives alone so that they can get help quickly if needed.  That person might be at a risk of falls because due to poor eyesight, memory changes, or other health problems, or be susceptible to a sudden emergency event. 

PERS can be useful in non-emergent situations if the user doesn’t need an ambulance, but needs someone to come to their aid.  The call center will alert a preselected relative or representative to come over and assist.  In emergency situations, the call center will initiate EMS. 

Important factors to look for when considering a PERS:

  1. Detects if you have a sudden fall without needing to push the button
  2. It works for a user’s specific disability.  For example, a stroke survivor may need a device that he/she can activate with one hand
  3. Offers a wristband and a neck pendant. Cords worn around the neck can pose a strangulation risk; wristbands may irritate those with skin ailments. 
  4. Includes help buttons.  They can be mounted in each room around the house near the floor in the event that the user has fallen and is not wearing the device.
  5. Offers multiple choices of who to contact if you need help from emergency services to a friend or relative who lives nearby
  6. It has a battery back up in the event of power failure
  7. The base station could be contacted from anywhere on the property, even in your yard or at your mailbox
  8. The company has its own monitoring center, in the US and employs its own trained emergency operators rather than contracting that function out.

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