Category: Adult Children

The Two Main Medical Alert Options For Seniors

Did you know that older adults are at elevated risk of falls, accidents, and dangerous health situations? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 3 million seniors are treated in emergency rooms every year just for falls, with one out of five causing serious injuries such as broken bones or head trauma. One of the best ways to combat these emergency scenarios is by using a medical alert system.

These life-saving devices connect users to emergency responders with the press of a button. Typical systems come with wireless bracelets, pendants, or lanyards that are worn by senior adults or disabled persons. When pressed, the devices transmit signals to an alarm monitoring company or emergency health department. Medical personnel are then dispatched to the location where the alert signal was triggered. 

Medical alert companies offer different services, equipment, and price points. The most basic difference, however, is whether a system is home-based or mobile. Deciding which type of device is best will depend entirely on your senior loved one’s needs. To help better guide your decision, let us share with you some information about the two main medical alert options for seniors. 

Home-Based Medical Alert

Home-based or in-home systems are sometimes called “traditional medical alert systems,” because they have functioned essentially the same for decades. The systems come with a wearable wireless device that connects to a base unit within the senior’s home. They are perfect for seniors who spend a lot of time alone in their homes. These devices are also cheaper than mobile systems, but have a limited range of connectivity, similar to a home wireless internet system, or WiFi.

Mobile Medical Alert Systems

Mobile medical alert systems have developed amid the technology upswing of recent years. They do not require a home base unit for connectivity, but have a wide-ranging capacity to connect with emergency services similar to smart phones. Mobile alert devices allow the user to speak directly to 911 dispatch or another pre-programmed entity in most locations. They are ideal for active seniors, but are typically more expensive than home-based systems and rely on batteries.

These are just a few of the benefits of the different types of medical alert systems. If you or a senior loved one are unsure about which option may best apply, we encourage you to reach out to our office to ask us your questions.

Tips on How to Expand Your Social Circle This National Elder Law Month

Did you know according to a recent report over one million seniors older than age 65 are “dangerously unsupported”? This report shares that as a result they are at risk for loneliness and isolation. Unfortunately, both of these conditions are an increasing epidemic for seniors worldwide. As we enter into National Elder Law Month this May, you may be wondering: how can I help myself or the seniors that I care about avoid becoming a statistic?

 

We know this is not easy. There are numerous issues that can arise over time that make it hard to stay connected with the world around you as you age. From physical issues and age-related illnesses to death and far spread community resources, we know issues can arise everywhere.

 

Beyond staying mentally and physically fit as we age, it makes sense to integrate rather than isolate. What do we mean by this statement? This National Elder Law Month, and throughout the year, we would encourage you to regularly connect with other people. Building relationships in your community can not only enhance your well-being, but allow you to share your wisdom and experiences with others.

 

Further, how well and how often you keep in touch with others can have a positive impact on your well-being. This can include maximizing your brain function.  For instance, countless studies find that loneliness and isolation have been linked to depression and dementia.

 

We want you to know there is no need to feel alone this National Elder Law Month.  Let us share a few key tips and ideas to get and keep you engaged this month and throughout the year.

 

  1. Make the commitment to meet regularly.

 

Join friends for dinner or a movie. Take part in a knitting circle. Join a class at the gym or a book club of interest to you to share an enjoyable time with others. You might learn something new while you make some new friends.

 

  1. Volunteer.

 

Assist with research, planning, or organizing for causes you have an interest in and a passion for.  Do not wait to step outside yourself. Helping others also makes us feel good any time of year.

 

  1. Limit your use of technology.

 

Did you know a  study that examined human behavior noted that increased social media use contributed to depression and impacted relationships?  Smartphones are often blamed for causing an addiction to technology that leads to isolation. We know it is easy to become attached to computers and TV, spending hours in front of them, which may also add to feelings of loneliness.  

 

Just these small steps can help you take a leap into a more enriched, fulfilled life. Changes like these can improve your outlook and enhance your overall well-being.  When, if not National Elder Law Month, is the right time to jump in care for yourself as a senior or encourage a senior loved one to get started? We know that elder care issues like these, plus many more, can be challenging. We encourage you not to wait to schedule a meeting with our office.

Essential Tips Every Caregiver Needs to Know

Providing care for aging loved ones is a tremendous act of kindness. It’s also not without its challenges. We see our clients face new situations they were not prepared when they take on this new responsibility. Let us share with you several tips every caregiver needs to know.

 

1. Start the conversation now. Nobody wants to sit down and talk to aging family members about getting older, much less about potential illnesses. Heart disease, dementia and Alzheimer’s aren’t anyone’s idea of fun chit-chat. But it’s critical to breach the subject of gaining now in order to be prepared later.

 

2. Learn as much as you can about your loved one’s health.  Like the old adage: Knowledge is power. Understanding current or likely health scenarios can provide the basis for making the best possible decisions.

 

3. Go to the doctor with your loved one. If you really want to know what’s going on, you have to be in the room. Medical diagnoses can be difficult for anybody. Why take the chance on missing something important?

 

4. Keep safety a top priority. One in three adults over age 65 report falling. Removing wheels from chairs, adding lights to staircases, grab bars to bathrooms, and rearranging furniture are simple ways to decrease accidents. Worn monitors and alerts can also be extremely helpful in the event of an emergency.

 

5. Older adults don’t just hand over their car keys. Unfortunately, there’s a point when driving is no longer a good idea. The same is true for paying bills and managing financial affairs. Caregivers should understand that these are difficult losses of independence, and should approach the subject with compassion.

 

6. Practice communicating and develop behavior management skills. It can be draining, even frustrating, to provide care for an elderly person. There are numerous classes, books and online trainings devoted to developing these skill sets.

 

7. Look into home-based services. Home-based caregiving services are available in most areas. Veterans Affairs or community-based organizations offer an array of services, such as music and speech therapy.

 

8. Do your homework when hiring paid-caregivers. Paying others to provide care is a great option, even if only part-time. But not all paid-caregivers are the same. Make sure to research reputable agencies and regularly monitor the situation.

 

We know this is can be an overwhelming time. Do not wait to contact our office to schedule a meeting and address your elder law needs.