Remember when President Gerald Ford tripped on the steps as he was exiting Air Force One? The fall took on a humorous life of its own.
Of course, it’s no laughing matter when an older person suffers a serious fall and can’t get to a phone to call for help. It happened to my mother, who flat out refused to wear the pendant around her neck that would call the police, at the press of a button, if she found herself in such a situation.
When I couldn’t reach her one Sunday morning 8 years ago, I went to her apartment, where I found her sprawled out on the floor near her bed in a semi-conscious state. She had apparently grabbed the blanket from the bed to keep herself warm after she fell and couldn’t get up. And there she laid until we arrived. She had broken a hip. She was almost 87 and died a few weeks later, the result of infection following surgery.
Now that I live alone, and go up and down the stairs in my home numerous times a day, I’d feel reassured knowing I could get help if I had an accident and wasn’t near my phone. And for those of you who are lucky enough to still have independent parents, I trust you’d want to do the same for them! Accidents happen. One in four Americans aged 65+ falls each year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Every 11 seconds, an older adult is treated in the ER for a fall; every 19 minutes an older adult dies from a fall. Falls are the leading cause of fatal injury and the most common cause of non-fatal trauma-related hospital admissions among older adults.
Besides taking the appropriate measures to help prevent falls, including exercising to improve balance and strengthen your legs, it absolutely pays to arm yourself–and your parents–with a medical alert system. My mother might be alive today if she had used the one we gave her.
I’ve done my research, and one of the most reliable and cost effective medical alert systems on the market comes from Bay Alarm Medical.
The 70-year-old company prides itself on its industry-leading technology and most dependable 24-hour medical alarm emergency call centers. And, you don’t need to be a techie or have a relative who works at Google to put it into action.
Here are the components of the Bay Alarm Medical system:
The Base Station with power adapter is activated by simply being plugged into a landline and electric outlet. If you don’t have a landline, you use only the power adapter. The Base Station can be plugged into any home with a standard landline, so you or a loved one will be protected if you’re travelling to visit relatives or on a vacation.
An emergency Help Button can either be activated on a sleek, comfortable and lightweight necklace or watch. Both are waterproof so you can wear them in the shower or bath. After all, 80 percent of age-related falls occur in the bathroom. Once the button is pushed, a Bay Alarm Medical trained 2/47 emergency operator will contact family, friends or neighbors. If necessary, the operator will contact local 911 emergency services.
The personal emergency alert system’s built-in, high-output speaker and ultra sensitive microphone allow crystal clear, two-way communication during an emergency. The Help Buttons have a signal range of up to 1000 feet, which will encompass most living areas, including both front and backyards. A 32-hour battery backup ensures that the system will work in case of a blackout or power outage.
Wireless Wall Buttons can be placed, with Velcro strips, in high-risk fall areas for maximum protection.
A lightweight and compact GPS Mobile Medical Alert can be attached to your belt or popped into your handbag, and will work anywhere outside of your home where AT&T Cellular coverage is available. It works for 72 hours on a single charge and gives you or your loved one confidence and independence.
Bay Alarm Medical provides exceptional customer service. As I was writing this article, I was quickly able to access a member of its team of Care Consultants online, who gave me concise and smart answers to my questions about the system.