What is a Medical Alert?

By: Stefanie Jean

Further advances in medical alert technology have enabled society to provide better, more efficient care for the elderly. While in the old days, the only viable option was to have the senior members of our family live in specialized homes to monitor their health and to ensure all their needs are well provided, these days we can afford to allow them to live in their own homes. Reliable medical alert systems play a vital role in keeping senior citizens healthy, protected and happy. It matters a lot to their emotional and mental wellbeing to be able to live in the same house they grew up in, got married, or fathered children. This emotional attachment is understandable: we love familiar surroundings, whereas the unfamiliar terrify us. Moreover, it is also best for the elderly to live among or near the very people they love. And it would not have been possible without the invention of the medical alert.

At its most basic, a medical alert is a wearable device (similar to jewelry) that a senior can wear at all times. Such a device functions as a “Medical Alarm”: the wearer presses it in the event of an emergency. The device then communicates wirelessly to a medical alert base unit, which is connected to a phone line. A single press on the medical alarm instantly notifies the medical alert company’s response center, and depending on the kind of service you have subscribed to, either the response center sends its own team of medical personnel, or it makes the necessary effort to contact the right people near you—your loved ones, a neighbor or the local emergency.

The rationale behind the medical alert system is simple: human beings value their independence. In the case of the elderly with one or more life-threatening medical conditions, maintaining independence is a tricky, even risky matter. Sure, you would rather continue living in the house you love—the cradle of your most cherished memories—than stay in a home for the aged. Your fragile condition transforms everything around you, even the most familiar, treasured furniture, into a possible emergency waiting to happen.

But all such risks are mitigated, more or less, by having the services of a reliable medical alert system. In the event of a medical emergency (for example, you slipped on the porch and broke your back or you suddenly experience severe chest pain that you suspect might be a heart attack in progress), you do not have to scream for help—you only have to press the “medical alarm” on your medical alert, and professional help is quickly contacted immediately.

Any typical medical alert system is designed with urgency in mind—in any ordinary medical emergency, time is of the essence, so the best medical alert system providers go to great lengths to ensure the shortest response time—from the moment the medical alarm is pressed up to that crucial moment paramedics arrive to perform first aid. In the best case scenario, medical personnel should be able to come to your rescue on time—thanks to your medical alert.

There are also special cases in which even relatively young people may need the services of medical alerts. For example, there are individuals who are undergoing physical rehabilitation and who might suddenly need emergency medical attention. Those who are recovering from surgery or a long illness—regardless of age—may also need medical alert services.

Currently, there are many providers of medical alert systems, and it is often a challenge for first-time users to choose which might provide the best service. As the other vital “half” of any good medical alert system is the company behind it—the one that monitors the alert system twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week—it is of course important to check out the provider’s track record, especially in terms of reliability and client feedback.

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About Rescue Alert of California™ Rescue Alert of California™ has been enabling senior citizens to live safe, happy and independent lives through education and quality medical alerts for over a decade. They offer EMD certified responders available 24 hours a day, and the peace of mind that comes with knowing that help is available at the push of a button.

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