Monday, July 28, 2014

Common Excuses for Not Getting Medical Alert Systems

Resisting Change?  Honest Conversations About Aging Can Help 

A big stumbling block to getting a medical alert system is the person who will be wearing it.  If they don’t believe that wearing a medical alert necklace is necessary, they may neglect to wear it when they can get away with it. There’s lots of reasons why they may not want to wear something that could save their lives. Here are a few of them.

I’ll get it when I need it

We take risks every day, whether we’re walking across the room, to the mailbox, or a mile down the road.  Anything can happen.  Rather than trusting in luck, wouldn’t you rather have something in place that can dramatically minimize the consequences?
It’s too much of a hassle to move
Modern medical alert systems have very few pieces. These pieces are small and ready-made for travelers. When on the road, a cell-phone sized receiver, a charger, and a medical alert necklace are all that’s needed.
It’s too expensive
Studies have shown that the faster a trauma victim can get help, the more likely they are to have a better outcome from the fall. Compare the cost of a medical alert necklace and system with that of going to the hospital.  Compare it to the mental anguish associated with falling down and not having anyone there to assist.  
I don’t want to change
Most people are resistant to change.  That’s just a fact of life – we want to have everything the same way, every time. However, whether we’d like to admit it, change is all around us. Unfortunately, this is one excuse you’ll have to be patient with. Showing sympathy can go a long way in helping them accept their changing circumstances.
I want to shop around
Shopping around is great, and we encourage others to shop around.  Watch out, though; shopping around can be a euphemism for stalling.  To test this theory, set a specific time and date for the decision to be made. If your loved one hems and haws, then try to find out what the real reason is. If they say "a life alert costs too much" just let them compare the cost of not being protected.
While there are many excuses that your loved one might use when talking about purchasing a medical alert system, the truth is that wearing the medical alert necklace or pendant can ultimately save lives.  What value do you place on having experienced emergency personnel on hand at the push of a button?

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Should Diabetics Get Medical Alert Systems

A Medical Alert System Can Make Sense For Seniors with Diabetes

Diabetes affects 1 in 4 Americans over the age of 65, according to the American Diabetes Association. It is a disease that affects every major system within the body, from the heart to the nervous system, both brain and body.

Diabetics often have issues with their extremities, including the feet and legs. 
This makes diabetics highly susceptible to falls.  Nearly one in three people over the age of 40 with diabetes have lost some feeling in their feet, according to the the American Diabetes Association (ADA). As a result, having a toe, foot, or lower leg surgically removed is 10 times more likely in people with diabetes.

Here are some of the conditions that can arise as a result of diabetes:

  • Hypoglycemia - This is where the blood sugar is too low within the body. Some of the symptoms of hypoglycemia are: slurred speech, mental confusion, dizziness, and headache. With these symptoms, the likelihood of falling and needing to use a medical alert necklace is increased.
  • Hyperglycemia - The brain is getting too much sugar. The complications of hyperglycemia are long term, including nerve damage, kidney damage, foot problems, skin problems, and joint problems. Make sure that you tell the medical alert people that you're experiencing these symptoms when they ask for your medical history.
  • Hypertension - High blood pressure. 71% of people who had diabetes also had higher blood pressure than that of the rest of the population. Some of the effects of hypertension are: headache, blurred vision, nausea and shortness of breath. Again, it is advised that a medical alert system be put in place for those who regularly experience these symptoms.
  • Blindness - 4.2 million people (28.5%) with diabetes over the age of 40 developed diabetic retinopathy that contributes to the loss of vision. Loss of vision is a major factor in falls, which happen to 1 in 3 individuals over the age of 65. A medical alert necklace should always be with you in case of a fall.
  • Heart Attacks - Those who have diabetes can expect a higher heart attack rate over those who don't have diabetes. In the case of that type of emergency, it becomes imperative to have a medical alert necklace in place. Pressing the button on the medical alert system could save your life.
  • Kidney Disease - When you have diabetes, the kidneys have to work very hard. According to the American Diabetes Association, "diabetes was listed as the primary cause of kidney failure in 44% of all new cases in 2011."
As you can see, the necessity for having a medical alert necklace or a medical alert system in place while having diabetes is high. The chances for falling or having another major medical emergency is increased in the instance of diabetes. Getting help quickly is imperative to prevent additional complications from a fall or diabetic episode.  While having a medical alert system in place can help after a fall, it's up to you to exercise great health practices to minimize the effects of diabetes.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Why Medical Alert Jewelry is Better than a Cell Phone

Instead of a Medical Alert System, Can’t We Just Use the Phone?

It’s hard to go more than fifteen feet without being near a cell phone, but that fifteen feet can seem like miles when you’re in an emergency.  A medical alert system is with you all the time, ready and waiting with a charged battery and a direct lifeline to people who can help.
Let me tell you a story that made me wish I had medical alert jewelry
Many years ago, I worked third shift.  I would get home around 8am, sleep through the whole day, and wake up when it was dark again to start the process all over.  I woke up in the middle of the day smelling smoke.
I noticed that the ceiling had a bit of smoke on it, but there was still time to get me and the cats out of the house.  I heard noises in the laundry room and when I went to investigate, there were flames between my apartment and the one above.
I got myself and the cats out of the house, leaving the phone and everything else behind.   The neighbor across the hall was (thankfully) home, and I told him what was going on.  He volunteered the use of his phone so that I could make a call.  For the life of me, the numbers 911 had gone out of my head.  The only number I could remember was one of an old college friend.
I finally remembered the number to 911, and as emergency personnel arrived on the scene, I was thankful that my friend reminded me to call the number.  
When that happened, I was at the peak of physical condition.   I was mentally alert and aware, but there was a fog that covered me while I was under that extreme stress.  If I had a medical alert system, I would have pressed the button on my medical alert jewelry and told them what was going on. I would have saved the apartment building just a little sooner.
Why Medical Alert Jewelry is the Best Defense against Emergencies
When you’re in an emergency, time is of the essence.  Any minutes spent trying to remember the number to 911, figuring out where the phone is, or otherwise fumbling around is wasted.  Medical alert jewelry was created to be easy to use so that you could just press a simple button to gain access to emergency services.  
A medical alert system is always on.  There’s no need to worry about having a charge on the phone or finding the phone in the first place.  You can let trained, level-headed, EMT-certified personnel take control of the situation.
With a medical alert system, your information is on file with us.   That means that if you pass out after pressing the button, our dispatchers can tell EMS everything they need know including what you’re allergic to and the medical conditions that you have.   Precious time is saved when the emergency professionals know.
In a fire or other emergency, having medical alert jewelry beats a cell phone every time.  Not only can you get in touch with people faster, but they can speak for you if you’re not able to speak for yourself. 

Article provided by Emily Hunter

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Essential Kitchen Safety Tips

The Kitchen Is The 2nd Most Dangerous Room In The House.

A great pleasure of life is the ability to cook your own food the way that you want to cook it.  Kitchen safety, however, is paramount.  A slip here or a cut there can have dramatic consequences for those living alone, especially if they can’t call for help.  Aside from getting an emergency alert system, do you have a safe kitchen?

Wear a medical alert bracelet

This is your ‘ace in the hole’ if anything goes wrong.  If you cut yourself, fall down, or burn yourself, with the medical alert bracelet in place, you can just press the button to get help on the way.

Aside from the emergency alert system, how do I make my kitchen safe?

  1. Make sure that you have light all around the kitchen.  This includes your counter-tops, your stove, and your sink.  Not being able to see what you’re cooking, washing, or cutting opens up the doors to all types of accidents.

  1. Just like your bathroom, install some night lights in your kitchen.  These will help prevent you having to press the button to your emergency alert system because you bumped your head or tripped over something.  Night lights are incredibly economical and potentially save nasty falls from happening.

  1. Always close drawers and cabinet doors when they’re not being used.  We can’t tell you how many times that we’ve bumped into the edge of a drawer or lightly knocked our head on a door.  Heaven forbid that it’s bad enough to have to press the button on the medical alert bracelet.

  1. Consistently clean those counters.  Used food, open containers, and other items attract bugs like nobody’s business.  It only takes a few moments to lower the risks of getting sick from bug-borne bacteria.  Would you rather stay healthy or have to use your emergency alert system to call the EMTs?

  1. Keep the knives and other sharp objects away from the edges of the counters.  The knife that we thought was safe gets bumped and comes tumbling down off of the counter.  If your reaction isn’t fast enough, you could get cut and that means a button push of your medical alert bracelet.

  1. Avoid wearing baggy clothes. They have the tendency to get caught in appliances or in the flames of gas stoves.  Long, loose sleeves are the worst. Aim for short sleeves, if possible, in the kitchen.

  1. Along that same measure, make sure that pot handles are turned away from the edge of the stove while you’re cooking.  A little slip, a glance of the hips, and you could have hot food all over you.

  1. Knives should be properly stored.  There’s nothing like facing a knife when you’re completely unprepared for it. Avoid putting sharp knives into the sink or blade-up in the dishwasher.

There are plenty of other kitchen safety tips out there.  We’re very interested in hearing from you about the things that you’re doing for kitchen safety. Tell us down in the comments.  
kitchen safety infographic
Infographic provided by Medical Care Alert