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Should Over 60s Get a Medical Alert Pendant?

According to the World Health Organization, 20-30% of older people who fall suffer from moderate to severe injuries, including bruises, head trauma, and hip fractures.

If your loved one cannot make it to the phone to call an ambulance, their manageable injuries could become fatal. To protect yourself or your family members from falls, consider a medical alert pendant.

How to Tell if Your Parent Requires Medical Alert

Whether your parents need a medical alert bracelet now or later, it’s helpful to know that elderly care, including nursing homes, medical alerts, and hearing aids, aren’t covered by Medicare.

You or your family must sign up for private health insurance to receive a rebate for these expenses.

Before discussing the need for insurance or medical alert, what for the following signs:

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A drastic change in physical health indicating they need help at home

A recent fall made it difficult for them to recover and/or stand up

Problems with walking or balance that may require a walker or wheelchair

Frailty or weight loss that has to lead to a decreased mobility

An increase of confusion or forgetfulness (like forgetting where they live)

Vision or hearing problems that are affecting their quality of life

A sudden or noticeable gradual change in alertness or mental activity

Tripping hazards, like broken steps, in the home or hoarding behavior

More often than not, your parents will experience more than one occurrence that will affect their mobility. However, even just one of the above signs would indicate a need for a medical alert.

How to Talk to Your Parents About Medical Alert

If you have read over the signs in the previous section and you’re convinced that you need a medical bracelet for your safety, that’s a massive positive.

Not only are you preparing in the event something does happen, but it actually makes you more independent.

Plus, having the peace of mind that an ambulance is a button push away is worth its weight in gold.

However, if you’re the child of a parent or parents who is either unaware there’s a problem or won’t admit to one, you’ll need to have that hard conversation.

While it may be uncomfortable, know that the rewards are substantial for yourself and your parents.

The most challenging part of this conversation is admitting to yourself that your parents are aging. At the same time, that is likely the hardest part for your parents, as well.

However, if you approach your parents empathetically, you’ll likely both agree this is the best choice for everyone.

Use the following tips if you need some help beginning the conversation:

Focus On the Device’s Independence

Medical alert bracelets can actually prolong the time your parents stay in their own homes. The device can program who they want to call, like 000, a nurse, or a family member, making it similar to a mobile phone.

At the Same Time, State Why It Isn’t a Mobile Phone

Even if your parents keep their phone attached to their hip, they still need to pick it up and dial a number. A medical alert bracelet connects the user with a push of a button.

If their fall is so severe that they pass out or can’t make it to the phone, the bracelet can react based on the user’s pulse.

Bring an Expert

Most of us don’t know the ins and outs of many health care items, but a doctor will. They may also back up your point that falls can be seriously life-threatening. Depending on their specialty, they might be able to discuss costs, as well.

Never Patronize Your Parents

Always approach the topic with respect and concern. Try to imagine how you would feel if your child spoke to you a certain way and adjust.

Empathize on More Than One Level

Explain that you know medical alert pendants can be frustrating or even unfashionable, but no one will judge them for wearing them. In fact, it signifies that someone loves them and wants to ensure their safety

Conclusion

While it may be tempting to hold off on this conversation, know that bringing up the issue will ease their discomfort in the long term. If you need backup, ask another family member.

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