It’s hard to think about our Mom and Dads getting older but it is a natural part of life we must face. Just like our parents take action to make us safe, we need to do the same for them. At some point, there is a talk that needs to be had with any senior parent about the precautions to take to keep them safe as well as independent. It can be tough to introduce the thought of needing a medical alert device to your parents. Figuring out the right thing to say, when to say it, and how to say it, can be challenging but we are here to guide you through this conversation.
First, you are going to need to decide when and if your senior loved one needs a medical alert device. Look for:
- Changes in health
- Recent falls
- Decreased mobility
- Decreased alertness
- Independent travel
- Living alone
If your loved one has any of these characteristics, it’s time to consider getting a medical alert device. It’s important to approach the conversation in a way that will make your senior loved one feel comfortable. Choose a place with a relaxed atmosphere such as their home, another family members home, or their favorite spot to visit. Think about the people you want to be involved in the conversation. For some, this may mean a one on one conversation and for others, this may mean multiple family members or friends. In some situations, you may even want to involve their doctor.
Everyone will react differently to this conversation. There are seniors who think getting a medical alert device is a good idea and then there are some that are very opposed. Regardless, make sure they know that you are coming from a place of love and want to make sure they are safe. If this is a conversation your senior parents were not expecting, anticipate some push back from them. Here are some things to be prepared for:
They may say they can’t afford it
This is a good point to be considered when choosing a medical alert device and company to go with. Most of the time insurances will not cover these devices but it never hurts to check. Even when insurances don’t cover the costs, most basic devices are as low as $1 a day. If your parents still won’t budge, consider splitting the cost with them or splitting it among other family members. For the safety of your loved one, this small fee is worth it.
They may say they don’t need it
Did you know? AARP recommended that all seniors have medical alert devices to decrease the severity of injuries.
About 1 out 4 seniors fall every year. Out of those that fall, about 30% of them result in severe injuries. Medical alert devices are important in these situations because they can get your loved ones immediate help to tend to these injuries. We can’t prevent a fall but we can prevent your loved one from being stranded without help. Even if they think it won’t happen to them, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
They may be embarrassed
Don’t be surprised when your loved one feels embarrassed about getting a medical alert device. Many seniors don’t want to admit they need a medical alert device and are embarrassed to carry one. It’s important to put yourself in their shoes and be empathetic about how they are feeling. Show them options that are more stylish and discreet. There are options out there that don’t even look like medical alert devices. This may make them more willing to wear one. Most importantly, remind your loved ones of the independence they will have by carrying a medical alert device.
Choosing the right device
Once you get past the difficult part of convincing your parents to use a medical alert device, you will need to choose the right device. There are a lot of different devices to choose from depending on the needs of your loved one. But before you even choose the device, you need to make sure you are choosing the right company. There are companies that make you pay start-up fees or sign a contract but these are not ones you want to be involved with. A company that allows you to sign up with no fee and cancel without a problem is the one you want to choose.
Once you decide on the right company, it’s time to pick out the right device. Consider why you chose to get your loved one a device in the first place. If they are prone to falling, you will want to consider a device with fall detection. If they live alone, travel alone, or tend to wander, you will want a device with GPS tracking. If your loved one is embarrassed and wants a more discreet device, consider a medical alert watch. For those that have trouble remembering their medications or have medical conditions to take care of, a smart pillbox or in-home medical alert would be best for them.
Whatever option you decide to go with, BlueStar SeniorTech will be able to guide you through this new chapter of your life. Our knowledgeable product specialists are always ready to answer questions and set you up with the right medical alert device for your loved one’s needs. No start-up fees or lengthy contracts here! If you’re looking to keep your Mom and Dad safe, healthy, and connected, visit our website or call a product specialist at 800-300-1724, option 1.