Calgary is a great place for seniors to retire. Unfortunately, too many of them can’t take advantage of the city’s attractions due to a lack of confidence should they fall, slip, or have an accident.
The good news is that seniors can feel more assured of getting emergency assistance with modern and innovative medical alert systems with emergency panic buttons.
Most seniors can enjoy freedom and peace of mind while “aging at home” without any fear or worry. As many seniors live with medical conditions that put them at risk, having guaranteed access to emergency services is very important.
Medical alert systems come with wearable panic buttons that can easily be pressed to summon HELP!
Worn as a pendant or bracelet, seniors can wear them to bed, outside, or even in the shower to get 24/7 protection.
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Medical alert systems are designed to give easy and fast access to emergency services with one push of a button.
Hence, they are very convenient and reliable, especially in the face of life-threatening situations.
Getting help when you are alone at home, especially for the sick or elderly, can be a huge concern. While smartphones allow you to call for help, they are not always within reach and could take a few minutes to connect with someone.
A medical alert system is worn around the neck or wrist to ensure that you get help fast in any kind of emergency.
They are highly recommended for use by:
Persons with disabilities
According to Statistics Canada, 1 out of 3 Canadians aged 65 or older fall every year. It is one of the most common causes of injury among the elderly.
The Public Health Agency of Canada, one-third of seniors who are hospitalized due to a fall end up in long-term care.
These numbers only serve to emphasize the serious consequences of a fall among seniors and the importance of immediate medical attention after a fall.
After a fall, it is critical to receive medical attention for any injuries sustained in as short a time as possible to prevent further complications.
When you press your panic button, the response time of a monitoring center is measured in seconds. Thus, a senior will get HELP fast.
For medical alert systems with automatic fall detection, an alert is sent automatically after a fall, even if the user does not press the button.
This additional protection can save a life, especially in situations wherein the user falls unconscious after a fall or is unable to press the button due to injuries sustained.
Fall detection devices use technology to recognize potential falls and seek immediate medical assistance after a fall.
Seniors with medical alert systems with fall detection receive emergency assistance after a fall without having to press the panic button. The system is automatically activated by fall sensors and alert a monitoring center.
These devices are worn as a pendant or bracelet. There are also systems that allow the device to be clipped to a belt.
Sensors such as accelerometers to monitor the user’s movements. They can detect if a user has fallen based on abrupt changes in movement, speed, position, and the smoothness of acceleration. When the system recognizes a potential fall, it sends a fall alert received by emergency response agents to assist.
So unlike standard medical alert systems that require a user to push the panic button to summon help, a fall detector sends a fall alert automatically after a fall.
Of course, a user still needs to push the panic button to call for help in other types of emergencies.
Are fall detectors accurate? Fall detection technology is not 100% fool-proof and they could still make errors. However, the accuracy of these systems is high, from 93% and above.
Normal or routine movements such as getting up, sitting down, etc. are detected using algorithms. Slow movements such as sliding off the sofa or bed to the floor may not be detected.
Emergency response agents always act with urgency when receiving an alert. They evaluate the situation using the 2-way speakerphone built into the device and stays with you on the line until help arrives.
In case of an error, a user just needs to push the panic button to cancel the alert. Monitoring centers also make a quick verification after receiving an alert before sending medical responders to the home.
While medical alert systems provide reliable protection for seniors, fall detection can add an extra layer of protection for persons who are prone to falls.
As mentioned earlier, medical alert systems with fall detection technology can automatically recognize a fall and send an alert without the user pushing the button. This is very important in case a user is unable to push the panic button after a fall.
It is highly-recommended for individuals who have fallen before, are likely to fall, or afraid of falling. For instance, seniors who are unsteady on their feet or have balance issues can benefit greatly from fall detection.
Other useful features of fall detectors
Fall detectors have a few other useful and important features such as:
Easy-to-use. Seniors can easily use these devices as they are simple and work round-the-clock for protection.
Water-resistant or waterproof. These devices are water-resistant or waterproof so they can be worn even while in the bath or tub or when swimming.
No fee false-alarms. Even if you push the button accidentally or the system sends a fall alert by mistake, it is not a problem. Just let the emergency responder know that you don’t need assistance.
Not all medical alert systems have fall detection technology. While many companies offer fall detection options with their systems, they are a bit more expensive than standard systems.
As a premium service, fall detection can be built-in with your device or you may need a separate device from your standard medical alert button. This varies from one company to another so do your research.
Fall detection technologies used by different companies may be similar but there are those that claim to have more advanced systems of fall detection. Do your research and compare medical alert systems to understand how each works and which one is best for you.
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Depending on what you need your medical alert system to do and how much you want to pay, you can find the right system that suits your needs.
There are different types of medical alert systems out there. Know what your options are but remember; you need a medical alert system that gives you the BEST PROTECTION you can depend on in an emergency.
Monitored vs. non-monitored systems
Monitored medical alert systems connect to professional monitoring centers with trained emergency operators. They operate 24/7, including holidays, and can be reached day or night. This means you can always rely on your system to get you help quickly whenever you need it.
When you choose a monitored medical alert system, you will have monthly monitoring fees. Some companies may require a contract although others have a month-to-month service.
Non-monitored medical alert systems, on the other hand, dial 5 numbers or more on a user’s contact list. It could also dial 911.
The reliability of non-monitored medical alert systems depends on family members and caregivers. The responsibility for any emergency lies on their ability to act fast, especially when it is a medical emergency.
Non-monitored medical alert systems require the purchase of the equipment but no monthly fees or contract.
Landline vs. Mobile systems
Most medical alert systems for in-home use are connected to a landline. In-home systems work inside your home. They are also referred to as standard systems as they are designed to connect you to a monitoring center when you press the panic button.
They come with a bracelet or pendant emergency button with a built-in speakerphone that allows you to speak to an emergency response agent.
They work within a specific range which varies among the different companies. Users need to press the button to ask for help.
Mobile systems are connected to cellular networks so they are ideal for people who don’t have a landline. They also work anywhere which means seniors can be protected when they leave their homes.
Seniors with active lifestyles can benefit a lot from mobile systems because they continue to have quick access to emergency services outside the home.
Most importantly, mobile systems offer extra layers of protection with GPS tracking, auto fall detection, and geofencing.
Standard systems vs. fall detectors
Standard systems offer quick and guaranteed assistance in an emergency by pushing a panic button to call for help.
The system has a console, back-up battery, and a wearable panic button that is lightweight and easy- -to-use. It also has a built-in voice communication system which connects the user to a monitoring center.
Fall detectors are more advanced systems that offer additional features such as fall detection and GPS tracking. Even if the user does not push the button after a fall, the monitoring center automatically receives a fall alert.
While some companies offer in-home systems with fall detection, many fall detectors are wireless and can work anywhere. They are, however, more expensive than standard systems.
There are many medical alert systems out there but some are more reliable and convenient than others.
Since you are buying a medical alert system for your safety and peace of mind, it is not enough to buy the first offer you get or the cheapest one.
It is critical to compare and choose a system based on the features that suit your needs and the overall value. Price is important but don’t choose based on price alone. Make sure you get the best protection you can afford.
Red Dot Alerts
Developed by Bruyere, the leading provider of aging support in Canada, Red Dot Alerts offers care support for seniors and their families through their panic buttons.
The wearable medical pendant or bracelet connects to bilingual voice communication from a 2-way speaker. You will need a landline or internet connection.
Aside from the panic button, the company also offers trimmable shoe insoles with GPS tracking technology called Memory Care. It also has Geofencing technology that alerts caregivers when a senior exits an established safe zone.
Their system also has automatic fall detection which automatically connects with the monitoring center after a fall.
The company has no installation or activation fees and no contract required. They also operate a ULC-certified monitoring center which demonstrates compliance with industry standards.
Their On-the-Go system costs $99 for the device and $59.95 monthly. Memory Care costs $399 for the insoles and $34.99 monthly.
Life Assure offers medical devices for seniors that guarantee access to emergency services at all times. They can continue to live independently with round-the-clock assistance for all types of emergencies.
From standard panic buttons to fall detectors, the company provides reliable support to seniors with easy-to-use wearable pendants and bracelets. When you press the button, you are instantly connected to a trained emergency operator.
The company provides risk-free medical alert systems with free cancelation and no contract required.
The Life Assure Classic Home (standard system) costs $29.99 monthly while the Life Assure Total Home (with fall detection) costs $44.95 monthly. Their wireless system, the Life Assure Premium Mobile Plus, costs $69.95 monthly.
Global Security Numera Libris
Global Security is one of the leading providers of ADT home security systems in Canada. Their most recent offering, the Numera Libris personal emergency response system, aims to provide security and safety for seniors.
With 24-hour monitoring and a voice communication system that is integrated with water-resistant panic buttons, seniors are guaranteed fast access to emergency services at any time.
The company is also proud of their fall detection system which is said to be the most advanced in the industry. After a fall, the system sends a fall alert automatically to the monitoring center so that the user can receive medical assistance fast.
They also offer a unique caregiver platform called EverThere that allows caregivers to access and manage the user’s health information.
The standard package costs $34.99 monthly plus a one-time activation fee of $99. The GSM package costs $379.95 for the equipment, $99 (one-time activation fee) and $79 for the panic button.
This company offers a very popular medical alert system which provides a personal help button to use in an emergency.
Customers can choose from 4 types of plans – HomeSafe, HomeSafe with Auto Alert, GoSafe, and Wandering.
HomeSafe, their basic package, offers a wearable panic button with a 2-way voice communicator. It is suitable for seniors who stay home most of the time.
The HomeSafe with Auto Alert is effective for home use and has automatic fall detection technology.
GoSafe and Wandering are wireless systems that are recommended for seniors with more active lifestyles. These systems have automatic fall detection and GPS tracking.
The most standard system, HomeSafe, costs $29.95 monthly + $50 activation fee. The HomeSafe Auto Alert (Landline) costs $44.95 monthly + $50 activation fee. GoSafe2 costs $49.95 monthly + $99.95 activation fee.
SecurMedic offers medical alert systems with wearable panic buttons that are waterproof.
Seniors benefit from easy-to-use panic buttons with 2-way voice communication connected to quality monitoring centers in Canada.
They also offer automatic fall detection with their wireless Smartsafe system. The company does not require a contract and requires a landline connection.
The basic Smartsafe costs $188.88 for the equipment plus $25 monthly. SmartSafe with Fall Detection costs $288.88 for the equipment plus $38 monthly.
You can also check on the following features when shopping for a medical alert system.
Every medical alert company offers a different pricing plan and associated fees. Whatever company you choose, make sure to look into the following:
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