If you are buying a medical alert system for the first time, it can be confusing since the market spoils you for choice. Each medical pendant on the market touts unique benefits – and you are tasked with sifting through it. That notwithstanding, there are some fundamental features that a medical pendant should have. Read on to find out features to look for when shopping for one.
A medical pendant with a water-resistant shell is possibly the essential feature. Statistics show that more than one in three seniors aged 65 and above will fall each year. And the majority of the falls take place in the bathroom. Therefore, older adults need to wear the pendant in such areas – since they need it the most then. The medical pendant should be designed to be fit for use at all times – including in water-prone areas like the shower or bath.
A medical alert system should be comfortable for the patient – otherwise, they won’t wear them. That would beat the whole point of having one in the first place. Therefore, while shopping for a medical pendant, it’s essential to ensure that it’s comfortable for the patient.
Besides being comfortable, the pendant should be attractive and discreet. Otherwise, seniors will push back against these systems in an attempt to avoid the stigma accrued to them. Fortunately, medical alert companies have taken the cue and are now rolling out pendants that don’t scream “medical device.” Some even come with changeable faceplates – allowing seniors to play around with colors to match their outfits.
3. Long Battery Life
The pendant wouldn’t be of much use with a dead battery. A dead battery can quickly escalate to a matter of life and death. That’s why an ideal medical pendant should have a battery life (anything between a week to a month). Buying a model that requires an almost daily recharge can be inconvenient, compromising its efficiency.
4. Location Detection
With the advancement in technology, seniors are becoming independent more than ever before. And without someone else at home, it can be difficult for them to call for help in an emergency. Therefore, an excellent pendant should have a GPS detection system. That way, the patient won’t be required to answer questions about where they are.
The pendant should have live assistance round the clock. It might take some time for the medical team to respond in case of an emergency. As the team makes its way to your loved one’s home, they can virtually get help from a trained professional. While that doesn’t substitute professional help, they can provide reliable advice.
The good thing is that most pendants have a two-way voice feature. That allows your loved one to speak to the call center agents hands-free.
5. Medical Pendant with Fall Detection
As we mentioned earlier, a significant number of seniors experience falls. Once they fall, they might not be able to summon help – or it might not be easy. But an excellent system should automatically detect a fall and summon help. The feature comes in handy when the senior is trapped or unconscious after a fall.
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6. Medication or Pill Reminder
Although not all medical pendants have this feature, a medication or pill reminder is an important feature. The system alerts your loved one when it’s time to take their medicine. However, the system cannot tell the patient how much they should take. For that, you might consider getting an automatic pill dispenser.
7. Activity Monitoring
Some medical pendants check on the senior regularly – about twice a day. If you notice that they have been inactive, you might want to check on them. Some monitor the activity by prompting the user to press a button after a reminder.
The Bottom Line
While it’s good to have a medical pendant with a wide range of features, it’s essential to keep it simple. A solid medical system should be straightforward. If a system has complicated features, it probably won’t be of much use.
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