As seniors age, their independence can feel under threat by family discussions about assisted living or moving in with a loved one. A lot of seniors have spent many years in their house or apartment, have worked hard to make it a home and genuinely love living there. So these feelings are perfectly natural. Big changes like these are often met with hesitation and require time to adjust.
Unfortunately, sometimes conversations about medical alert systems are met with the same hesitation. That’s unfortunate because these systems are the perfect tool for keeping your independence longer. They keep you safe in the home you love and help you live there longer. They are a preventative step to make sure that IF you have a big fall or emergency you are able to get help. By getting help quickly, you’ll increase your chances of a full recovery and help prolong or prevent the need for assisted living later in life. While our Senior Safety team certainly understands resistance to change, we also understand how important these systems are to your ongoing health & happiness while living in that home that you love!
Most seniors recognize the importance of using a medical alert as they age. While these systems are an integral part of any solid safety plan, they are just one part. Whether you are one of our many happy GET HELP NOW customers or you’re with a different medical alert service, here are some important “next steps” to consider for your on-going safety:
1. Order and use a free Vial of Life kit - Having your medical history, list of medications, list of allergies & more immediately available to paramedics during an emergency can save your life! Order your free kit at VialofLife.com and set it up in your home as soon as you can.
2. Expand your support network - Do you know your neighbors? Even if you choose not to have a neighbor on your medical alert’s list of responders, having someone nearby that you can rely on is important in many other situations. Coordinate with your support network to check in with you should a tornado watch, earthquake, power outage or heavy snow happen in your area.
3. Fall-proof your home - While this is smart for all seniors, it’s especially a must for those with a history of falling! Improve the lighting throughout your home, install handrails where needed, secure carpets, install non-slip strips to your stairs (available at the hardware store), and arrange your furniture to give adequate room for walking. Your medical alert is there just in case! But you can help prevent falls by being proactive.
4. Continue to be adaptable - Our needs change as we age. Today you may be able to mow the lawn by yourself, but what about in two years? For your safety sake, it’s good to stay aware of your limitations and plan accordingly. Think of your home as adaptable too. If stepping in and out of the tub becomes challenging years down the road, consider installing a walk-in shower. Small improvements to make home more friendly can make your life much easier.
With 5 GET HELP NOW systems available, picking the right system for you can be a task. Yes, we stand by the fact that everyone’s situation is different and, ultimately, it’s up to you to decide what system is best for you or your family. But many seniors share the same basic needs when it comes to medical alert systems. So what works best for most seniors?
For most seniors, a solid in-home medical alert system is all you need. We offer a variety of options, but I recommend our cellular 3G system because it is the easiest for ALL seniors to set up, it’s the easiest to relocate should you need to be covered at a different address, and it doesn’t rely on other, unrelated parts working (your home phone line or cable modem) for a reliable connection. While your mother or father may have a home telephone line for now or may be technologically savvy today, this is a perfect system to grow old with…
Active & younger seniors who spend a lot of time outside their home alone (not in the grocery store, the mall or the movie theatre but truly alone – hiking, running errands at night or taking the dog for long walks) should consider a mobile GPS button for their protection. If you came to our site to learn about mobile GPS, we encourage you to read more about why our mobile medical alert is more reliable than other “low cost” solutions (here’s a hint: Breadcrumbs).
We wish you the best in your medical alert search! As always, if you have questions about what will work best for your loved one, give us a call at 1-888-473-2800!
Compared to a good amount of our GET HELP NOW customers I’m a young guy. I am 67, and I use a medical alert button to protect my health. In fact I wear it with great pride. For me, like for many other senior citizens, this little button is a symbol that I don’t give up without a fight! Age is such a relative and individual thing. Perhaps somewhere there is an 85 year old who is healthier than I and, somewhere else, a 50 year old who needs a medical alert too.
These days I have trouble understanding the pride that can get in the way of a senior protecting themselves with a medical alert system in their home. The stigma that once existed of owning a help button is disappearing more and more as seniors realize how truly important these systems are to their longevity. Medical alert success stories are everywhere, and most seniors know at least one other person who has a system. To be honest… I’ve never understood the stigma. Owning a medical alert is not weakness; In my opinion, being able to acknowledge that you might need extra help sometimes is a sign of great strength in character!
So don’t let misguided pride get in the way. Take it from me, it’s never too early to start protecting your health.
How great would it be to be able to see into the future while planning your mother’s medical alert service? You’d know how many years she needs the system, where she’ll stay during that time and what type of phone service is available there. For many families a lot of these variables are unknown, but with our GET HELP NOW service that’s okay.
Should mom relocate to a new house or apartment or should she need to move in with a family member, her GET HELP NOW system is portable. All you’d do is bring the equipment and give us a call when she’s at the new address. We’ll get her account updated that same day. If you order our basic or advanced system today (both of which require a home telephone service) and mom moves to a location without a phone service, you can easily upgrade to a cellular 3G system to keep her protected. Check out our Home Phone Compatibility page for details on each system. It will take about 3 days for any upgrade shipment to arrive – so it’s always best to plan ahead!
We know that what a senior’s needs in a medical alert service can change in the span of a given year or even a few months. So if mom gets rid of her landline, needs the added protection of our fall alert system or wants a different system for any reason, know that GET HELP NOW has you covered. Give us a call at 1-888-473-2800. We’ll discuss your upgrade options with you and make sure that your mom continues to have the best medical alert protection for her.
We send a Vial of Life kit to all of our new customers with their order. This kit allows them to prepare and store their medical information to be better prepared for emergencies. Turns out, having basic medical information allows firefighters, paramedics & EMTs to do an even better job of treating a patient. They’ll know important information like your allergies, medical history and more, and all this information can save your life! So the Vial of Life very naturally goes hand-in-hand with our medical alert service…
The Vial of Life Project is a 501 (c) 3 Public Charity that we run out of our GET HELP NOW office. Seniors and others in need request these medical information kits online at VialofLife.com, and we send their kit free of charge. In fact, we’re incredibly proud to have sent over 2 million kits to date! We’re all about safety – both in our medical alert service and this life-saving charity program. Even if you aren’t a GET HELP NOW customer, you can request a free Vial of Life kit today! We’ll send you 2 decals & a form. One decal will stick (at eye level) on your front door to alert first responders to the whereabouts of your medical information. Once you’ve completed the medical information form, simply fold it inside a plastic baggie, place the second decal on the bag & tape it to the front of your refrigerator. It’s simple to do, and instructions are included with your free kit! We want to help all seniors choose to protect themselves better with the Vial of Life!
If you’re like me, you prefer to know what to expect before (or even sometimes immediately after) placing an order online. If you are officially a new GET HELP NOW customer while reading this: Thanks! We’re glad to have you on board and we look forward to speaking with you personally. We sure do have wonderful customers! If you provided an email address under the section of our online order form titled “Who is the person ordering? (client)”, you can check your email after ordering for both a receipt (if you paid by credit card) and an order summary email. Providing your email address in this field also allows us to send your paperwork electronically through a service called Docusign. Docusign lets you view and sign your paperwork online and is much faster than returning the physical copy included in the shipment. You should look for that Docusign email within one business day of your order.
If we have any questions about your order or the information that you provided, we’ll give you a call as soon as we can to review the details. Otherwise – if you placed your order before 2PM, you can expect it to ship the same day! It usually takes 3 to 4 business days for your new system to arrive. When it arrives, you’ll simply follow the instructions included to set up and test the system. If you need any help, our Senior Safety Team is available by phone at 1-888-473-2800. They’re more than happy to walk you through that set up. Some seniors need a little extra help, whether it’s over the phone with us or help from a family member or neighbor. If there is heavy furniture in the way of the phone jack or electrical outlet that you’re planning on using, it’s best to have someone there to help! Once everything is plugged in, follow the testing instructions provided. If you reach an operator during your test, you’re all set up and ready to go. If you don’t reach an operator, give us a call and we’ll make sure to get everything working for you.
There’s also paperwork in that shipment box! If you already signed and returned yours using Docusign, you can skip this step! If not, go ahead and look over that paperwork right after setting up and testing. We need that paperwork back in order to activate your account. Until we receive it, your account is in Demo Test mode – so it’s best to get that back to us ASAP. Faxing or handling this via Docusign is the quickest way to go about this. But if you prefer, you can use the envelope provided in your shipment to mail the physical copy back to us!
Don’t think you can remember all this? Not to worry! Instructions are provided in your shipment to cover everything you need to know… Read “What’s next?” – After setting up your new system to review few things that’ll help you get the most out of your service in the long-term.
When is the right time to get mom and dad started with a GET HELP NOW system? It’s sometimes tough to tell because there are no hard & fast rules for this sort of question. It depends on the situation and the senior. One thing is for certain though: It is never too early to get started with this type of protection. And the best way to get started is to have a conversation with mom and dad.
I realize that for some families this can be a tough conversation, perhaps an easy conversation to put off until next time you see your parents. But if you are expecting some resistance, it’s best to start talking about it sooner. This way you are allotting some time for them to consider and adjust to the idea and even to make that decision for themselves. It may take a few months for it to sink in, but if you approach this conversation the right way I think they’ll understand how an emergency system would be a positive addition to their lives. For most seniors in their 70’s and 80’s, a time comes when they will need extra help. That could be a system like ours, having a care taker at home or moving to assisted living. For most seniors, a medical alert in their home is the clear choice. Using a system at home is all about keeping them healthy & independent. If an emergency strikes, they’ll be able to get help faster which should lead to a speedy recovery as well. Turns out, mom and dad’s independence is interconnected with their health and happiness. So a little extra protection never hurt!
When approaching this conversation, express your concern about their situation in a loving way. You think about these things because you care dearly for your parents. You want them to live well into their 90’s in the home that they love, and medical alerts are a great way to help them continue to live a happy & healthy life.
Getting started with a new medical alert in mom’s home is pretty straightforward. Setting up the equipment, testing and showing mom how to use her new emergency button is a breeze for most families. I truly think the most difficult part of all this is remembering to test your system monthly. In the short-term, remembering to test actually is easy. Most seniors are excited about their new system and enjoy testing it to see how it works. But as mom’s system becomes a normal thing for her around the house, remembering to test becomes more and more difficult. After a year, she’s tested that button 12 different times and she may start taking testing for granted.
The importance of testing monthly just cannot be stressed enough. Yes, mom tested last month, but there are a handful of variables that could have changed over that time. Testing her button tests the speaker box, its connections to the electricity and phone jack, the button itself and more. This will allow both her and us to know that when an emergency strikes she’ll be able to reach an operator and get the help that she needs. Needless to say, we take your mom’s safety very seriously. That’s why we recommend marking her calendar with the days she is planning on testing for the entire year. Just pick one specific calendar day (the 12th… or the 25th) and mark “Test Your Medical Alert” there for every month! You can even use your smart phone’s calendar to alert you on that day. Don’t know how? Give us a call and someone in our Senior Safety Team will walk you through setting that up. We are more than glad to do that for you, because testing is SO important. So let’s all start our 2015 out right and mark our new calendars for testing monthly!
Winter is upon us… And while our office is located in Marina del Rey, California, where it never snows or even freezes, we know many of our customers deal with extreme winter conditions every year! Winter can be a dangerous time for seniors. From the ice on the ground to icicles hanging from the eves, winter is packed with different obstacles. So if you are getting snow this year, please be careful!
The good news is that there are a lot of options for medical alert systems these days. So no matter where you’d like extra protection this winter, we have a system for you. If you are concerned about having an accident while shoveling snow in your driveway, you’ll be happy to know that all of our available systems cover you outside in your yard or driveway – You’ll be covered up to 1000 feet away from the speaker with our advanced system. Or if you’re looking to be covered anywhere you go, we have a great mobile option for you! Should you slip and fall while out running errands, you can get help with just one push of a button using our mobile GPS system.
Protecting yourself with a solid medical alert can help you to worry less about the obstacles and pitfalls that winter can bring… and help you start enjoying it for the wonderland it is! Stay warm and stay safe!