LiveSmart: Medical Alert Technology Enhances Safety for Seniors at Home and On-the-Go

[This piece was written by Kathy Leonard, Manager, Eddy Health Alert.]

Every year, millions of older Americans suffer unintentional falls, the leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal injuries among older adults. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in three seniors ages 65 and older fall at least once a year, resulting in lacerations, hip fractures, traumatic brain injuries, heart attacks or permanent disabilities.

For independent seniors, the ability to summon help at the time of a fall is critical to keeping an emergency from turning into a tragedy. A medical alert system can offer seniors and their families the peace of mind that help is just a button push away.

Eddy Health Alert, offered through St. Peter’s Health Partners, features the Medical Alert System and MobileAlert — state-of-the-art emergency response systems designed to enhance the safety of seniors or disabled individuals in the Capital Region who wish to live independently in their homes, or who want an added level of safety while on-the-go.

The traditional Medical Alert System features wireless technology that offers interactive two-way medical emergency monitoring in and around the home. A cellular base station plugs into an electrical outlet in the client’s home. A landline phone is no longer required for connection.

For seniors who enjoy getting out and about, a model called MobileAlert is equipped with GPS technology and uses a satellite-based system to pinpoint the location of the individual. In the event of a fall or other medical emergency, the medical operator can send paramedics or a family member to the exact location of the person. The MobileAlert unit can also travel with the client anywhere in the United States.

Both the home-based and mobile systems work by immediately sending a signal to the response center when a button is pushed. A trained operator will speak with the patient to assess the situation. A family member, neighbor or loved one can be the first contacted unless they stipulate that paramedics should immediately be dispatched prior to calling family or friends.

A fall detector feature is also available on both systems. If the client is unable to speak or push the button, help can be dispatched to the client’s location at home or on the road.

Medical alert buttons can be worn as a waterproof pendant or wristband. The Medical Alert System costs $31 per month, and the MobileAlert System costs $38 per month. For more information, please call (518) 833-1040.

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