An emergency alert system is a great way to install a sense of independence for seniors, meaning they don’t have to rely on someone watching over them all day, every day. Emergency alert systems are capable of prompting care receivers or family members and instantly summoning help in the event of any kind of emergency.
First things first, how does an emergency alert system work? Most systems are comprised of three components: a radio transmitter which is carried or worn by your elderly loved one, a console connected to a care receiver’s phone line and an emergency response centre which monitors calls. When the help button is pressed by a care receiver, this automatically dials the emergency control centre, connects to an operator who then speaks with your loved one and dispatches help. You, as the care receiver, are then contacted immediately.
While an assortment of devices are available on the market today, there are a few key things to look for and consider before investing in an emergency alert system for a care receiver:
- Pricing and contracts: start off with a minimum obligation contract which lasts only 30 or 90 days to ensure the system works according to your loved one’s needs.
- Features and suitability: make sure that the emergency alert system fits in well with your care receiver’s medical needs and physical capabilities. If your loved one suffers from Alzheimer’s or dementia, it’s worthwhile looking at systems with a GPS feature.
- Company reputation: look for a highly recommended, reputable company that has been given plenty of good, thorough reviews of their products. Try and source feedback from users of the system and take heed of common complaints.
- Range and ease-of-use: how far does the range of the transmitter and the console base extend? Consider the size of your care receiver’s living space and their range of mobility. Make sure to look for a company that offers nationwide cell coverage and mobile base units which can be dispersed throughout the home, if needed. Is the transmitter device which your loved one needs to carry easy to use? Make sure instructions on how to use the transmitter are simple and easy to remember.
- Waterproofing: this is a no-brainer as accidents happen and transmitters can easily drop out of a pocket, dislodge from clothing etc. Make sure the transmitter device is hardy and fully waterproof.
- Operating hours: this is a big one, because accidents can happen at all hours of the day! Make sure the monitoring centre is available 24/7 for complete peace-of-mind, including both the emergency services and customer service departments.
- Frequent testing: When looking for the ideal emergency services company, make sure they conduct regular testing of their products to ensure everything is still working and up-to-scratch. The last thing your loved one needs is a faulty system that doesn’t respond when you need it most!
In order to fulfil your responsibilities as a care giver, you need to find a balance between caring for your loved one and caring for yourself. Ultimately, this means you won’t be by their side 24/7, and in this instance, this is where an emergency alert system can do wonders for your peace-of-mind.