Are you  a senior living on your own or with your spouse in Florida?  As you age in place in your own home are you concerned about alerting someone if you need help? There are systems available that you could purchase to enable you to live on your own, yet reach out to someone immediately and receive assistance. These systems are medical alert systems and they are critical technologies that have helped many seniors over the past several decades. As awareness has increased, the month of August has been designated National MedicAlert Awareness Month.

First, you need to know that medical alert systems come in different forms. These systems have varying features, depending on what you need, but almost all of them involve a wearable alert device with an emergency call button. When pressed, the device emits an alert signal which summons immediate help. This is a potentially life-saving device, but only if you use it. 

Now, we know you have questions you want to consider when you are evaluating the various medical alert systems. In fact, we have five questions we want to share with you. You should ask yourself these questions when considering which medical alert system would fit your needs best before you make your investment.

1. Are you willing to wear your device? Emergency alert devices will not work if they are not worn. Be aware that these devices are used to alert emergency personnel. They are safety tools that will be able to provide you more independence, not feebleness. 

2. Are you willing to use your device?  You must be comfortable pressing the emergency alert button on your wearable device. Remember, it will not bother anyone and it may be critically important.  In fact, if you have any health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease and other serious health issues you should seriously consider these devices and use them. Even without these health issues, if you have fallen down or had an accident you should immediately press the button on your device.

3. Are you willing to learn how to charge it? Medical alert devices still run on batteries. If they are not charged, they will not work. You should always have at least one back-up battery charging when you are wearing your alert device, which should be 24-hours a day. This includes during sleeping hours.

4. What features do you want in your medical alert system? Alert systems have differing compatible features. It is very important to include fall detection sensors and GPS tracking. 

5. What is your budget? Medical alert systems typically cost between $30 to $90 per month. Medicare does not contribute, nor do many insurance plans. Medicaid might partially cover expenses depending on where you live, and some long-term insurance policies may provide partial reimbursements. Be sure to reach out to your adult children or other family members if you need help financing this important device.

As a Florida senior living on your own, be aware that the medical alert systems are very important and can be actual life-saving devices. Research the various devices to ensure you obtain the best possible tools to maintain your independence and receive prompt assistance during emergencies.

We know this article may raise more questions than it answers. At David H. Jacoby Elder Law Advocate, P. A., we are focused on providing thorough, ethical, and timely solutions for our clients and their loved ones. We encourage you to contact us and schedule a meeting with us.