Live at Home with Life Alert

Just get yourself a Life Alert pendant.

You move mom a mile down the road so you can be just a phone call away.

You give dad a cell phone with your number programmed in so you can be just a phone call away.

You buy your parents a large numbered, easy to use, telephone system with extensions for each room and your number on speed dial so you can be just a phone call away.

All of these precautions so that your aging loved ones can get you on the phone in case of an emergency.  But have you considered what may happen if they can’t reach the phone? 

Falling is inevitable with the elderly; and trying to dial a number while lying on the floor in pain can become a daunting task.  However, Life Alert’s emergency medical alert button is easy to use and will send help fast, 24/7.

But mom and dad aren’t that frail, their balance is still good and there’s usually someone checking on them daily, right?  Regardless of how healthy your elderly loved ones may be, falling is an unfortunate truth that is synonymous with aging, and the older one gets the higher the risk becomes. Assuming that a phone will be close by in the event of an emergency isn’t being as precautionary as one would think, and expecting busy people to check on them isn’t realistic.  What is realistic is using Life Alert Protection to get help fast when an emergency happens so permanent damage is minimized.

Fear of falling is a genuine concern for older adults and, “people with arthritis may be especially venerable to losing their balance because of weak muscles and stiff joints associated with many forms of the condition,” says Debbie Rose, the co-director of the Center for Successful Aging at California State University, Fullerton.  Yet arthritis is only one factor that may cause a fall.  Other medical conditions and dizziness associated with medication can easily cause a senior to be off balance too.

Making your elderly loved ones safe at home, especially when alone, involves more than getting extra phones.  According to the U.S. National Institute of Health, safety involves keeping stairways, hallways, and pathways clear of any debris; fastening handrails, steps and carpets when needed; Mounting grab bars near toilets and in showers; laying down non-skid mats or carpet on all surfaces that may get wet or become slippery; keeping electric cords and wires near walls and out of walking paths; putting a night light close to the bed and keeping a phone nearby.

These measures are good ways to assist in keeping a senior from falling, and having a phone nearby can be helpful at times but you need to consider what would happen if the fallen senior either can’t reach a phone or reach you by phone.  What is your medical emergency backup plan? 

A personal medical alert system, where a pendant or wrist band is worn, has an emergency team standing by with only one push of a button away.  Life Alert will automatically dispatch help even if the elder can’t talk or get to the phone.

Preventive maintenance is also key and you can start by enrolling elders into balance and mobility classes given by community hospitals, schools and churches in order to keep your  venerable loved one balanced and flexible.  Additionally, here are some tips to maintain the wellness of seniors provided by Eldercare for Dummies:

phone Don’t allow your elder to become sedentary.
Inactivity causes muscles to become even weaker.
phone When your elder rises from a sitting position, remind him or here to stand still for a few minutes before take a first step. 
This pause gives your elder’s blood pressure a chance to adjust.
phone Check your elder’s feet regularly.
Neglected toenails curling about the toes can impair the elder’s ability to walk.
phone Light up your elder’s path.
Nightlights that switch on automatically at twilight and lamps with sensors that automatically go on when lights go low can accommodate to your elder’s age-related need for more light.
phone Make sure that your elder keeps the nighttime temperature in the home above 65 degrees. 
Hours in a cold bedroom may cause his or her body temperature to drop, leading to dizziness and a fall when he or she tires to get out of bed.

In a busy world, you may not be able to always be there for your loved ones; however, by keeping the home safe and the senior educated on balance and mobility, your emergency plan can be proactive.  By adding Life Alert’s medical alert system, your plan to preserve senior independence can be effective ensuring that the call for help will always be answered.

Works Cited

Zukerman, Rachelle. Eldercare for Dummies. New York: Wiley, 2003.

Rizzo, Terrie Heinrich. “3 moves to Better Balance.” Arthritis Today. May-June 2007:44.


If Life Alert protection could enhance your quality of life, and later replace or delay going to a retirement facility, wouldn't you be interested in a FREE informational brochure? Call 1-800-247-0000.