Personal Alert Systems: Simple, Effective Technology for Aging at Home Safely
You’ve seen the commercials on television for decades now: An elderly woman is on the floor in her kitchen or bathroom. She’s in pain — and all alone. “Help,” she cries. “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!”
Of course, this iconic commercial is for a well-known brand of personal medical alarm. And although the line itself has become a popular culture punch line, the fact is that personal alert systems are popular because they do one job and do it well…
A solution for the multitude of seniors who need some way to summon emergency help, but don’t want or need a constant “nanny,” may be a personal medical alarm. Personal medical alarms are likely the oldest form of home monitoring technology.
Perhaps no technology has done more to allow older adults to age at home safely and independently than the personal alert system. If you’re in trouble, you just push a button and a dispatcher notifies a designated contact person.
Today the idea behind personal alarms for the elderly has evolved into monitoring systems for the entire home. These sophisticated systems use various combinations of cameras, motion sensors, and connected devices to track an eldrely person’s every move — from getting in and out of bed, to using the toilet, to taking medication on time. These comprehensive systems may make the most sense for seniors who suffer from dementia or who might forget to push a button.