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Talking With Mom or Dad About Getting A Medical Alert System

elderly woman with caregiver Let's face it:

Most seniors don't really want a medical alert button.

We even have 92 year-olds who tell us “those things are for old people!”

We love that independent and optimistic attitude! That feistiness is part of what we love about our family members.

But the fact remains that 1 in 3 people over 65 will fall in their own home. Falling once doubles your chances of falling again.

The best way to overcome resistance to getting a medical alert button is to talk about your feelings and love for them.

Here are some ways other clients have approached their loved ones about getting a medical alert button:
  • It’s not for you, it’s for ME. Let your mom know that you worry about her, and that it gives you peace of mind to know she can summon help at a moment’s notice.


  • Nobody needs to know. Some folks don’t want to be seen wearing one of these – the system has a very lightweight button that can be worn around the neck and under a blouse…nobody needs to see it or know.

    It’s just a button. A medical alert button is just that….it’s a button. There’s no other significance or stigma that says “you’re old”, “you’re feeble”, or “you can’t take care of yourself”. On the contrary…it means you CAN take care of yourself, and we want you to be safe.

    For $1 day, it’s “cheap insurance”. Most families can afford our systems…and you may be eligible for a discount. And way cheaper than a visit to the ER, or moving to assisted living.


Now, don’t try to scare your mom or dad into getting a system (it’s counterproductive, and it won’t work anyway...), but these are some things you need to know:

    When you need help, you need it fast. Medical alert systems are to reduce the effects of falling and other accidents. If people can get help during the “golden hour” that happens right after an accident or stroke, the recovery rate is much faster and with a better outcome.

    Falls can be deadly. 1/3 of Americans over 65 will fall in their own home each year. If left on the floor, the consequences can be awful. We don’t want your mom laying on the floor for 8, 10, 24-hours or longer….the psychological and physical trauma is awful. Getting help quickly is critical. Unfortunately, it's not a matter of if she will fall, but when and how.

    If you don’t have a system, you may not be able to continue living alone in your home. This is tough, but the reality is that many families can’t allow an elderly person to live alone and will have to move them to assisted living or a nursing home.

Here are some common objections from seniors, and ideas to help convince your loved one to use their medical alert system:

    “I’m in perfect health. I don’t need it.”
    - Yes, but there are certain realities that come with getting older.
    - Being in good health doesn’t mean you can’t have an accident or a fall.
    - Older people are hospitalized more often, and their stays are longer.
    - It’s not just for medical emergencies – you can press the button for police, fire, or any situation where you need some help.

    “It’s too expensive...I don’t want you to spend the money.”
    - It’s not expensive. It costs around $1 a day. You’re worth it, don’t you think?
    - How much do you think a hospital stay costs? A single trip to the ER comes with a $250 co-pay.
    - How much is your peace of mind worth?
    - It’s a lot less expensive than assisted living, or a nursing home.

    “I’m not going to fall.”
    - Maybe, but do you know anyone that has fallen? How did that work out for them?
    - One slip of the ankle can mean months or years of rehabilitation. Is that what you want?
    - If you did fall and couldn’t get help, I couldn’t forgive myself.
    - 1 in 3 seniors will fall in their own home. 1 in 5 falls results in broken bones or a head injury.
    - The longer it takes to get help, the harder it is to recover. Why risk it?

    “I have a cell phone, I don’t need this.”
    - If you have the phone with you and can dial it, that’s great. But if it’s just one inch out of reach, it won’t do you any good.
    - If you call 911, they won’t call me and let me know what’s going on. With the medical alert button I get a call and a text message.

    “I’ve lived this long without a button, I’m not starting now.”
    - That’s the whole point…I want you to keep on living, and to keep living in your own home.
    - You probably said the same thing about your glasses or your hearing aid! It’s just something you need to do now, for all of our sake and our peace of mind.
    - I worry about you all the time, and this will make me feel better.

    “I don’t want an ambulance coming out here all the time.”
    - They don’t call an ambulance unless you need one, or if they can’t hear you.
    - Otherwise, they call and text me (or a neighbor) first.
    - Most calls don’t require an ambulance, just some assistance.


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