If Mom or Dad won't wear the medical alert pendant button you just got them, what can you do?
A lot of seniors resist wearing a medical alert button – we have 92 year-olds who say “those things are for old people!”
We encourage folks to wear their medical alert button and view it as a way to empower them to be more active in their own home, and live independently longer. But if the positive, empowerment approach doesn’t work with your mom or dad, you may have to have a more difficult conversation.
Here are some ways caregivers can talk to their loved ones about wearing 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 you have has a very lightweight button that can be worn around the neck and under a blouse…nobody needs to see it or know.
- 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 have to move them to assisted living or some other arrangement.
- 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.
You should also address their concerns about having a medical alert button:
- "I don't want an ambulance to show up all the time"
- We don't always need to send EMS and an ambulance - lots of times they will just ask for a family member to be called.
- "What if they cant hear me when I press the medical alert button?"
- If we don't hear their voice after receiving a signal, we will call the home phone or cell phone to reach them. If still no answer, we dispatch help. So they will always get help if they press their medical alert button even if we don't speak with them.
- "It's ugly, I don't want to wear it."
When talking to someone about the best medical alert systems for their needs, it's important to be mindful of how they live day-to-day. Are they active just inside the house, or do they get out-and-about and need protection everywhere they go. The idea is to understand that a medical alert device won't get in the way of how they live every day.