Are You Protected With the Right Medical Alert Device?

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by Lori DePorter |

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The first thought that popped into my head when I realized August is Medical Alert Awareness Month was, “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up.”

While that famous line from commercials in the 1980s and early ’90s became part of pop culture, it also represented a serious concern that continues today: falling while living alone.

Those living alone, especially the elderly, are at a greater risk of falling. However, that is only one demographic. Alerting emergency responders is an important part of planning for anyone living alone, especially if balance is challenging. And for those of us with Parkinson’s disease, the battle to maintain our balance is a never-ending daily struggle coupled with the fear of falling.

When looking for a solution, make sure to research all options, because one size does not fit everyone.

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Medical alerts encompass a range of devices. Three of the most common are:

  • Medical alert systems
  • Apps
  • Medical ID bracelets

Some medical alert systems are monitored while others are not. They vary in terms of their features and their prices. The process of choosing the right system is twofold: It must meet the user’s needs while providing peace of mind to loved ones.

Apps are another convenient option. Some have the option of being added to existing systems.

The medical alert symbol seen on ID bracelets and other jewelry is widely recognized and identifies a user’s medical conditions. I chose to wear an ID bracelet since I am alone throughout the day. If I’m unable to communicate during an emergency, the bracelet will provide my health information and facilitate my care plan. Together with other interventions, such as an “Aware in Care” kit from the Parkinson’s Foundation, it can lead to better results during a hospital stay.

I’m not fussy about my accessories. But I do appreciate a cute bracelet and a bargain. However, finding this combination in a medical ID bracelet proved to be challenging.

There were many options, and it was hard to choose. (Perhaps I am fussier than I realized?)

My old bracelet gets a 2nd chance

My jewelry box has many cute bracelets. However, many have a link missing or a broken clasp. How could I give a broken bracelet a new life? I purchased a small medical alert ID tag with “Parkinson’s” engraved on the back, grabbed my favorite broken bracelet, and headed to a local jeweler.

A week later, my repurposed bracelet became my medical alert ID. It was small, functional, and cute. More importantly, it provided medical information that is unlikely for a 52-year-old woman: I have Parkinson’s.

What will you choose to wear this Medical Alert Awareness Month? Let us know in the comments below or visit our Parkinson’s News Today Forums.

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Note: Parkinson’s News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Parkinson’s News Today or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Parkinson’s disease.

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