The onset of Alzheimer’s or dementia is distressing for both older adults and their caregivers. For caregivers, there’s a very real worry that something will happen to their loved one when they’re alone. In some cases, the onset of Alzheimer’s can lead to moving a loved one to senior housing, but not every family makes this choice. Many live at home, and some even live alone.
It’s natural to worry about what may happen if your loved one falls, becomes ill, or gets confused and doesn’t know where to turn. A medical alert system provides support and reassurance.
How Does a Medical Alert Help People With Alzheimer’s and Dementia?
A medical alert makes it easier for people to get help when they need it. When an alert is triggered, trained call center staff members can get in contact quickly to assess the situation. Because medical alerts connect to live, trained personnel, there’s less uncertainty about what may happen if a person is confused or can’t communicate. The monitoring center will send help right away.
Modern medical alert devices have features such as GPS and caregiver tracking, which allows you to keep better track of your loved one even when you can’t physically be there.
Pro Tip: In addition to a medical alert, a reliable cell phone can help keep your loved one safe. Read my guide to the best cell phone plans for seniors to learn more.
How We Chose the Best Medical Alerts for Dementia
|Hours of research
|Hours of product testing
Standard medical alert features aren’t always enough for people with Alzheimer’s or dementia. There’s a risk that, due to cognitive impairment, they won’t remember to push the button if something happens. They may also struggle to remember to wear their device on a daily basis.
When we set out to find the best medical alert for people with dementia or Alzheimer’s, here’s what we looked for:
- GPS capabilities: Anyone who loves a person with dementia can tell you wandering is a serious risk for people with the condition. A medical alert system with GPS can help address the issue since both loved ones and monitoring personnel can track the user’s location in an emergency.
- Caregiver features: With smartphone apps, some medical alert systems allow caregivers to check a system’s status, receive notifications upon emergency calls, and even make direct calls to the in-home system.
- Activity monitoring: We looked for medical alert systems that send notifications when the help button is pressed, as well as notifications for home temperature, location, and movement.
- Fall detection: Falls are one of the leading causes of injury among older adults, so it’s important that a system has the option of automatically detecting falls and contacting the monitoring center.
- Long battery life: It’s important that mobile systems’ batteries last as long as possible, so we only chose systems that lasted for more than a day in our tests.