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Medical Alerting Devices for Emergencies

by Kimberly O'Loughlin, Aging Technology Expert
July 15, 2016

Question: Both my parents ended up in the hospital at around the same time due to falls. I don’t live too close to them. Is there an alerting device that can detect if something is wrong and get immediate help for them?

Answer: I am so sorry to hear that about your parents – it is always difficult when you are far away from a loved one and a fall happens. Unfortunately, you aren’t alone – recent survey results found that one in three seniors will have a fall each year. As we age, we experience physical changes - reflexes slow, muscle mass decreases, vision worsens, and unfortunately, these changes increase our likelihood of falling. Luckily today we have the ability to leverage technology and preparation to our advantage much more than ever before.

First, you should work with your family to look into a medical alert device that is powered with automatic fall detection monitoring. Devices such as Philips Lifeline GoSafe with AutoAlert can detect many types of falls with minimal false alarms. This powerful technology has the ability, if it detects that a subscriber has had a fall, to automatically alert a 24/7 contact center representative even if they are unable to push their button. This allows the call center to immediately interact with the customer and get ahold of the appropriate emergency services if needed.

There are also some quick tips that you can work with your parents on to ensure they are helping reduce their risk of falls. Simple things such as: making sure their living areas are clean of clutter, ensure there is plenty of light in the nighttime and having the proper footwear can be great ways to start.

Kimberly O’Loughlin is Senior Vice President and General Manager of Philips Home Monitoring. She leads the global business serving seniors and their caregivers with safety, health and connected solutions including Philips Lifeline emergency response services, medication management solutions and a cognitive health service. Kimberly has over 25 years of leadership experience at companies that include Vonage, AIG and AT&T.

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