Sensor Based Remote Monitoring vs Medical Alert Wearables

May 11, 2021

Medical alert pendants like Life Alert® and other wristband devices aren’t doing enough for seniors who live independently. They’re steadily being replaced by sensor-based monitoring systems that provide caregivers an easy way of tracking seniors’ activity levels at home to mitigate the risks of aging. Here’s a look at why medical alert systems like Life Alert® have become somewhat outdated in the digital age, and why sensor-based senior monitoring solutions like Sentry Tell are here to stay.

Wearer activation may be less effective for seniors with cognitive impairment

Seniors in good cognitive health may use their Life Alert ® wristband or pendant to get quick help. Those who have been facing difficulties with memory, concentration and making decisions may be less nimble in activating their wearable device or they may not remember to activate it at all. This can result in a loss of precious time until emergency personnel arrive.

Emergency response systems that rely on wearer activation also prove less effective when seniors who have a limited range of motion in one or both hands struggle to reach for their pendant or wristband. The possibility increases if they suffer a fall sideways, with all of their weight falling on their stronger arm, or if they fall forward and have trouble rolling on to their side in order to push themselves up to a side sitting position.

The ‘push of a button’ mechanism may work well for independent seniors who’re in good physical shape and mentally agile. But will it be equally effective if your aging parent’s mental or physical health comes in the way of fast intervention even with a wearable medical alert device? Consider these points before purchasing a medical alert system for them.

More than one out of four seniors falls each year but less than half tell their doctor

Unfortunately, falling once doubles seniors’ chances of falling again. Imagine a situation where your elderly parent, for some reason, doesn’t inform you about a minor injury that resulted from a fall. They may decide to rest at home rather than see a doctor about their injury. However, given how falling once makes older adults susceptible to falling again, they need to keep family members in the loop as well as exercise greater care while moving about in potentially unsafe areas of their home.

Sensor-based remote monitoring allows you to track your independent parent’s activity levels. So, if your parent rests adequately to give their injured tissue a chance to recover, the non-invasive sensor-based remote monitoring system can capture the dip in their activity levels from the normal daily levels and alert you to the change. You can stay in touch with your parent’s health, dropping in or calling to understand if they have consulted their doctor or need any assistance. Proactive and preventive, discreet remote health monitoring safeguards your parent’s health and your peace of mind.

Can you step in to prevent a critical deterioration in your senior’s health?

Sometimes, seniors may not be able to recognize that their health is failing. They may shrug off symptoms and even neglect accessing medical care in a timely manner. Over a period of time, performing chores may become more challenging and mobility issues may set in. When they lose their agility, feelings of anxiety and depression can possibly set in, affecting day-to-day activity levels. The double whammy of weakening health and mental distress goes unnoticed unless you’re living with your parent. A sensor-based activity monitoring system red-flags these changes in your parent’s normal activity levels so you can together decide on treatment or therapy options.

Usually, medical alert systems that offer emergency protection do not have a means to track seniors’ health on an ongoing basis. They’re there to provide emergency assistance, which means you cannot use one to monitor your parent’s activity levels and security on a daily basis or during certain times of the day. On the other hand, sensors provide information on seniors’ activity and important alerts that merit investigation, which is valuable if your parent hesitates to share their medical situation with you.

An opportunity to improve seniors’ lifestyle

Timely intervention and proactive measures go a long way in controlling a disease, reducing risks of greater injury, avoiding repeated falls, and hospital admission. Remote sensor-based activity monitoring allows you to stay on top of your parent’s health so they can continue leading an independent life for many more years.

If you choose SentryTell®, you can get the big picture on your parent’s activity levels directly on your mobile phone. SentryTell’s ‘Where Are They’ view tells you how active they’ve been in the last three hours, one hour or fifteen minutes. Sentry Tell also captures your parent’s last five actions so you always know what’s happening. Additionally, you can see longer trends over time along with the baseline view to see how your parent’s activity has changed over time.

Unlike medical alert wearables like Life Alert® that only connect seniors to the company call center or 911, Sentry Tell alerts multiple caregivers on their mobile phones. As you may already be familiar with push notifications, you should have no trouble using all the useful features of the mobile application.

Wireless sensor-based activity monitoring systems outdo medical alert wearables in many respects. If you’re considering senior home monitoring tools, 24/7 sensor-driven activity monitoring will enable you to discharge your caregiver duty effectively while ensuring a comfortable experience for your senior.