The cell phone and more accurately, the Smartphone is taking center stage in senior emergency alert systems.
Pew Research Center reports that the vast majority of seniors who now have Smartphones, are loving them.
Popular thinking suggests that seniors have lagged behind the technology curve.
Until recently, many believed a life alert bracelet or another emergency alert system were a seniors limit in 21st century technology.
The Smartphone is changing everything. Pew reports the majority of seniors say smartphones ‘equal freedom’. The unintended consequence appears to be the added benefit of the new ‘emergency alert system’.
GPS tracking can be used to locate the phone when lost. The technology also works for missing seniors carrying the phone.
According to Pew, Smartphones are described as a leash by 30% of adults under 30. Only 18% of seniors had a similar opinion. The fast track to technology via a smartphone is being embraced by 82% of seniors 65 and over.
In the same study, seniors were asked if their smartphone was connecting or distracting. The same 82% reported the phones were connecting.
When discussing smartphone benefits, the evidence is overwhelming. Still 54% of respondents admitted they do not always need it. The other 46% could ‘not live’ without it.
Considering all adults, 64% are now using smartphones. Of that number 27% are seniors age 65 or older.
Technology is a wonderful thing. Seniors have discovered that use of their smartphone goes far beyond taking pictures of dinner.
The study revealed that 92% of smartphone users over 50 are engaged using text messaging and 94% use voice and video messages.
Uses don’t end there. Many smartphone users do not have broadband available and the smartphone allows access to anything from online shopping to social media.
Seniors are enjoying these same benefits. They join with 80% of users in coordinating and meeting with others using their phone.
When it comes to cost, the only information gleaned from the Pew report was 34% of users are paying less than $50 per month. It is likely that seniors are a large part of that group.
Emergency use of cell phones, and more recently smartphones, is growing in importance. Pew research data cites 50% of users have used the phone in what is described as an emergency situation.
The data points out that 50% of the emergency alerts involved a car accident, flat tire or the need for road assistance. 5% of the situations involved calling 9-1-1.
For seniors, the smartphone is the new emergency alert system. The image of a smartphone compared to the familiar, “I’ve fallen and can’t get up” has seniors embracing the safety features of the smartphone.
It has been reported that only 14% of the once popular medical alert devices are actually used. The rest have been relegated to a drawer in the nightstand.
Citing the statistic is not intended to denigrate the device.
The Majority Of Seniors Desire To Appear Self Sufficient. A Smartphone Seems To Accomplish That.
Stepping away from the Smartphone for a moment, we’ll point out another option in the emergency/medical alert systems and devices.
Lively Safety Watch is one of the latest devices for aiding those who are alone in an emergency.
Traditionally the emergency will be medical in nature. The small button on a string has always been a good concept. The status or perception of a helpless senior is the downfall of that medical alert system.
Lively Safety Watch is essentially the same safety system with a few improvements. First is the device itself. It is a stylish wrist watch that looks like a watch.
Lively Safety Watch has a button. When pushed, a Lively team member calls to check on the subject. If there is a problem, protocols are in place depending on the nature of the emergency.
The waterproof Lively Safety Watch has several other feature including, medication reminders, daily step counter, notifications if medicine is missed and others. An internet connection or home phone line are not required. Attentional information is available at their website. Just click here.
There are other similar devices. A quick look at Amazon.com list Lively Safety Watch, V.alrt VSN 4000 and PROTAG duet bluetooth tracker. Here is a link to Amazon.com should you wish to have a closer look.
If you would like a comprehensive list of medical alert systems, ConsumerAdvocates.org has a list of ten such systems. Click here to read what they say. Costs are recurring monthly like a cell phone and are around $25 per month.
Medical alert systems are a valuable service. The Smartphone requires the user to dial a number, even if it’s 9-1-1. The phone has the added benefit of being just that, a phone, with several added features.
Smartphone users know that with speed dial programing features, any number in the world can be dialed with the push of a single button.
The smartphone appears to be the new senior emergency alert system.
HealthyLivingAfter60.com has not reviewed any of the life alert type products and neither recommends them not discourages the use of any safety alert product.
The smart phones are an incredible device with features far too vast to list here. The Pew Research study is comprehensive and offers a thumbs up for seniors.
If you have questions or a comment we would like to hear from you. Simply drop a note in the comments section below.