When Should You Consider a Medical Alert System?
It’s not often we associate medical alert systems with living with cancer. They’re typically used for age-related conditions, which may or not be the case for a cancer diagnosis. But despite the age of the individual with cancer, a medical alert system can be invaluable for peace of mind.
Here are 8 reasons why you might consider one:
1. They help you maintain your independence for longer
No matter what your prognosis, a cancer diagnosis can impact your quality of life. Staying in your own home and maintaining your independence is one of the key ways to improve it. In fact, research suggests maintaining independence throughout treatment is one of the most important needs for healthcare providers to consider. A medical alert system can help you do this, bridging the gap between staying at home and residential care.
2. They give loved ones peace of mind when they can’t be with you
A cancer diagnosis affects the whole family. It’s only natural your loved ones want to be there for you whenever they can. But everyone has other commitments they need to attend to, such as work and children. This can be an added strain for you as well as those close to you. You might worry about what will happen when they’re not with you, and it’s likely they will share your concerns too. A medical alert system can give everyone peace of mind and alleviate some of the pressures faced by those caring for a loved one with cancer.
3. They provide round-the-clock monitoring
Medical alert systems also provide benefits that carers can’t — they’re active round the clock. Depending upon the system chosen, some of them can even monitor you while you’re sleeping. If something happens to you, it doesn’t matter what time of day it is. Someone will be alerted and help will be on the way quickly.
4. They can minimize the length of any hospital stays
Understandably, hospital staff need to know you’re going to be safe when they discharge you from a stay. You may need to stay in the hospital for a variety of reasons. For example, complications from treatment or infections are common. But you will likely want to be at home, back in your own bed, as quickly as possible. If you have a medical alert system in place, hospital staff may be more willing to discharge you sooner — knowing you have the means to access help immediately if you need it.
5. The risk of complications is high in cancer patients
Although cancer treatment has improved, it still carries a high risk of complications. The side effects you’ll experience depend upon the type of treatment, but can include:
– Sickness and diarrhoea
– Memory problems
– Bone problems
A medical alert system can help mitigate some of these side effects, giving you some level of protection if anything were to go wrong when you’re home alone.
6. They can detect falls automatically
Falls are a concern for many cancer patients — especially in older adults with cancer. As we’ve already mentioned, some cancer treatments can affect the health of the bones. This can make them more prone to breaks, increasing the risks associated with falling inside the home. This, coupled with the fatigue and weakness associated with cancer treatment, can make it hard for people to get up to call for help after a fall. Some medical alert systems can detect falls automatically, alerting health care providers to let them know you’re in need of assistance.
7. They can improve your mental health
The psychological impacts of a cancer diagnosis are well known. Loss of independence and the risk of complications are both associated with depression and anxiety. With this in mind, it’s clear medical alert systems can help you protect your mental health as you progress through treatment.
8. They can save your life
Finally, medical alert systems are an invaluable addition to your care package because they can save your life. They are an inexpensive addition to your treatment plan — but may be the best investment you ever make.
This is a collaborative post from Herson Blake which may contain affiliate links