When Should I Where My Medical Alert Button?

Even after thirty three years of being in the medical alert system business … this question still surprises and amuses us. It seem self evident, at least to us, that anyone of our elderly subscribers would intuitively know to wear their medical alert bracelet or medical alert necklace at all times. But, human nature seems to override what seems to be the inherently logical concept of always having the panic button on your body. As part of being human there is a tendency to think that if we fell once, we will likely not fall again … kind of like the saying that “Lightening only strikes the same place once”. The exact opposite, happens to be true. Amongst the elderly and senior population … the first fall significantly and statistically puts that person into a higher risk category for a second fall.

A question that may be up for some more debate is: Where is the best place to where the medical alert button? In our view there are two almost equally good places to wear the button. We have a slight preference it to be worn as a medical alert necklace. Our reasoning is that by wearing it as a pendant around your neck … it puts the button, pretty much in the middle of your body. So, if a fall or illness occurs that incapacitates one side of the body … by way of example a stroke may cause weakness or even paralysis on one side … the elderly subscriber would still have their “good” side available to press the medical alert necklace. The other appropriate place to wear it would be as a medical alert bracelet … that would be worn on ones wrist. The downside of wearing the button on your wrist can easily be seen by considering the advantages of wearing it as a pendant. By way of example, when the button is put on the left wrist … if a fall or illness occurs that impacts the effectiveness of the right hand and arm … the medical alert bracelet will not be able to be pressed. While this scenario is quite unlikely, it should still be considered.

There are certainly situations that would dictate where the panic button has to be worn. If one of our seniors needs to use oxygen and they are tethered to their oxygen tubes via a nasal canula … the button is probably best worn on the wrist. If one of our elderly clients has lost the use of one side of their body as a result of a stroke … the button is probably best worn as a pendant.

Here are some places the pendant would best not be kept:

  1. In your pocket. It is very difficult to reach the button, at the time of an emergency, when it is kept in the pocket of a pair of pants.
  2. Hanging on a walker. A fall may happen and your body may go one way and the walker another … thereby making the pendant unreachable.
  3. On you nightstand. Unless you fall or get sick near your nightstand … the button would then be useless.


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