Choosing From Medical Alert Pendants, Necklaces Or Bracelets

Choosing From Medical Alert Pendants, Necklaces Or Bracelets

Choosing From Medical Alert Pendants, Necklaces Or Bracelets
Reading Time: 5 minutes
Medical emergencies and falls can happen without warning at any time and caregivers may not always be able to be there when they’re needed most. If you (or someone for whom you care) are 60 or older or live with chronic conditions, you should think about whether it’s easy for you to get urgent medical help when you need it. A simple solution to this concern is a medical alert system, which can give you and (or your loved one) much-needed peace of mind. Here is what you need to know. 

Why Consider A Medical Alert System?

Across Canada, falls remain the leading cause of injury every year. Over 60% of seniors were injured in falls last year—and more than half of those falls happened either when walking or simply doing household chores.  Looking across the world, falls are the second leading cause of unintentional injury deaths, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Adults over 60 suffer the greatest number of fatal falls out of all age groups.  Not all falls are medical emergencies. A little more than one out of two falls in Canada result in a sprain or strain. Whilst this is reassuring, both sprains and strains can be serious enough to limit a person’s mobility and require medical attention. Ruling out a more serious injury is just one reason for that. 

For seniors, more than one in four falls lead to fractures or broken bones. If that happens to you or a loved one who cannot alert medical help quickly, this may result in serious pain for hours or even longer.  As more of us live independently for longer, there may not always be a family member, friend, or even a carer around when an accident occurs. A medical alert system is a great solution to bridge that gap. 

How Can Medical Alert Systems Help?

Think of medical alert systems as a convenient safety net. They offer greater peace of mind—and having one of these alert systems in your home can make the difference between being able to live independently or moving into residential care. Medical alert systems look like accessories—often a bracelet, necklace, or pendant—with a large button. They work by sending a radio signal to a base unit in your home when the button is pressed or when the unit senses a fall.  The base unit of your medical alert system then makes a call. On the other end of the ‘line’ are trained professionals. They can assist you directly or get in touch with family or friends. If your situation is more serious, they alert emergency medical services. All these can easily happen at the touch of a button.  We’ve researched dozens of companies to find the best providers of medical alert systems in Canada. Our expert reviews will provide you with everything you need to know to find the right system for you. Explore the best medical alert systems according to our editors.

Pendants, Necklaces Or Bracelets: Which Device Is Right For You?

When you are getting ready to purchase a medical alert system, it is a good idea to start by researching a provider you trust.  We offer up the expert advice you need before you purchase a medical alert system, and a breakdown of the features for which you should keep an eye out Once you have selected the right provider, consider which type of device you would prefer. There are a few variations, but your basic choices include a necklace or pendant and a bracelet.  The devices may sound like jewellery, but they serve far more useful functions. Picking what is best for you depends on which type of device you believe you will be able to access more easily. If you like jewellery, you will find that you have several designs to choose from. You can be safe and stylish at the same time.

Necklace Or Pendant Medical Alert Devices

The main advantage of necklace or pendant devices is that you can reach them with both of your hands. This makes sounding the alarm easier.  This is especially convenient and appealing if you are used to wearing something around your neck, perhaps your keys or your glasses.  One disadvantage of this type of system is that it may be hard to press the alert button if you fall awkwardly on your chest. 

Bracelet Medical Alert Devices

Some men are uncomfortable with pendants or necklaces. For them, bracelet devices are often a better option. Their biggest disadvantage is being reachable only with one hand. If you fall awkwardly, trapping your free hand, it may become difficult to get help.  Can You Use An Apple Watch As A Medical Alert Device?

Smart Watches & Other Options

Necklace, pendant and bracelet medical alert devices are by far the most commonly available systems. Increasingly, however smart watches are adopting the functionality of medical alert devices and combine form, function—and even fashion. So if you’re looking for peace-of-mind that you can wear on your wrist, a smart watch can also serve as full-time medical alert device. Smart watches like the Apple Watch even include software that can send emergency alerts in certain scenarios. But they are also capable of even more. We compare Apple Watch models and consider the benefits (and limitations) of the Apple Watch as a medical alert device. Some medical alert devices can be worn around the waist, too. This position allows you to access your safety net with both hands. At the same time, your neck remains free. Another option is clipping your medical alert system to your waistband or belt loops.

Medical Alert Systems vs Medical IDs

Are you confused between medical alert systems and medical IDs? There is a difference between the two.  Medical IDs do not alert medical help. They inform emergency personnel or anyone else about your medical history when you cannot communicate. Like alert systems, they are usually worn either as pendants or bracelets.  Medical IDs are especially useful for anyone suffering from severe allergies to medications or foods. Diabetics and people with chronic heart conditions benefit from wearing them. They can also be useful for patients with cognitive or memory issues or developmental disabilities.  Simply put, a medical alert system helps you reach medical professionals when you are unable to get to your phone. A medical ID then alerts your first responders to any specific illnesses you have. 

The Next Step

Choosing the right medical alert system for you depends on your medical history as well as your current medical and living situation. For some, both a medical alert system and a medical ID may be the safest solution to ensure you get the right care quickly.  Medical alert systems do not require a huge upfront investment. Most suppliers in Canada charge a monthly subscription fee, which includes the equipment and professional assistance when you need it. Monthly costs depend on the features you need.  Besides the eight questions you should always ask when buying a medical alert system, the wide variety of features, service options, and fees open to Canadian seniors and their caregivers make it challenging to figure out what’s best—after all, several companies offer competing solutions.  We offer up the expert advice you need before you purchase a medical alert system, and a breakdown of the features for which you should keep an eye out. We also review our top pick for a medical alert system.
The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and they do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of the providers being reviewed. The providers and WirelessWizard assume no responsibility or liability for any errors or omissions in the content of this site. The information contained in this site is provided on an “as is” basis with no guarantees of completeness, accuracy, usefulness or timeliness and without any warranties of any kind whatsoever, express or implied.
Under the banner Tech For Seniors, WirelessWizard is pleased to share innovations for older adults—with a focus on deferring as much as possible the time when getting older gets in the way of living life independently. Check out all of tech-for-seniors content here.

Get Untangled With Our Latest Articles

3 Technologies That Can Help Prevent Seniors From Falling
Can You Use An Apple Watch As A Medical Alert Device?
TELUS Livingwell Companion and Philips Lifeline Compared
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments