Special thanks to Bay Alarm Medical for sponsoring today’s post and for providing peace of mind for my family.
One of the biggest challenges we moms face is transitioning to care for our parents as our children no longer need us. As our parents age, their risk of injury and illness increases, and because they are adults, they are often resistant to being cared for. That’s why it’s important to provide our loved ones with options that help secure their safety and well-being without intruding on their independence. For our family, Bay Alarm Medical has done exactly that.
My Family Situation
Now that my kids are older and more independent, I’m transitioning to the stage of life where I’m worrying more about my parents. Ten years ago my stepdad had a severe stroke leaving him paralyzed on the right side of his body, incapable of speech, and incontinent. My mom became his primary caregiver. At 5’2″ and 90 pounds, caring for my father who is 5’10” and twice her wait has been emotionally and physically challenging. So, as my husband neared military retirement, we decided to settle down so that we could move my parents in with us.
Even though my parents live with us, my mom has retained her autonomy. She has an entire floor of the house as her own “apartment” complete with a kitchen, laundry area, and living areas. She has the convenience of companionship just a few steps away if she wants some, and an extra hand to help her carry in groceries, move furniture, or open a tight-fitting lid on a jar. It’s also added peace of mind for her that if she somehow falls or injures herself while taking care of my dad, help will be at her side with a simple cry for assistance.
Her autonomy and independence is very important to her. She’s a vivacious and active senior citizen. She loves to travel and zip around town in her red sports car.
We thought living together would solve all of our concerns about her getting injured while caring for my dad, but the reality is that my busy family is often away from home during the day when she is taking care of my father. We realized we needed a better solution. That’s when we discovered Bay Alarm Medical.
Why We Chose Bay Alarm Medical
You’ve probably seen commercials for products that connect elderly or disabled persons with emergency help in the case of an accident. There are several available, so how do you choose the one that’s best for your family?
One thing I looked at was professional recommendations. Bay Alarm Medical was ranked first by Consumers Advocate (an independent editorial review organization) in it’s list of the “Top 10 in Medical Alerts.”
Another thing I considered was ease of use. My mom is not technologically savvy and didn’t need a system with a lot of bells and whistles. She just wanted something that was easy to use so she wouldn’t have to remember a lot of complicated instructions. To set up her Bay Alarm Medical unit, she literally just had to plug the unit in and press the “HELP” button to connect the service.
In addition to the main unit, she also mounted the smaller “HELP” button on the wall next to her bed.
Finally, whenever she has to move my dad to change him, bathe him, or transfer him to his wheelchair, she wears the wrist unit. That way, if she falls and is either trapped beneath him or too injured to make it to the main unit or button, she only needs to press the button on her wrist.
Of course, it doesn’t matter that the system is easy to use if you can’t count on it to work when you need it. That wasn’t a concern with Bay Alarm Medical. The unit has a 32 hour battery backup so that in case of a blackout or power outage, it will still work.
Plus, the wearable unit (my mom chose wrist, but there is also a necklace version) is 100% waterproof (since a majority of senior-related falls happen in the bathroom). It also has a range of up to 1000 ft so even if she is across the house from the unit, it will still work. And the buttons all carry a lifetime warranty.
My mom is on a fixed income so the cost of the service was a major factor. The system she has costs her just $25/month. She has the in-home system and pays semi-annually. This is far less than we pay for phone service, cable, internet, or cell phone service and yet provides so much more value in terms of our peace of mind.
I’m really glad we have Bay Alarm Medical for my mom. Now we don’t worry when we travel or while we’re out running errands. We know that if something happens while we’re away, emergency personnel will be by my parents’ side quickly and we’ll be notified right away that something is wrong. My mom loves that she can remain independent but with a safety net in place.