Close up of an elder woman's hands resting with her caregivers on her cane discussing personal emergency security system options.

The first thing that many people think of when they hear the phrase “personal emergency response system” (PERS) is usually an elderly adult falling, injuring themselves, and unable to get up or receive help in a timely manner.

While a PERS can be a true lifesaver for older adults who have fallen (especially those who live alone or are alone frequently throughout the day), these systems can be utilized by a wide variety of adults – including those with chronic illness and older adults who wish to maintain an active lifestyle.

While the most obvious benefit of a PERS is the peace of mind and extra layer of safety it provides a family, there are some less-considered benefits that are worth examining when deciding if a PERS might be a good solution for your needs (and we’ll look at key features to look for when choosing the right personal emergency response system).

A PERS Can Help Save Money

As we age our reflexes tend to slow and our eyesight and hearing tend to worsen. We also become more susceptible to health conditions such as heart disease and diabetes. All of these can increase our risk of falling or having a medical emergency—which could mean a person needs 24/7 care.

The main options many consider are nursing homes, assisted living, adult day care, and in-home caretaker assistance. All of these options can be very costly (depending where you live, nursing homes can cost over $200/day, assisted living over $100/day, adult day care is over $50/day, and an in-home caretaker can cost over $20/hr). With prices like these, if a PERS is a suitable option, it can save a significant amount of money while still offering safety and assistance when needed.

A PERS Helps Adults Feel Independent

Every person’s needs and desires are different, but if there are alternatives to nursing homes, assisted living spaces, day care facilities, or in-home care, they may be worth considering. All of the aforementioned options can be great choices, but can stifle a person’s feeling of freedom and independence—a feeling that a PERS can offer. With a personal emergency response system, the user and family can have peace of mind that help is never far away while the user gets to continue living life in the way they’re accustomed.

Key Features to Look for in a Mobile PERS

Not all personal emergency response systems are created equally. Some are basic—which may be okay in some situations—but more powerful options that offer a wider array of safety features that can be equally as affordable while offering more protection and peace of mind.

Automatic Fall Detection & Assistance

If a fall occurs, there’s a chance it can knock the faller unconscious—leaving them unable to yell for help (if anyone was nearby to hear them), to make a phone call for assistance, or to use their PERS to connect with support. In these scenarios, having a PERS with automatic fall detection and automatic support connection can allow a dispatcher to check in, locate the wearer, and dispatch assistance as necessary.

According to the CDC (https://www.cdc.gov/features/older-adult-falls/index.html), falls are the number one cause of injuries and death from injury. The numbers are staggering: 29 million falls, 3 million emergency room visits, 800,000 hospitalizations, and 28,000 deaths each year. With these types of statistics, fall detection can make a huge difference when it counts.

GPS & Location Awareness

A reliable PERS will come with location-awareness so it can transmit your location to the help center (and/or loved ones, depending on the scenario and preferences) for faster help. This feature may not seem as important for those who are mostly housebound, but you never know when they may need to leave (or might decide to go for a stroll, etc.).

Cellphone Network Support

Some PERS systems rely on phone lines for connecting to a support agent, which is fine if an emergency arises at home. However, if an emergency occurs outside of the home, a PERS should still be able to call for help—which is where cellphone network coverage comes in. A reliable personal emergency response system should work with a large cellphone service provider such as AT&T or Verizon for maximum effectiveness.

Long Battery Life

A PERS won’t be of much help in an emergency if the battery is dead, and keeping them charged can be a hassle or easy to forget. Many mid-range or better PERS offer batteries that will run for 20+ days without needing a recharge—the longer it stays charged, the less it needs to be recharged, which means less hassle.

Which PERS is Best?

There are several personal emergency response systems on the market that meet the above criteria, so choosing the best option may come down to your specific needs, goals, and budget. If you or your loved ones who can benefit from a PERS are located in the East Texas area, 3D Security, Inc. is proud to offer a great mobile PERS system with all the features you need at a fair price. You can learn more about our person emergency response system on our website, or contact us today to discuss your goals and needs—we’d love to hear from you.