By Mark Berman Once you finally wade through all of the vast amounts of information and choose a provider for your medical alert system, you have one more decision to make — pendant or bracelet. This is not a fashion choice (although for some people it might be). You have to decide if you want to wear your alert button on your wrist or around your neck. It is not as simple as it seems.
What you have to figure out is this: in the event of an emergency, which button would be easier to press? On one hand, it seems easier to get to a pendant around your neck; both hands are available to press the button. But what happens if you fall onto your chest and the button is pinned underneath you, and you don’t have the strength to roll yourself over and access the button?
The same thing could happen with a bracelet. You might fall down with that arm trapped underneath you. Here’s another scenario — you suffer a stroke and cannot move one side of your body. If the bracelet is on the other side, you will not be able to get to it.
Hopefully these situations will not actually happen, so what it will probably boil down to is what you are more comfortable wearing. Many men do not like wearing things around their necks, so they would likely go with a bracelet. Conversely, many women do not like wearing bulky items around their wrists, so they would probably choose a necklace.
Many people are hesitant to get a medical alert system in the first place because they are self-conscious of wearing an alert button on their bodies. Well, some companies make buttons that look more like pieces of jewelry than medical devices. It is important to ask the company to see a picture of what the alert button looks like if this is an issue for you. Many company websites feature images of their equipment.
There are some companies that offer a belt clip so you could wear the button there. This probably is not a viable option for women, but many men might find this appealing. Men have been wearing beepers and cell phones on their belt buckles for decades; what’s another piece of technology?
What this really boils down to is safety. Would you rather look good or have the peace of mind that if a medical or other type of emergency arises, help is just the press of a button away. Seniors who want to continue their independent lifestyles really have to put their vanity and self-consciousness aside in order to ensure that they remain protected.
One more issue to note: a medical alert bracelet is a far different thing than a medical bracelet. A medical alert bracelet is part of a medical alert system, while a medical bracelet lists vital health information for EMTs, such as serious health conditions or allergies to medication.