How to Convince Your Loved Ones to Use Their PERS Devices
Updated: Jan 28, 2019
If your mom or dad fell today, would they be able to call for help if they couldn't get to the phone?
Giving your elderly parents a personal emergency response system can help you give yourself a little peace of mind and reassurance that they can call for help when they fall. But what are you supposed to do if they refuse to wear it?
Why do the elderly object to using PERS devices?
Many elderly people object to using emergency alert devices because they don't think they need them. Others are merely embarrassed about needing the device and wearing it around. A study conducted by the AARP showed that even in the event of an emergency, some elderly people won't push the button on their device to call for help out of embarrassment, not wanting to bother friends or family, or because they forgot to keep the device on their person.
How to convince mom and dad to use their emergency alert device
1. Pick a device that won't embarrass them
When most elderly people think of PERS devices, they're imagining a giant pendant they have to wear all day, every day, with every outfit and to every event. They envision a big, clunky device that everyone in the neighborhood can see, and it makes them feel frail and self-conscious. That's why picking a sleek device designed to overcome this barrier is so important. Devices now are smaller, more elegant, and they usually resemble mobile phones or pedometers. Others can even be worn around the wrist and also serve as a stylish watch. Bottom line, you know your parents, and you know what they like. Make sure the device suits them.
2. Talk to your parents
Now is your chance to give them the "I'm doing this for your own good" talk. It's essential to have a real conversation with your parents about how important their safety is to you and encourage them to use their PERS device. Here are some vital statistics you can share with them:
People with PERS devices are able to continue living in their own homes outside of a retirement home an additional 6 years longer than those without one.
One in every three Americans over the age of 65 will fall each year, and less than half of them will tell anyone that it happened.
One in five falls will cause a severe head injury or broken bone.
Deaths from falls among adults age 65 and older have increased dramatically, from 18,000 to 30,000 per year according to the AARP.
Deaths from unintentional injuries are the seventh leading cause of death among older adults according to the AARP.
Falls account for the most significant percentage of those deaths, according to the AARP.
3. Be supportive
Getting old is hard. Your body is changing, your mind isn't always what it used to be, you aren't as involved in things or as social as you used to be. On top of all that, it becomes more and more difficult to live independently as time goes on. Make sure you are patient and encouraging when you try to get your parents to use their new PERS device. Hear them out whenever possible, and do your best to come to a compromise. Because even some peace of mind and safety is better than none at all.