The Best Medical Alert Systems for Hearing-Impaired Seniors

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The Best Medical Alert Systems for Hearing-Impaired Seniors

Did you know that about 1 in 3 adults between the ages of 65 to 74 has hearing loss,1 and those numbers continue to increase as we get older? If you’re experiencing hearing loss, it’s important to consider your hearing when choosing a medical alert system. Certain features and add-ons can help you get the most out of your system. Below, check out our list of the top medical alert systems for seniors with hearing loss, as well as some tips for choosing the right system for your needs.

Our Top 5 Medical Alert Systems for Older Adults With Hearing Loss

How We Chose the Best Medical Alert Systems for Seniors With Hearing Loss

Seniors need to weigh a lot of important factors when choosing a medical alert system. Those with hearing loss need to consider even more, and it can be hard to know where to start. To help, we’ve narrowed down the choices to our top medical alert systems for those with hearing loss. We evaluated criteria like price, ease of use, features, and operator training. To make it onto our list, a provider had to offer the following:

  • Features for hearing loss: This one is a no-brainer. Every system on our list had to offer useful features for those with hearing loss. These features include loud adjustable speakers, highly trained operators, and nonverbal protocol.
  • Fall detection: Hearing loss can increase your chance of experiencing a fall. For this reason, every provider on our list offers at list one system with automatic fall detection.
  • Affordability: Medical alert protection shouldn’t break the bank. We’ve included systems that will fit most budgets, ranging from low-cost, wallet-friendly systems to advanced, top-tier systems.

Best Medical Alert System Features for Seniors With Hearing Loss

Having a medical alert system in your home is always a good idea for older adults, but if you are deaf or living with hearing loss, it’s extra important to choose a system that meets your hearing needs. Here are a few key features to look for and consider.

Visual Alerts

Most medical alert systems make a noise when an alert is activated. At the very least, the voice of the monitoring center operator will sound over a two-way speakerphone. If you have hearing loss, though, it’s helpful to find a system that uses visual or physical alerts too. This might be a button on the base unit that lights up or a pendant that vibrates. When you see or feel that alert, you’ll know that a call was placed by you or by your spouse who uses the same system.

Fall Detection

Falls are already the leading cause of injuries for seniors in the U.S.3 Research suggests that even mild hearing loss increases your risk of falling.4 If you are concerned about falling, or already have a history of falling, look for a medical alert system with fall detection. Also consider the price of add-on fall detection when comparing medical alert system prices.

FYI: Interested in a system with fall detection? Visit our list of the best medical alert systems with fall detection for more information.

Trained Operators

Make sure the company you go with has a monitoring center with trained professionals who are accustomed to working with older adults who have hearing loss. These professionals will know to speak clearly and loudly on the phone. You’ll also want to ask if they keep the subscriber’s medical conditions and medical history on file. That way, as soon as you call, they’ll know that you are deaf or have hearing loss and will take the steps to get you help, even if you can’t speak to or hear them.

Volume Control

Changing the volume on your TV or phone is second nature, so it’s easy to assume every audible device would offer the same feature. That’s not always the case with medical alert systems. For example, Medical Alert’s base unit doesn’t have volume control. Before purchasing, make sure the system you’re interested in offers adjustable volume control, or at least a pendant with a speaker that you can hold up to your ear.

Accessories

Certain accessories, like lockboxes and medical alert ID bracelets, can make your medical alert system work better for you. If you’re deaf, you may not hear emergency personnel arrive. They may then have to break down the door, causing unnecessary property damage. If you have a lockbox on your front door, though, your operator can give emergency personnel the code to retrieve a key. Medical alert bracelets, meanwhile, can let first responders know that you are deaf or have hearing loss, as well as show them your name and other pertinent information.

Do Hearing Aids Work With Medical Alert Systems?

Nowadays, it’s common for hearing aids to connect directly to televisions, tablets, and cell phones. Unfortunately, hearing aids don’t connect directly to most medical alert systems. The biggest exception is the Lively Smart, which is hearing aid compatible. Whichever medical alert system you choose, though, your hearing aids will still boost your hearing as you speak with the operator through your system’s base unit or pendant speakerphone.

Some hearing aids actually come with some of the same features as a medical alert system. The Livio AI hearing aids from Starkey double as fall detection devices. If you fall while wearing them, the connected app will notify three contacts of the fall and of your GPS location. That way, someone can give you a call, come over to help you, and/or contact emergency services on your behalf.

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Reviewed By

Linda Schlenker

Senior Safety Expert

Linda’s Acclaimed Career in Senior Care Linda Schlenker is a comforting voice for seniors and caregivers across the U.S. For nearly three decades, Linda has helped seniors remain safe in their own homes, while helping them to regain priceless independence and peace… Learn More About Linda Schlenker

Written By

Sarah Goldy-Brown

Writer & Researcher

Sarah covers a range of senior lifestyle topics, from reviews of walk-in tubs and hearing aids to overviews of Medicare and Medicaid. Her close relationship with her grandparents gave her a firsthand look at the evolving life needs of older adults, and… Learn More About Sarah Goldy-Brown

Citations
  1. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. (2021). Hearing Loss and Older Adults.

  2. Johns Hopkins. (2012). Hearing Loss Linked to Three-Fold Risk of Falling.

  3. National Council on Aging. (2021). Get the Facts on Falls Prevention.

  4. National Institutes of Health. (2012). Hearing Loss and Falls Among Older Adults in the United States.