Something that is not talked about very much, but has been around for a long time, is medical alert jewelry. The jewelry is usually in the form of either a bracelet or necklace, and it has a medical symbol imprinted on it along with a medical condition or allergy information. The purpose is to alert first responders in a medical emergency of any significant medical conditions or allergies you have if you are unable to communicate at that time. To say that this jewelry is extremely helpful to medical providers in an emergency setting is no understatement. Questions that may come to your mind are, “How do I know if I have should have something like this? “Or “How do I know what to have imprinted?” Probably the best person to help you with answers to these questions is your primary care physician. So, the next time you visit your physician, include these question with the other questions you want to ask. If your physician feels this is a good idea, there are several places you may be able to get information on where and how to obtain this specialized jewelry. One of them may be your physician’s office; some doctors’ offices have display racks with a variety of brochures available for the taking, including information on medical alert jewelry. Another possible source is your pharmacy; again, many pharmacies provide information just as physicians’ offices do. Since we are talking jewelry, some jewelers also can provide these items. Finally, if you have internet access, you can find a number of places on-line that sell medical alert jewelry. Does everyone need medical alert jewelry? Of course this is not needed by everyone. However, if your physician feels it is a good idea, you may find out that in a medical emergency your medical alert jewelry is a true lifesaver.
One further thought on this subject is that, while you personally may not need medical alert jewelry, you may have a loved one who would benefit from this. Many times it is hard to think of gifts for an older person who does not need more “stuff.” Or, in the case of grandchildren, a grandparent may not see them enough to know what their interests are. In either case, medical alert jewelry can be a thoughtful, lifesaving gift for anyone who needs it.
John W. Reese, M.S., CDP
Elder Care Coordinator