If there’s one thing we all have in common, no matter if we´re a kid or a grandparent, is that we don´t like being labelled. Nobody likes to stand out for reasons they cannot control, especially if those reasons are medical conditions that we never asked for.
When we search Medical Alert Bracelets or Necklaces, we usually find a lot information related to kids or teenagers. But what about older parents? How can you get your parents to start wearing a medical bracelet?
It´s hard to see our parents - our rocks, the people who have looked after us and would move mountains to make us safe - having to deal with a medical condition that requires attention.
And that’s when it becomes our turn to take care of them.
It´s our turn to move the mountains.
Finding appropriate medical jewellery isn’t really the problem. The hard part is getting them to agree to wear it, because doing it would be like a public announcement that something has changed.
So, if you´re reading this you´re probably looking out for answers to, “How to get my mum, my dad or even an elderly parent to wear a medical bracelet?”
Here´s 6 Top Tips to help you conquer this challenge:
1. Don’t make the situation about them.
It´s very hard to admit we might need help. Everyone hates feeling like a liability. So if on top of that you need to wear (or at least SHOULD wear) a bracelet that says, “Hey, I have something that needs you to pay attention too”, that’s definitely one step closer to a Big Fat No.
“No, I won’t wear that” ... “No, it’s ugly” ... or “What will everyone think of me?”
This is definitely a matter of pride. So, what do you do?
Make the situation about yourself. Turn the situation around and show them that without the bracelet you would feel stressed out when you’re not with them. So the bracelet means they´re safer and you can relax ... at least a little bit.
2. Show them what a medical alert bracelet looks like nowadays.
The long era of huge red medical alert bracelets is gone.
Today you can find all types of styles and colours to match your personality. From materials, patterns, charms and the words engraved, your parents can personalise their bracelet to the very last detail, so they can feel comfortable and safe in wearing it.
And for the man who doesn´t like the idea of wearing a bracelet? Your dad could always choose a dog tag necklace, which he can even hide inside his shirt if it makes him more comfortable. There are a lot of options, so let them have some fun while looking out for his perfect style.
3. Let your parents choose the bracelet.
Choosing is a big part of the process since it is the kick start, so let them do it.
Imagine that we´re talking about the pair of shoes you´re going to wear for the rest of your life, or until you want to change style, (which you´re allowed to do, obviously).
But the point is, you would want to choose something that´s comfortable and makes you feel good about yourself. It doesn´t matter if it´s pink, green, black, plain, leather, chain or even if it has beads on it.
What matters is that THEY love it. It´s THEIR choice, so they are more likely to wear it.
4. Wear matching bracelets or necklaces.
Adults are just like kids, only bigger and sometimes more stubborn. And what´s the best way to teach something to kids?
By setting an example.
It works the same way here. By wearing a bracelet yourself, you’re showing that it´s ok for them to wear it as well. And honestly their friends will not even notice it's medical jewellery.
Besides, as a care giver, it makes a lot of sense for you to wear one as well, since you can put something like:
This way, you´re making sure your older parents will always have the help they need in case you are the one that is caught up in a medical emergency.
5. Ask Them, “Who do you think should wear a Medical ID Bracelet?”
This is the perfect opportunity for you to show that this type of jewellery isn´t for old people who are sick.
There is a misconception that "only elderly people wear those". But the truth is medical bracelets don´t really look for age. Meaning, you should wear one if you have a medical condition or information that EMTs should know about, so they can take care of you in the best way. You could be 6, or 45, or 85 years old.
The main goal here is to show that you´re not putting them on a “You´re old” tag but a “I love you, so I want to protect you” tag.
Check out these videos, they might help you convince them:
6. Dress for the occasion.
Who says you have to take off your bracelet because it doesn´t fit the dress code? That´s right, medical bracelets can easily match all your outfit choices. Just show them how many options they have and that the bracelet won´t stand out for the wrong reasons.
Feel like going for a walk? Maybe to the swimming pool? Playing with their grandchildren? Well in that case silicone wristbands are probably the best choice.
For everyday wear? We suggest a cord bracelet, maybe with your favourite colour.
“Oh, but I have a wedding next week". No problem. There are some fashionable bracelets with beads that will complement your look perfectly. Just remember, once they choose the style, they can also choose the colour, so not finding their perfect match will be quite difficult.
This one is actually for you. Realizing your parents need you isn’t always easy, not for you and definitely not for them. It´s a learning process for both parts since you´re swapping places.
“What can I do for you?”, “What do you need?”, “How can I help?”, used to be their sentences and now they´re becoming yours.
We understand how much you love them and want to help, so here’s some tips that might give you some inspirational ideas to help the conversation go well.
In conclusion, just remember that most of the time the reason your mum, your dad, or other loved one, refuses to accept medical jewellery is because it feels like they´re losing their independence. They fear being labelled, and that they are losing their place at the "top of the chain".
So yes, it is a delicate situation but with the right support system and a constructive approach to the conversation, everything will turn out alright.
Let us know how it goes for you. And if you have other tips, please share on the comments below.
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