Does evidence support the use of PERS?

An item on the US Mather LifeWays Institute on Aging website challenges the received wisdom that having a personal emergency response service (PERS / medical alert / pendant alarm / etc. / etc.) has the well-being benefits usually attributed to it. The author picks up on some research undertaken last year and highlights the conclusion that “subscribing to PERS increased feelings of security by users, may have led to improved vitality and mental health scores…and was associated with an increase in visits to emergency departments. There were no significant improvements for measures of physical well-being or social functioning.” It raises many questions about expectations of such services and the cultural context in which they are used and marketed. Does Evidence Support the Use of Personal Emergency Response Services?