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Canadians with chronic conditions must take healthy living plan a step further May is MedicAlert Month

New survey shows more can be done to protect those with a chronic condition

Toronto, Ontario, May 14, 2019 – When asked what they do to protect their health, millions of Canadians who live with chronic conditions are more likely to pay for self-care choices such as gym memberships and organic foods than they are to be pro-active about managing their medical information, a recent survey commissioned by MedicAlert shows.

According to a Leger survey conducted by the country’s leading emergency medical information services provider, only 11 per cent of Canadians suffering from asthma, heart conditions, diabetes or prediabetes, and/or food or drug allergies currently have MedicAlert service, which offers access to immediate critical data in times when these people are unable to provide it themselves. In looking at the healthy living plans of this population, the study shows they tend to focus more on the present by investing in immediate actions, with 69 per cent taking vitamins and supplements, 42 per cent purchasing organic foods, 23 per cent paying for gym memberships, and 10 per cent attending stress relief classes such as yoga or Pilates, as opposed to also considering how their condition could affect their future treatment by medical professionals.
 
“While it’s critically important that Canadians living with chronic health conditions maintain a healthy lifestyle, many do not realize that the MedicAlert service is a logical and important complement to a pro-active health management plan.” says surgeon and board member for MedicAlert, Dr. Linda Maxwell.
 
“When you are in an emergency or a position where you can’t respond for yourself, MedicAlert is the most credible information source to make sure your conditions are known to first responders. MedicAlert employs trained medical professionals to review health information and propose the most important elements to inscribe on a person’s ID, and has been endorsed by emergency responders across the country as the most reliable source for sensitive information in critical situations,” says Dr. Maxwell.
 
Today, one in three Canadians live with a medical condition that needs to be communicated to an emergency responder (paramedic, ER doctor, police officer or firefighter) at the time of an emergency. In fact, of the people surveyed (suffering from asthma, heart conditions, diabetes or prediabetes, and/or food or drug allergies), 34 per cent reported having been in an emergency situation due to their condition.
 
May is MedicAlert Month in Canada. The country’s largest membership-based registered charity is taking this opportunity to remind Canadians of the life-saving importance and affordability of the MedicAlert service ($5 per month) as a crucial and logical complement to any healthy living plan.
 
Last year, a similar survey was revealed that only 15 per cent of Canadians were highly confident that emergency services could find their medical history without their support or while they were unconscious. Additionally, one in three Canadians were unsure whether a family or friend would pick up their first phone call in an emergency. In stark contrast, when a call is placed to MedicAlert, the 24/7 Emergency Hotline is answered by a live agent and can relay a person’s key medical information to emergency responders immediately.
 
MedicAlert is also ideal for safeguarding loved ones who may wander, such as those with Alzheimer’s or autism. Unlike any other service, it can quickly reunite loved ones, or get someone the precise attention they need. Furthermore, persons with mental health challenges may experience frightening or traumatic encounters with those trying to help in times of crisis. A visible MedicAlert ID can help responders better approach the situation by having access to someone’s detailed medical profile and contact information, which empowers them to make informed decisions while the service quickly notifies caregivers to inform them of the situation and whereabouts of their loved one.
 
As the most trusted and most recommended medical emergency information services provider by the emergency responder community, MedicAlert has provided Canadians with lifesaving service and protection for over 55 years.
 
For more information, visit medicalert.ca or call 1.800.668.1507.
 

About MedicAlert Foundation Canada

MedicAlert Foundation Canada (MAFCA) is the largest membership-based registered charity in Canada and it is the leading provider of emergency medical information services. MedicAlert’s mission is to ensure that all Canadians have access to high-quality health information at time of need, and has protected more than one million Canadians since 1961.
 
MedicAlert® is backed by robust electronic health records maintained by medically trained professionals, a state-of-the-art secure database, and a 24/7 Emergency Hotline that answers calls from emergency responder personnel in 140 languages, all linked to customized identification products for Canadians with medical conditions and special needs. Globally recognized and respected, MedicAlert speaks for you, when you can’tTM.
 
Learn more about MedicAlert, how it works, and how you or a loved one can sign up to a service plan by visiting medicalert.ca or calling 1-800-668-1507.
 

Survey Methodology
An online survey of 1564 Canadians was completed between April 19-22, 2019, using Leger’s online panel. The margin of error for this study was +/-2.5%, 19 times out of 20.