Are you concerned about falling when no one is around? Are you worried about a health issue arising when you are alone?
If you answered yes, there are many alert systems on the market for you to explore to ease your mind while living alone as a senior. Seniors who are at risk for falling or experiencing a medical emergency can benefit from a personal alert device. Medical alert systems are designed to be on your person at all times, allowing you to press a single button to contact a family member or emergency services.
As technology has advanced, so have the medical alert systems on the market. With the wide variety of features available, including services options and fees, it can be difficult to know what is most effective.
Some seniors believe their phone can suffice as alert technology. This is not the case, as your phone may not be with you at every moment. This is the same when considering a digital assistant like Amazon’s Alexa or Google Home. A specific, branded medical alert system is a great investment for peace of mind. Use this article to explore the best personal alert technology available for seniors today.
Things to Consider About Personal Alert Tech
Prior to purchasing a personal alert system, there are three important questions to ask yourself to ensure the service you purchase meets your needs. Ask yourself the following:
- Do I want a mobile system or home-based system?
- Should my system be monitored or not?
- Should I add a fall detection feature?
There are advantages and disadvantages to each of these questions. When medical alert systems were first introduced, they were designed to work only in your home in connection with your landline. Today, many companies provide systems working in conjunction with your cellular network if you no longer have a landline. With a home-based system or mobile-based system, you can press a wearable button allowing you to speak with an emergency dispatcher from your home. For someone who does not leave the house often, a mobile system may not be needed. For an active older adult who goes out of the house often, a mobile system can be a great option.
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Mobile-based systems work solely off cellular networks and have GPS technology integrated. This way, if you are lost and press the wearable call button, you can be located with the GPS technology. Most systems have monitoring incorporated in them upon purchasing.
However, you do have the option to purchase a system without monitoring. Devices without monitoring allow you to press a button and call a family member or friend in place of an emergency dispatcher.
The difference between monitored systems and unmonitored systems is the price. Monitored systems often carry a fee in addition to the base cost of the device. Monitored systems typically have activation fees and contracts or commitments associated with them. Last, some companies offer a fall detection feature for a monthly fee. Your device would be able to sense a fall when it occurs and contact emergency dispatch automatically.
It is important to note the system technology has not fully evolved yet and fall detection accuracy varies from one device to the next. Online reviews from current users can be helpful in determining the quality and inner-workings of the product.
Popular Medical Alert Systems
There are some important tips to keep in mind when exploring the below medical alert systems. First, make sure to always check the return policy on the device. If there is an issue with the device, be sure you can return it for a full refund.
When you contact the device manufacturer, you can ask for a better price than what is listed. Some companies offer discounts, if prompted, making room for additional savings.
If you are buying a medical alert system for someone other than yourself, ask the recipient of the device what he or she is expecting and what features are desired. Here are some of the most popular devices available:
- Life Alert – Life Alert is one of the more well-known medical alert systems. You may have seen their commercials and recognize their “Help! I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” motto. Life Alert is constantly updating their technology to improve their medical alert system. Life Alert owns and operates emergency call centers across the United States to ensure help is on the way as quick as possible. According to its website, Life Alert saves a life every 11 minutes and has saved more than 45,000 people in 2020.
- Bay Alarm Medical – There are a variety of products available from Bay Alarm Medical, including smart watches, mobile devices, home systems and all-in-one devices. The company offers 24 hours a day, seven days a week customer service. Emergency operators are available to contact family, friends or your local 911 service. Bay Alarm Medical has been around for over 70 years, offering credibility and industry-leading medical alert systems. Bay Alarm Medical offers a 30-day risk free trial period with a medical alert system for your convenience.
- GreatCall Lively Mobile – The Lively Mobile Plus is a compact, easy-to-use device that can be carried anywhere. GreatCall prides itself on being one of the most affordable medical alert systems available. You can clip the device on your pants pocket or wear it around your neck. This device is waterproof, enabling you to take this device in the shower with you, which is a frequent place for falls. Optional fall detection is available for an additional fee.
- Medical Guardian – Medical Guardian offers no long-term commitments, providing flexibility to users. Seniors can choose from various devices, including wearable pendants and wall-mounted buttons. Some plans include GPS tracking, allowing seniors to be located if they wander or get lost.
Like Life Alert, Medical Guardian provides 24/7 monitoring for emergencies.
- LifeStation – LifeStation has it all – monitoring, equipment, payment plans, and customer service. The medical alarm button offered through LifeStation can be worn on your wrist or around your neck for easy access. Medical alert equipment through LifeStation has enhanced speaker technology and voice capabilities for you to communicate with a Care Specialist who stays on the phone with you until emergency services arrive.
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