A medical alert system is a vital life-saving tool that can assist the elderly when they find themselves in vulnerable life moments. The devices can help summon help and alert a family member or caregiver in case of a sudden illness, fall, or accident when one is all alone. Most of these systems are available as pendants, bracelets, wristbands, or push buttons around the house.
There are many varieties and brands of medical alert systems to choose from, which can make buying one feel like a daunting task. You will need patience and extensive research to find the right one that meets your unique needs. We have compiled some tips to guide you on what to look for when shopping for a medical alert system.
Consider your budget
Cost and affordability is a significant factor when choosing a senior’s medical alert system. You will want to consider the upfront device fees, activation fees, and monitoring fees. Some medical alert companies charge a one-off equipment fee with an annual monitoring fee paid upfront. Others will charge the equipment and activation fees upfront, then have you pay the monthly or annual monitoring fee from there.
If your budget is an issue, take your time to research and find a brand that meets your unique needs at a cost package that is favorable to you.
Consider the senior’s lifestyle
Medical alert systems either work in-home or on mobile devices, and the senior’s state and lifestyle will highly influence your choice. A frail person that hardly leaves the house might only need an in-home system. Older individuals that are still active will require added protection when outside the house, and a mobile system will work best with them.
Operational standards of the monitoring center
Different monitoring centers have different operational and service qualities. First of all, the monitoring center should be located within your state for better services. Check what their response time is, which should ideally fall between 20 seconds to a minute. The operators should be TMA certified; that way, you are assured they will offer high-quality service from when the alert is sent to the time help arrives.
Consider what the contact protocols of the monitoring center entail. Do they dispatch an ambulance every time the button is pressed, or reach out first to the caregiver, family member, or neighbor on the contact list? Which option would you be most comfortable with?
Quality of customer service by the medical alert company
The best medical alert company should be one that offers excellent customer service. Determine if their customer service is reachable 24/7, if a live person answers the calls, and if the customer service agents operate separately from the monitoring operators. Do they hold the line for frightened seniors till help arrives? Do they provide wellness support for that extra peace of mind to families?
Ask all these questions from their sales rep and read online reviews to get a clearer picture of the company’s quality of service.
Add-on features offered
The extra features you go for in a medical alert system should be determined by what your loved one can and cannot do. These features are meant to make the system easier to use in emergencies. For example, consider GPS tracking if the person has dementia, and fall detection if they are prone to falls from a medical condition or have fallen before.
A medical alert system is especially important for seniors who live alone. It allows them the freedom to live an independent life with a sense of security, knowing that should an emergency happen, help will be notified, and the necessary assistance sent their way.