Choosing the Right Medical Alert System
There are various reasons why a person might need a medical alert system. Anyone who needs the reassurance and peace of mind that comes with knowing you are protected 24 hours a day in the event of a medical emergency or a fire, is a prime candidate. Older individuals and many disabled people feel a heightened sense of security when they have a medical alert system in place. Anyone living alone, but especially seniors, fear accidents or falls. Seniors and older adults are considered part of a high-risk segment of the population that is more prone to accidental injury. If you fall into one of these categories and are considering purchasing a medical alert system, keep in mind that there are numerous options from which to choose. You are not limited to wearing a bracelet with a call button, but have the opportunity to choose from some highly sophisticated devices. Some of these are quite stylish.
Home-based Alert Systems
These systems rely on landline phones inside your home, but there are some new ones that can use a cellular network. This type of system operates with the assistance of a base unit that is located somewhere within your home. Most of these systems rely on a simple push button designed to call for help whenever it is needed. There are different ranges available. Most systems have a range with a radius of about 300 feet. If it goes beyond that, the alarm may not activate. It should be tested prior to use. Make sure you have a longer range that will allow you to move about your yard and still be covered if you are an outdoors person. Most of the systems allow for personal preferences.
- Choose a bracelet, pendant, or belt clip for your device.
- Consider a fall-detection feature.
- Determine if the unit is easily transferred from one location to another in case you move.
- Consider a GPS-enabled device if you are more active. It is possible for anyone to get lost.
- Consider installing stationary buttons around the house.
Mobile Alert Systems
Many people are more active than other people and do not spend all their time at home. If you all into this category, you are a candidate for a mobile medical alert system. The same cellular network that must be used when a landline is not available in the home is critical for a mobile system. These monitoring systems follow you wherever you go and are activated in the same way with a press of a button. Mobile systems should be GPS-enabled as an extra level of protection against getting disoriented or lost. A monitored system allows you to get help at all times with the push of a button, even if you cannot speak.
Monitored Medical Alert Systems
There is a major difference between a monitored system and one that is not. With a monitored system, you have 24-hour access to a call center with trained, professional personnel. An alert is activated by pressing a button that signals the call center. Monitored systems may make the difference between life and death in a medical emergency. If a medical alert system is not monitored, it is only linked to a smartphone, but you must initiate the call. In the event of a fall, you might not be able to activate the system yourself, but a monitored system with a fall-detection feature is automatic. All monitored systems are different, but most offer a wide range of options. It is up to you to decide what features are most important to you before making your final selection. Monitored systems are more expensive than those that are not monitored. In addition to the cost of purchasing the device, monitored systems require a monthly fee, as well as requiring activation fees and other charges. Features like the fall-detection option also come with an additional charge per month.
Selecting the system that is right for you is an important decision that can have an impact on your life. It is critical that you decide which features and services are most important to you. Ask questions about system requirements and estimated response times for medical emergencies. Find out who does the actual monitoring and if the personnel in charge of monitoring are trained in responding to all types of emergencies. Consider all available options and choose those that are right for you. Keep in mind that your primary objective is peace of mind and make your selection accordingly. Determine how much you are willing to pay for a comprehensive system that offers 24/7 coverage before making a commitment of signing a contract.