Have you ever been worried about falling and not being able to get back up? Do you live alone and do you have health issues? If you answered yes to any of these questions, perhaps it’s time to consider getting a medical alert system.
This wearable call button connects you to a dispatcher who then contacts emergency services or a friend or family member. You may be wondering why you even need such a system if you already own a smartphone. And the answer is simpler than you may think. You’re not attached to your smartphone at all times and like many other things in life, the one time you’ll actually need to use your phone in an emergency, chances are that it won’t be with you. On the other hand, a medical alert system is always on your body, so all you have to do in an emergency is reach for the button.
Once you’ve decided that you’re interested in this “life-changing” device, how do you choose which system is right for you? Here’s what to consider for choosing the right one for you.
In-Home vs. Mobile System
When medical alert systems were first introduced into the market, they were created to work in your home with your landline phone. This option is still available and even if you don’t have a landline phone because these have become a thing of the past, you can connect with your cell phone. By pressing the call button, you’ll be connected to a dispatcher through the unit in your home.
But, what about when you’re out and about? Recently, companies have started offering mobile options that use cell phones and GPS technology to connect you to help. An added bonus of these is if for any reason you’re unable to talk, the GPS system can find you.
Should You Choose the Monitoring Option?
While most of the systems are monitored, you can always choose one that’s not. The way these systems work is that instead of calling emergency services when you press the button, the device calls a friend or family member from your emergency call list.
The main difference between these systems relates to the price of them. If cost is an issue, the unmonitored systems usually requires you to pay a one-time fee for the device and the monitored systems require you to pay a monthly fee and the price of the device. Be mindful of any cancellation or return policies that may come along with monitored devices.
Is it Necessary to Add a Fall-Detection Feature?
With some companies, you can add on a fall detection feature for an added monthly fee of $15 or less that can sense falls and when they happen the dispatch system is contacted. In the event that you can’t press the call button, this feature comes in handy.
We mentioned that the monitored systems come at a cost and in general the home systems cost around $25 to $35 a month and the mobile systems cost around $65 to $75 per month, with a $150 upfront fee for the device. You can save money on the systems by signing up for quarterly or yearly payment plans.
If you want to purchase a second medical alert device for a spouse, you’ll have to pay another monthly fee for the device, but most alert services don’t require you to pay extra for monitoring your spouse. Some services even offer wellness checks, in which an agent will call you daily to remind you to take your medications and to make sure you’re okay.
Medical Alert Accessories
You may be wondering what happens when help is dispatched and how do they enter your house? Purchasing a lockbox, which you can hang on your outer doorknob, allows the help to access a house key with a combination code. All you have to do is give the code to the dispatch center and they can easily enter your home without having to break down doors to get to you. But, in dire situations, we’ll take someone breaking down our front door to saving our lives.
Which System is Right For You?
There are tons of medical alert systems available and there’s no way we could go into detail for all of them, but these are the three that stand above the rest.
- Bay Alarm Medical – This system is both easy to install and use, and the response time is super quick. The pendant also has good range, but if you want an additional one for your partner, you’ll have to pay extra.
- MobileHelp Classic – Benefits of this system include quick response times, it’s easy to install, and it’s user-friendly with large buttons. There are also medical reminder services available for an added cost.
- Medical Guardian – What sets this one above the rest is the technology;; the smartwatch allows you to receive messages and calendar reminders and it has GPS tracking and WiFi.