Medical alert systems (or personal emergency systems) are excellent devices that allow older people to stay at home (safer) and be as independent as possible. Keeping up with this new technology is difficult, and even harder to know the right questions! If you haven’t seen our medical alert summary yet, you should review it and leave your feedback (especially if you have experience with any of the recommended manufacturers). The current focus on medical alert systems is well-titled “10 key questions to be asked when evaluating medical alert systems.” So, without further ado … Here’s our list of top 10 (drum roll, please):
- Does this health alert system work with VOIP telephone services (voice transmission on Internet protocol)? If you have a Comcast or Verizon cable at home, chances are you’re also using it for (home) phone service. If so, you’re probably using the VOIP plan (as is Vonage, another major VOIP provider). Many providers of traditional medical alert systems recommend contacting a home phone provider (VOIP) to find out if they offer local 911 (and others) services. So keep that in mind and ask q. Note: Alert providers are aware of their compatibility with major phone service providers.)
- What is the volume of my alert system? Most of the major providers of health alert systems include the following components in their “systems.” Base station and type of pendant (a necklace that can be worn around the neck, a belt clip or a device similar to a wristwatch. Most keyers need to communicate (wirelessly) with a base station connected to your home phone line. So you need to know the range of this pendant at the base station. Typically, this range includes most full-size homes and ranges from 400 to 600 feet. Once installed, check the range inside (and outside) of the house.
Do I have someone installing it or am I myself? Many manufacturers have sales/marketing representatives who come to your home to install/test the system for you. They usually charge a one-time starting fee for this service, so find out about these fees in advance! If they only send you an alert system, make sure there is enough documentation (online and offline) to help you set up and test. Always CHECK your health alert system before using it.
- Do I need a landline phone to use this medical alert system? In most cases, the answer is YES, but there are some exceptions. For example, MobileHelp’s medical alert system includes a small portable device that connects to AT’T Wireless for outdoor use (everywhere is covered by AT’T). However, to use their pendant (small chain) around the house, you will still need a landline phone. Wellcore’s personal emergency response system also offers the ability to communicate with certain cell phones to extend the range of their device outdoors.
- Who is your call center, where is it located, and what is the average response time? Well, this is a rather complex issue, because outsourcing call centers is a trend that benefits many companies. To be honest, I’ve found great services in call centers around the world, and the only thing to keep in mind is THE PLAYER.
Is there a health alert system with other services? Some health alert systems contain additional services such as reminders of medication, reminders of blood glucose monitoring, etc.
- What if there is something wrong with my equipment? Most of us hate reading the fine print. I encourage anyone to read the “conditions” of 5 or 6 medical alert devices that you want to evaluate (this causes me a headache, even if I think about it again). Therefore, I would advise anyone who makes a decision about a particular device to ask; What happens if your system fails? Is someone going to fix it? Will they send you another one as soon as possible? Is it worth returning a dysfunctional system? etc.
8. Does the medical alert system include “automatic drop detection”? Medical alert systems have come a long way in the last 5 years. Modern advanced systems can detect when a user has automatically fallen. It’s all about advanced algorithms developed by brilliant engineers and integrated into small devices that save lives every day. These smart systems can (in most cases) distinguish when someone has fallen and when someone suddenly decides to sit down. The “Big Three”, which (currently) offers automatic drop detection, are Halo, Wellcore Personal Emergency Response and Philips Lifeline with automatic warning monitoring.
9. Should I buy, rent or not buy any of these devices? Going back to my previous advice on how to read the fine print… Find out (in advance), your equipment or not. What happens if you don’t need the equipment anymore? What happens if you damage your equipment?
10. What are my total annual expenses? It all comes down to a “copper tax” … How much it costs me each year (total outflow of money). That’s enough.
If you find this list of the top 10 of The Senior List useful, share it with those who need it. If you have other important questions to add to the list, share them !!! This article in The Senior List Eldercare Directory adds a number of great suggestions, as well as examples of leading providers of medical alert systems.
Chris Clark co-founded The Senior List Eldercare Directory in 2006. Since then, The Senior List has become one of the most respected brands for the care of the elderly on the Internet. The Guide to Aged Care is your source of estimates and reviews of aged care. Recently, The Senior List began to explore products and technologies that are important to baby boomers and the elderly as they grow older. Popular categories of delays include medical alert systems and mobile phones suitable for the elderly.!