Comparing Medical Alert Systems
Medical alert systems can be true lifesavers in the case of an emergency. They serve as a crucial link between emergency personnel and someone who needs help. The user often wears or carries a small button-like device that they can press in the case of an emergency. There are many different types of products and services on the market, that’s why you want to be sure to choose the system that best suits your needs.
Before investing in a medical alert system, review this checklist of factors to consider:
Home-Based Versus Mobile System
When medical alert systems first came out, everyone went with the home-based systems because few people had mobile phones. Now, the reverse is happening as more and more people no longer have their landlines and solely rely on their mobile phones.
With this being said, you need to decide which type of system you want. Those who are more active may want to go the mobile route so that they can always get help whenever and wherever they need it.
For those who are more homebound, a home-based system could be the better option. You also need to take into consideration how tech-savvy you are and how easy each system is to operate.
When you’re searching for a medical alert system you want to look at monitoring options. Some systems simply call a friend or family member when the emergency button is pressed, while others connect you directly to an emergency call center. The dispatcher will assess your situation and decide what type of emergency response is necessary.
With access to a 24/7 call monitoring center usually comes monthly fees and often activation fees. You need to see what you’re getting for your money and what type of service will benefit you the most.
For many people, the cost will often be the deciding factor for what type of medical alert system they settle on. From the cost of equipment to special features and monitoring fees, medical alert systems can get pricey. Always know exactly what you’re getting for your money and if there are contracts and cancellation fees. You don’t want to get locked into a situation that’s going to be costly in the long run. Also, ask about any discounts that may be available for veterans or other groups.
Fall Detection Feature
The fall detection features is also a major deciding factor when it comes to medical alert systems. If you or your loved one has trouble with balance and often falls, then this is a necessity. When fall detection is in place, a signal will automatically be sent to the dispatch center to send help, even if the user is unable to press the button. This can be a life-saving feature for someone who lives alone or falls when no one else is around.
You also want to compare what types of equipment are included with the system. Some come with more than one medical alert button. Others have key ring alerts as well as many other features. Decide what types of equipment are most important and useful.
Reviews can give you some insight into how the product and service function. While not everyone is going to love the same product, you can see if there are common likes and dislikes. If there are major flaws, this may be an indicator to choose another system. You can also ask around and get reviews by word of mouth. People who are currently using a particular medical alert system can give you insight into how well it works. Plus, you can ask questions and get real answers.
Many medical alert systems come with extra features such as activity monitoring, daily check-in services, and fitness tracking. If you’re willing to spend the extra money and think these types of features may come in handy, then it may be worth comparing these features between companies. Many loved ones like the option of having activity monitoring because they can tell if something may be wrong by the level of activity or inactivity. Also, check to see if the wearable devices are waterproof. Many people like to bring them into the shower in case they fall and need help.
Range and Connectivity
If you like to garden or spend time outdoors, compare the range and connectivity features of medical alert systems. This will let you know how far away you can be and still get service. Many medical alert systems have a wide range of connectivity because they know many seniors like to be as active as possible.
Customer Service and Tech Support
You never know when you might need help with your medical alert system. Check to see the availability of the company’s customer service department and tech support. You want a company that is widely available to address your concerns.
When comparing medical alert systems, be sure to ask all of your questions before signing any contracts or paperwork. If you’re unsure what to ask, ask a trusted friend or family member to help so that you end up with the best system for your needs.
Medical Alert System Comparisons
The following are a list of medical alert comparisons amongst the most well-known brands: