In case of a fall or medical emergency, will you be able to call for help? Independent living is important for handicapped and elderly people and personal emergency response systems can offer some valuable peace of mind for loved ones.
With all systems and service options out there, though you’ll want to find the best medical alert systems available.
Choosing the Best Medical Alert System
It can be intimidating when you’re trying to find the most reliable personal emergency response system. After all, it may be a lifesaving decision.
You may want to get a recommendation before you start researching the systems available in your area. First, check with your insurance agency about coverage and referrals. You doctor, the Better Business Bureau and your local AARP, veterans organization or in-home care agency can also be good resources for information. Don’t forget to ask friends and family members if they have had a positive with their medical alert service.
Experts recommend a medical emergency alert device that can be worn at all times since it’s improbable that you’d have a phone or cell phone within reach at all times. Plus, some brands can detect when a person has fallen or may be unable to call for help because they’re incapacitated.
There are six main factors to consider when searching for the best medical alert system for yourself or a loved one. Consider any special health needs, the level of mobility, monitoring and home security needed to be safe living independently, plus emergency assistance response time and cost of the service.
Special Health Needs
Before looking into specific medical alert options, consider your specific needs and limitations. Dementia or difficulty communicating are important factors to keep in mind when selecting the best emergency response system. If you have hearing loss, for example, you’ll want to look for a device that has adjustable volume control and test it to be sure that you can speak with an emergency dispatcher without a hearing aid.
Level of Monitoring Required
Each medical alert system offers a different range of services. Based on your needs, you’ll want to consider options like automatic fall detection, activity monitoring and daily checkups. For health conditions requiring monitoring, some personal emergency response systems provide medication reminders or vital sign alerts.
Accessibility Services & Mobility Solutions
If you are considering safety modifications, home remodeling, a scooter or car lift to make independent living more safe and comfortable, request a free consultation with Sage.
Another key concern is this person’s level of mobility. Home-based medical alert systems work inside the house and connect with a call center using a landline. A wearable device allows you to call for help through the phone.
For disabled people or seniors who are relatively active, the best option is a mobile system. Connecting to cellular networks and using integrated GPS, this type of device works wherever they go and can help even in non-medical emergencies, such as getting disoriented or lost.
If you already have a home security system, you should ask if emergency medical response is an additional service they provide or if it can be an add-on. Usually, there is an extra monthly fees for this type of coverage.
Similarly, some of the more advanced medical alert options have integrated home security features that connect to smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
Every second counts! One of the most important details to check when looking for the best medical alert system is the response time. Ask specifically what the average response time is for clients in your area in case of a medical emergency.
Some alert systems first attempt to connect with the emergency contact person, but the better option will provide live, 24-hour responders and customer support. You should also enquire about response center dispatchers and their required training or certification.
Contract & Cost
Take the time to compare the types of contracts offered by medical alert services. In most cases, a monthly contract is preferable. Be sure to read all the fine print for any hidden fees that may come with equipment installation or repair and service activation or cancellation.
Great extras to look for when selecting an emergency response system are the ability to cancel at any time without extra charges and a free trial period which gives you the opportunity to see if it’s the best fit.
Medical Alert System Features
As you research alert systems and services, you will quickly find that there are a lot of different features available. Compare the various options to find the one that’s right for you.
Here are some key questions to ask:
- What is the range of service for the alert device?
- Is the alert device wearable, comfortable and waterproof?
- How long will the battery last?
- What happens when the device needs to be replaced or repaired?
- Will it require programming or updates?
- Will an external lockbox need to be installed to grant access to emergency responders?
- Can family members receive notifications?
- Are alerts routed directly to emergency services?
- Is the device or service covered by insurance, Medicare or Medicaid?
Read on to learn more about other available technology for living safely at home.
Keep in mind that your needs may change over time and the alert system features included in your service plan may need to be adjusted in the future.
If home modifications or mobility products are needed to make living at home more safe and secure, contact Sage at (610) 269-2935 or request a consultation using the form below to find out how we can help.