Medical Alerts: This is a subject area I am passionate about. The son and son-in-law of elderly parents, this is something near and dear to my heart. Years ago, my father-in-law was diagnosed with a rare disease, similar to ALS. Although his physical health is failing him, mentally, he is as sharp as he ever was. With that being said, a fall of some sort would be devastating to him and because of that, my mother-in-law is very hesitant to leave him alone. This makes her (and him) a prisoner in her home. When she leaves home, she is anxious about how her husband is doing.
The family has talked a lot about sending my father to an assisted care facility. None of us want that, nor does he. So what do we do? At a trade show a few years ago I was introduced to a series of products called medical alerts. What these products do is basically allow someone to press a button and this will establish communication with a medical alert monitoring or response center. Whether a person is in the shower, lying in bed, or sitting on the sofa watching television, medical alert systems allow them to live independently while having medical help readily available. This opens up a new world. My mother in law may now go out and shop and have peace of mind that if something happens to my father-in-law, a medical response center may be immediately notified.
Medical alerts, or medical alert systems are not expensive products. The essentially consist of a few major components; the transmitter (panic button), alert receiver, and the response center. Although there are only a few pieces to these systems, there are distinct differences between the various systems marketing today. Many companies out there, especially online companies, will attempt to mislead or take advantage of the elderly. What we want to do in the blog is provide an unbiased medical alert review so if you are purchasing a home medical alert, you have the knowledge you need to make a good decision.
When choosing a home medical alert system, here are the basic things to look out for:
- The products physical components like the panic transmitter and receiver need to be reliable, high quality products. It will defeat the purpose if you do not have complete confidence in the hardware of the products you are using to help monitor your loved one but are always wondering if the hardware pieces will be there for you.
- Where are the products made?
- Is there a warranty?
- Are the hardware and software maintained and periodically checked and updated?
- Is it easy to install the hardware and hook it up to your home phone system?
- The monitoring center is where many companies will either overcharge their customers or skimp on quality to make extra money. Many companies will tend to lure customers into their system and will attempt to make it up with shoddy or low quality medical alert monitoring centers.
- Don’t go by cost alone. Get some different pricing and if one is an out-lier, whether too low or too high, this should raise a red flag.
- Where is your monitoring center? Is it local or overseas? Is English the primary language?
- Are the workers in the medical alert monitoring center trained in emergency response procedures?
- What is the average response time for calls?
- Does the alert response center charge you for extra calls or is there a limit to the number of calls?
Although this is not a comprehensive list, it shows you some of the major things one should consider when deciding on medical alert system. The various blog articles we have here will go into deeper detail. If you have any questions or would like some unbiased feedback, feel free to send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.