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Medical Alert Systems
July 21st, 2021
Medical Alert Systems
July 21st, 2021
Medical Alert Systems
May 17th, 2021
Many humans desire to be independent. You may want to be able to live your life on your own terms. No matter your age or ability, independence remains important. As with choosing the best home insurance for seniors, there's more than just the benefit of security. Medical alert systems help older individuals stay independent and give their loved one's peace of mind in spite of potential emergencies. There are many companies that offer medical alert systems with a wide range of prices, so it can be difficult to choose the best option for your situation. This article will break down those medical alert systems and help you decide on the best options for you and your family. Medical Guardian Medical Guardian is the top-rated medical alert company of 2019 with the highest consumer rating and overall score on BestCompany.com. Since 2005, the company has been the best in the fall detection area — one of the most important functions of a medical alert system. Medical Guardian’s system also has no activation or equipment fees, making its system one of the most affordable on the market. Some of the best qualities of Medical Guardian’s medical alert system are the base station, the wearable emergency button, and two-way communication. Perhaps the most unique part of the system is the ability to operate on a cellular network. If your loved one wants to go to the store but is worried about a fall, Medical Guardian can provide mobile coverage with on-the-go medical alert systems for active individuals. The company also offers a lifetime warranty in case of any malfunctions. At an agreeable price of $29.99–$45.99 per month, Medical Guardian is an affordable option, and more importantly, a reliable company. Reaching in the thousands, positive Medical Guardian reviews prove that the company is trusted and appreciated by its customers. MobileHelp With a high overall score from BestCompany.com, MobileHelp has a great reputation and high ratings from consumers. The company offers low monthly fees starting at $19.95 per month and its service comes with no equipment fees, no activation fees, no long-term contracts, and a lifetime warranty on all equipment. The customer service at MobileHelp is renowned for its help, but the downside is the system is limited only to areas in which AT&T has cellular service. This can be troublesome if you’re in a bad service area. MobileHelp’s Mobile Duo offer, which is a two-for-the-price-of-one GPS alert system, is also a great option. The company offers a 30-day money-back guarantee on all products, which may make choosing MobileHelp completely risk-free. MobileHelp reviews highlight the company as an exceptional company with quality medical alert equipment, helpful customer service, and quick response times. LifeStation A long-running company since 1977, LifeStation gives families a sense of safety at the right price. Along with a solid 1,000-foot range for a monthly price of $19.95, the company offers free activation, no equipment fees, and requires no contract. The biggest positive of LifeStation is the variety of plans it has. At many different prices, you can choose what you actually need, customizing your medical alert plan to best fit your unique situation. An additional positive to LifeStation is its compatibility with Amazon Alexa devices. This gives your family even more functions to take advantage of, such as hands-free alerts. The downside to LifeStation is you have to pay an additional fee for extra alert buttons and fall detection. However, the fees are minimal and won’t significantly raise your monthly cost. LifeStation reviews make it clear that the minimal extra fees are not a problem and the company’s excellent customer service, quick response times, and quality medical alert equipment are definitely worth the cost. Medical Alert Medical Alert works under Connect America and is one of the largest providers of personal emergency response systems in the nation. Medical Alert also provides one of the best automatic fall detection systems as vouched for in hundreds of positive reviews. This is seen in Medical Alert's satisfactory score from BestCompany.com and experienced customers. Medical Alert’s system sends alert emergency dispatchers even if the alert button is not pressed. This is an essential component in medical alert systems for many consumers who want to make sure their loved ones do not have to press a button themselves to ensure their safety. The fall detection button detects a fall and alerts medical alert responders without the user having to do anything. Medical Alert also offers 24/7 customer service for any problems you may experience. Its products are lighter than most and are waterproof, which enables users to wear the medical alert button in places where falls often happen, such as the bathroom. Starting around $27.49 per month, Medical Alert’s downside is its range to the base. At only 600 feet, it can be easy to get out of range. Medical Alert is best for older adults looking for coverage specifically around the home. Medical Alert reviews note quick response times, a helpful staff, and quality equipment that provides peace of mind to customers and their families. Medical Care Alert Started in Michigan 11 years ago, the Medical Care Alert company provides a reliable system at a competitive price. Its services include a 30-day risk-free trial and a price-lock guarantee. The company offers a lifetime warranty with its products built by BOSCH Healthcare Solutions, one of the most well-known medical technology builders in the world. The company's goal since it began has been to make the best quality medical alert monitoring equipment. If you and your family are looking for well-built systems, Medical Care Alert may be a good fit. Some cons to its product are additional fees for automatic fall detection as well as warranty limitations. There is a lot of fine print when it comes to the warranty, so if you like everything else about Medical Care Alert, be sure to check what the warranty covers. The Bottom Line Medical alert systems save countless lives. They provide automatic fall detection and many other features that ensure a great deal of comfort for your loved ones. Independence is important for a healthy mind, so choosing the right alert system is an integral part of staying independent. Whether you choose the best-rated company or the cheapest monthly payment, all these companies are designed to provide a needed and appreciated service. Be sure to check the warranty, know what you’re buying, and research the perks of each company’s system. Knowing the facts, pros, and cons of each company will give you the safety net you need at a price you can afford. Guest Post by Ethan Lichtenberg Ethan Lichtenberg is a freelance writer for ExpertInsuranceReviews.com. He would love to say that he’s at the beach writing on a leather-bound notebook listening to Bob Dylan, but really he’s on his first cup of joe with too much cream and has Shark Week playing in the background. That should tell you all you need to know.
Injuries from falls are the leading cause of death among seniors 65 and older. Thankfully, industry leaders such as Medical Guardian provide medical alert devices that allow you to call for help immediately in the case of a fall or another emergency. But how do you know if it's time for you or your loved one to get a medical alert device? Age, illness, medication, and family circumstances are all factors you should consider when determining whether to get a medical alert system. We created to quiz below to help you decide.
Do you have an elderly loved one with mobility issues? Over a third of adults over the age of 65 will experience a debilitating fall. Sometimes, these falls aren't serious, and other times, they can be deadly. As adults continue to age, their bodies aren't as resilient, so a fall can seriously damage their bones and joints. Although Life Alert and its famous "I've fallen and I can't get up" commercials have a place in pop culture, there are actually many medical alert companies to choose from. Here's everything you need to know before you choose a medical alert system: Prices Prices will vary depending on the provider and the system. However, the average price for a basic in-home medical system with a wireless medical alert pendant is around $30 per month. A mobile medical alert system with GPS functionality will likely cost over $40 per month. You can read more about these systems in the Equipment features section. Watch out for installation or activation fees. Some companies love to tack these on. If a company wants to charge hundreds of dollars for a professional to come to your home and install a system, move on to the next company. The best medical alert systems are ready to go as soon as you plug them in and don't cost extra to install. Contracts Most medical alert companies will operate on month-to-month contracts, so you shouldn't have to worry about agreeing to a long-term contract. Some older companies such as Life Alert will have you sign a long-term contract before providing services, but this is rare. If you're confident you can pay the monthly fee for the duration of the contract, a contract could be fine, but if you move or decide you don't need the system anymore, you could be charged hundreds to buy out of your contract. Equipment features Every medical alert system essentially operates in the same way. The pendant you carry (or wear) communicates with a base unit. When you press the button on the medical alert pendant, it sends a signal to the base unit that relays that signal to a remote monitoring station. A representative at the monitoring station can then contact you through a microphone and speaker on the base unit and dispatch help if needed. Range The range of an in-home medical alert system varies depending on the system and company. Medical Guardian's basic in-home system, for example, has a range of 1300 feet. This is impressively long — you shouldn't have to worry if you have a large property and want to roam the yard or go on a short walk. However, do take into account that many things can inhibit a system's ability to operate at full range. Depending on what material your house is made of, the signal between the pendant and the base station will have a harder time traveling. For example, if you're out in the yard and there are several walls between your pendant and the base station, the signal won't reach as far. Also, if the interior walls are dense, the signal might not reach the full length as well. Some companies take this into account when marking their pendant range. Some might say that the pendant only extends 300 feet from the base station, but if you live in a small condo with few walls, that shouldn't be a problem. If you live on an estate with a large yard, you'll want to go with the 1300 foot system, or better yet, a mobile GPS system. Mobile vs. in-home medical An in-home medical alert system has a base unit that plugs into a wall and a pendant that communicates wirelessly at long ranges. With a mobile GPS alert unit, you can take the base unit anywhere. Usually, it's the size of a deck of cards and can fit in your pocket. There's still a pendant or bracelet you can wear and press a button if you experience an emergency, but the biggest difference is that you can take this unit anywhere. If you charge it every day or two, you can keep it on your person without worrying about it running out of battery power. If you press the alert button, emergency responders will know exactly where to find you because the small base unit will send a GPS signal pinpointing your exact location. Be aware that these units always cost a little more money. Expect to pay at least $40-50 per month for a mobile unit. However, if you're an active senior who loves to go on walks or bike rides, this system is indispensable. Warranties Most top-rated medical alert companies will have lifetime warranties on their equipment. If equipment malfunctions or breaks through no fault of your own, they'll replace it without any hassle. This includes your pendant, base station, mobile GPS unit, etc. Make sure to ask your medical alert companies about warranties before you buy any system. Other things to know Some home security companies offer medical alert pendants as an add-on. If you're already with a home security company like ADT or MONI Smart Home, call a representative and ask about this service. Some companies such as Live Life Alarms offer medical alert systems with one upfront cost, and that's it. No monthly fee. These systems are usually pre-programmed to contact a handful of phone numbers of your choosing, including neighbors or family members. The systems then contact these people if the emergency button is pressed. This means no monthly monitoring fee, but no professional medical help as well (unless you're allowed to pre-program 911 into the system). You can find the list of the best medical alert companies right here on Best Company.
Medical alert systems have come a long way since their early days in the 1970s. A medical alert system used to be just a device that would automatically dial a preset phone number when you pressed a panic button. Now technological advancements have given medical alert systems many more functions like fall detection and GPS location tracking. So, what does the future hold? Here are some ways that companies are making strides to bring medical alert systems into the future: GPS-based systems These have become fairly commonplace among many medical alert companies. These systems operate on cellular GPS signals in order to pinpoint someone's location. GPS-based systems need to be recharged on a daily basis because the base unit is portable — usually the size of a deck of cards. You carry the base unit and the emergency button with you at all times. Companies such as MobileHelp have chosen to specialize in these sorts of medical alert systems that cater to adults with healthy, active lifestyles. Classic medical alert models operate on a landline connection to get you in touch with emergency personnel. These systems are still widely being sold and will probably have their place until a more technologically-savvy generation grows older and needs medical alert systems. GPS-based systems are also slightly easier to install. You should only have to plug in the system and it's ready to go. Mobile apps Some companies feature apps that you can download to your mobile phone that then functions as a sort of medical alert system. This is a convenient and inexpensive way to make a medical alert system work for you, but there are a few limitations with it: Are you smartphone savvy? Many elderly folks simply aren't. A complicated smartphone could be overwhelming for someone who just wants a simple push-button wristband or pendant. The process of unlocking the phone and opening an app is much more complicated than pushing a help button. What is your current data plan? Mobile phones must have GPS locating capabilities to be fully functional as a medical alert device. These devices must have a robust data plan that can track your phone 24/7 without causing overages. A normal flip phone probably won't have these capabilities. Is the app reliable? This depends on the company and the designer. Talk to a company representative about what mobile apps they offer. Look them up on the app store, and pay attention to what current customers have said about their reliability and usability. Currently, GreatCall is a company that specializes in specific medical alert/cell phone devices. The cell phones operate as medical alert devices that have to be attached to one of the company's data plans. This could be convenient for seniors who want to bundle their cell phone and medical alert system, so more manufacturers might start doing the same thing in the future. Smart Watches At the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show, Medical Guardian debuted a new device called the Freedom Guardian, which is a smartwatch designed for seniors who want a portable medical alert system. Not only does it function as a medical alarm in case of a fall, but you can also set reminders for medication or calendar events along with sending and receiving text messages. With text messaging, the device will send you the message and can read it aloud to you, as well as translate voice into text. One of the best parts is that the device looks similar to your average Apple Watch. In the technological world, smartwatches are still relatively new, so we have yet to see other companies come forward with devices such as a medical alert-focused smartwatch. However, this may change as the industry continues to progress and grow. As baby boomers and other technologically-savvy seniors grow older, smartwatches will probably become more popular. In order to take a look at the best medical alert companies in the industry, visit our handy guide at Best Company.
Medical alert systems are a great way to provide peace and security for an elderly loved one who wants to live independently; however, with technology progressing so rapidly, it can be easy to lose track of what kinds of systems are available. In the following article, we'll break down what you can expect as you start searching for a medical alert system. Traditional systems Traditional medical alert systems are the most common. These systems usually consist of the following: Base system Emergency call pendant Wireless or landline connectivity Traditional systems include a base system that syncs with a wireless alert pendant. The base system connects to a power outlet and a landline phone connection depending on the design of the system. The wireless alert device is then carried by the patient at all times. Typically, the device can be worn as either a pendant or a wristband and is water resistant, so it can be worn in the shower. Until recently, most medical alert systems were operated solely through landline connections. However, more traditional medical alert systems are becoming compatible with cell phone towers. Setup involves simply plugging in the device to a power outlet. These systems also have a range limit, such as 1,000 feet. That means that your loved one shouldn't wear the alert device when going to the store or traveling because it will be out of range of the base station. Mobile-based systems Range isn't a problem for mobile-based systems. For these systems, the base station is actually a small, portable device that is charged at home and then can be taken anywhere. These portable base stations have a much smaller range than a traditional base station, but that isn't much of a problem since you can carry it with you in your pocket or in a holster. Just slip it in your pocket, put on the emergency pendant or wristband, and you're ready. These systems use cell phone towers to track you. This means that you can take the medical alert with you on a walk or to the store and still have help ready at the press of a button. These systems are usually slightly more expensive than the traditional base station system, but if you live an active lifestyle, it's definitely worth the small cost. Medical alert mobile apps These are the newest line of medical alert systems, but they aren't for everyone. Multiple mobile apps on the market can serve as medical alert systems. They can be inexpensive, even free, but the biggest obstacle in using one of these apps is how familiar your loved one is with operating a smartphone. In an emergency, sometimes it is all you can do to reach for your alert pendant and press the button. Imagine having to pull out your phone, unlock it, open the medical alert app, and press the emergency call button. Naturally, there could be many obstacles in the way preventing a quick help call. It can be much easier to access medical help through a mobile system or traditional system than a smartphone. The plus side of a mobile app is that you can take it anywhere. Like any mobile system, your location can be determined through the use of cell phone towers, so it grants you more freedom. Universal features All of these systems should be equipped with wireless power rather than operating only when plugged into an outlet. Traditional medical alert systems have built-in battery packs that charge when plugged in, so if you experience a power outage, your medical alert system will still be operational for over 24 hours. Once charged, mobile systems and cell phones can be used remotely, but it's best to charge them every night. Most importantly, all of these systems are equipped with 24/7 monitoring. If you find a medical alert company that doesn't promise 24/7 monitoring, move on. You should expect help to be available whenever an emergency happens, even at inconvenient hours. Some systems will allow two-way communication between you and a medical alert representative, but most basic units will send out a simple distress signal that alerts emergency medical personnel and family that you've been in an accident. Where to start Now that you're equipped with the basic facts, you can investigate the companies. BestCompany.com has done the research to find the best medical alert companies in the industry. Most of these top companies will offer packages that span the different devices mentioned above, and the most basic systems often come at a very reasonable price. If you think you or a loved one might need a medical alert system, it's best not to hesitate.
Is it time for you to consider a medical alert system? Assess your needs according to the following checklist. Are you over age 65? Do you live alone? Do you suffer from osteoporosis or similar conditions? Do you have trouble seeing or hearing? Do you have trouble standing? Do you use a cane or walker? Do you like to live independently? Would you prefer not to live in a rest home? Do you want protection for burglars, fires, or flooding? Is $35/month within your budget? If you checked yes to more than half of these, it's time for you to consider a medical alert system. The Explanation Are you over age 65? Falls happen at an exponentially higher rate after you turn 65. When one fall happens, it's more likely to happen again, and the physical toll will compound time after time. Do you live alone? If you live alone, a medical alert system is a great way to maintain your independence while having help on call if you ever happen to need it. If you live with a spouse, family member, or friend, that doesn't necessarily mean that you should forego a medical alert system altogether, but it might not be as necessary. Do you suffer from osteoporosis? Osteoporosis makes the event of a fall even more dangerous. A simple bump or scrape could result in a broken bone. If you're living alone and have osteoporosis, that should instantly be a strong indicator for a medical alert system. Do you have trouble seeing or hearing? Having poor eyesight could mean a stumble or fall. Hearing is not that big of a concern, but inner ear function is what determines your balance, so depending on how bad your hearing is that could translate into fall risk. Consult with your eye and ear doctors and ask them if a medical alert system might be a good option according to your conditions. Do you have trouble standing? It's natural to have trouble standing as you get older. It comes from weakened muscles and joints in your lower body. Naturally, these weakened muscles and joints make balancing more difficult. This is another big indicator of the need for a medical alert system. Do you use a walker or cane? This is a great solution if you answered yes to the previous question. Canes are relatively inexpensive and come in a variety of materials and builds. Walkers are slightly more expensive and cumbersome but offer a much better center of gravity. You can even sit on some models. Canes and walkers aren't sure-fire ways to prevent falls, which is why a medical alert system is recommended. Do you like to live independently? You might not like people fussing over you. You want the freedom to make your own bed, cook your own meals, and clean your own home. That's understandable. With a medical alert system, you have help on call only when you absolutely need it. Some systems will even let you program the contacts of family members or friends if you don't feel like you need an ambulance over. Would you prefer not to live in a rest home? Rest homes have a plethora of amenities, but can be incredibly expensive. Comparatively, medical alert systems are much less expensive. Do you want protection for burglars, fires, or flooding? Medical alert systems aren't just for falls. You can buzz for help if you've experienced a break-in, a fire, or flood. Certified call center employees will immediately be on the line to send emergency medical personnel your way. Is $35/month within your budget? This is the average price for a medical alert system. Prices will vary depending on the company. Some companies will charge an activation or equipment fee and monthly monitoring prices will differ depending on the features of the product. It depends on what you feel you need and what your budget is. Where to Start Start here with a list of the best medical alert companies in the country. Different systems are available that communicate through a landline connection, cellular connection, or WiFi. There are also advanced systems that are able to pinpoint your exact location through GPS technology, so you can take your alert button on the go and be protected wherever you are.