The Best Medical Alert System for Senior Citizens

The  Best Med Alert System for Senior Citizens

How to choose the best medical alert / alarm monitoring service for your elderly loved ones. Don’t buy an alert button / pendant or monitor before you read these important tips.

Searching and finding the top rated emergency alert service for an aging family member is a crucial part of a good elder medical emergency plan.  Here are some things you should consider when you’re ready to purchase a system for your parent or grandparents.

Q. What is the best safety system for seniors living at home alone?

A. Consider the quality of the equipment and the service provider to.  All the electronic equipment should be UL listed as well as the monitoring service center. A deficiency in either area can drastically reduce the reliability of the system.

Q. How fast is response time?

A. The emergency monitoring call center should be connected and speaking to the caller in less than 30 seconds. Response time from 911 will vary.

Questions To Ask The Monitoring Company Before You Buy

Q. Where is your call center located?

Some cheap providers outsource the monitoring services to off-shore providers. A good company will have their own staff in-house. The elderly caller should be able to speak to someone who is fluent in the language and doesn’t have a hard to understand accent.

Q. How do I install the monitoring service?

Be sure you will be able to get the monitoring system working with just a few simple clicks. Many are as easy as plugging it in and pushing a button. Others require an installer.

Q. How long is the equipment under warranty?

Don’t assume your agreement includes servicing of equipment. Again, many cheap or less than reputable companies will try to make you pay for repairs. Only use recommended vendors like LifeStation, who will perform weekly equipment checks to make sure everything is working properly. If it’s not they’ll take care of it.

Q. How far is the range of the monitor?

If your aging loved one lives in big house or spends time in the yard, test to see if the system responds at the spot furthest from the monitor’s receiver. Ask about the device range.
Q. What about a contract?

There are some very large monitoring services that advertise on TV that have long term contracts designed to make it hard to cancel. Some ask for several months payment upfront and others contain evergreen contract clauses that automatically lock you in for a full year if you fail to cancel in time. Again, we recommend LifeStation because you can cancel at any time.

Q. How can EMT or other emergency responders get inside the home if the inhabitant is incapacitated?

Ask if the alarm company offers a Lock Box.  A Lock Box is mounted on the outside of the home and contains keys for entry. The keys are secured inside a combination lock protected box. In the event of an emergency the monitoring company will give the emergency responders the combination to the box.

Q. Does the service only call 911 or can it alert trusted friends, neighbors and relatives?

Your elderly family member may not call for help if it’s going to only bring 911 responders. It’s better to give them a choice. When they press the pendant button for help they should be able to ask the monitoring service to summon help from the people they want to call not just 911.

Remember, it’s important to let aging persons stay in control. Give them the choice of calling you, a doctor or friend.  Give the monitoring service a list of medical personnel and trusted contacts.

Q. Is the system portable?

An excellent service is completely portable, making it easy to take it along on vacations or shuffle between summer and winter homes. Just be sure to tell the monitoring service about your change of address.

Q. How durable is the equipment? Is the push for help button / pendant waterproof and shock proof?

Many accidents happen getting in and out of the bath and shower. Your parent should wear the pendant at all times so a waterproof button is an absolutely must-have.

Q. Who will answer the call?

Make sure the operators are in the same country as the monitor. You don’t want to have your parents frustrated trying to communicate with someone who their language fluently. Also, how are the operators trained? Your provider should publish its internal training process on its website.

The editorial staff at ElderKind highly recommend the following med alert systems:

For push-button help, go with LifeStation. They’re affordable and reliable. If you require medical monitoring and fall detection, check out  myHalo. Both offer outstanding customer service, state of the art technology and flexible contracts.

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