Medical Alert Systems.
Do you worry about a parent or a loved one who has gotten older and is living alone? What will happen if they have an accident or a health emergency? If they can not get to a phone, hours could go by without anyone knowing.
The easy way to solve this problem and get peace of mind, both for yourself and the person you love, is to buy and install a medical alert system.
But if you're like me, as soon as you started to investigate these systems for yourself, trying to make a purchase decision, you got confused. There are so many systems that all seem similar, yet they are different in ways that are hard to understand.
Here's a quick guide that will help you understand your options.
First off, here's how a medical alert system works. They come with two pieces of equipment, a base station and a pendant or panic button . If you have an accident, medical emergency, or fall, you press the button on your pendant (it's small so you wear it everywhere you go, even in the shower), and the base station calls for help.
Now, there are two basic types of medical alert systems:
- Some models call a monitoring center where staff members are on hand to speak to you and can notify a friend, relative, or the Emergency Medical Services (EMS).
- Others have an auto-dialer that calls a few friends and relatives who phone numbers you have programmed into the unit. These units can be set up to call 911. In some cases, these units only call 911.
Both of these systems have good points and bad points.
For most people, the problem with a monitored system is cost. These programs have a monthly fee ranging from $ 10 to $ 100 per month. You also have to buy the equipment. On the good side, it's very comfortable to know that you can speak to a live operator who can find out what your problem is and send appropriate help. For example, if you've fallen and need help, but you do not need an ambulance, the operator can call your neighbor to have them come help you.
If you do not want to pay the monthly monitoring fee, choose a unit with an auto-dialer. These can be set up to call friends and family, and then whoever you reach can find out what your problem is and either come help you or call for professionals to come in an ambulance.
After you choose which type of system is best for you, it's time to think about equipment. Again, there's a big variation in how things work. Some systems allow for two-way communication between the panic button and the base station. Others only work if you're inside talking range of the base station. If you have a big house, you'll want a two-way system with a long range.