Consumer Guide to Medical Alert Systems

Aging in place is a great option for many seniors, but it can also pose challenges for loved ones who are concerned about their well-being and safety. One way to make sure your parent or loved one is safe is by having them use a medical alert device.  Medical alert devices can put your loved one in touch with you or emergency services immediately if they fall or have another type of accident. Consumer Guide to Medical Alert Systems
Medical alert devices can be professionally monitored by emergency personnel, or they can send an alert message to a list of personal contacts when an emergency arises. They can be wearable, or they can be standalone systems. Some medical alert systems are voice activated, while others require the push of a button to connect. Talk to your loved one to see which options they prefer before you buy one.
The senior who will use the medical alert device should be involved in the process of choosing and buying one, even if you’re going to be the one paying for it. Understanding how medical alert devices work and what to look for can make shopping for one easier for you and your loved one.
Here are some things for you to consider when choosing a medical alert device:

  • The senior’s activity level: Medical alert devices vary in their range and portability. If your parent or loved one is very active, they’ll likely benefit from a mobile medical alert device that they can take with them as they move around and outside the house. If they are more sedentary or have physical limitations that restrict them to staying inside the house, a medical alert device that’s tied to a landline might be a more practical and cost-effective option.
  • Who should be contacted in the event of an emergency: Monitored medical alert devices are professionally monitored and connect your loved one to emergency personnel immediately. Devices that are not monitored can connect your loved one to a list of contacts instead. Consider how quickly someone can aid your loved one when deciding whether or not you need a monitored system. Many seniors appreciate the peace of mind that comes from a monitored system.
  • How much the device and monitoring cost: Medical alert devices with monitoring cost more than medical alert devices without monitoring. Monitored devices have an additional monthly fee for the monitoring service, while unmonitored devices only cost as much as the product. The cost can be well worth it, though, to keep your loved on safe and allow them to continue living independently.

Medical alert devices keep your aging parent or loved one independent while giving you peace of mind, knowing they are safe and that you and emergency personnel will be contacted immediately in the event of an emergency such as a fall or injury. There are a lot of medical alert device brands to choose from. Do your research on medical alert devices to decide which one makes the most sense for your loved one and your family.

Consumer Guide to Medical Alert Systems

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About the Author

Kimberly Johnson

As a Senior.com Director of Marketing, Kimberly Johnson is passionate about providing Seniors with the resources and products to live well.  Kimberly is a seasoned caregiver to her family and breast cancer survivor.  Her father battled ALS, Lou Gehrig’s disease, for 13 months before passing.  Today Kimberly lives in Southern California near her 104-year-old grandmother, widowed mother, a mentally disabled sister and second sister who is also a breast cancer survivor.  She is happily married to her husband of 24 years and they have 3 children.

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