Do you live alone? Are you worried about falling or requiring help with a health issue? If so, looking into medical alert systems may be a good idea.
However, when you start looking into the available options, you will likely discover choosing medical alert systems is more challenging than it seems. There are countless features offered, and it is important to find the system that best suits your needs.
Before diving into choosing this system, it is important to learn more about what they are.
What Are Medical Alert Systems?
Medical alert systems are wearable or in-home devices that let you call for assistance if you are injured, have a medical need, fall, or feel confused. Instead of calling 911, the system you choose connects you to a monitoring system.
There are always people available to assess your situation and let your loved ones know what happened. They can also dispatch medical help if needed.
It’s important to note that modern systems are advanced. This means you can find options that offer this medical alert fall detection, which means you don’t have to do anything to receive help.
Now, let’s dive into the specifics of how to choose a system.
Mobile vs. Home-Based System
In the past, medical alert systems were designed to work inside the home. They were connected to your landline phone.
You can still choose that option. Some companies also offer systems that work through your cellular network if you don’t have a landline.
If you choose these systems, pressing the call button on your wearable device will let you talk to a dispatcher through the base unit in your home.
Most companies also offer you mobile options. These systems can be used at home, but they will let you call for help while you are on the go, too.
With these, the system will work over your cellular networks and use GPS technology. If you happen to get lost or push the call button but can’t talk, the monitoring service will be able to find you.
A person who is frail and doesn’t leave the house may not require a mobile system. However, active older adults may want additional protection when they leave their house.
Medical Alert Systems vs. Medical ID Bracelets
It’s important to note that a medical alert system is not the same thing as a medical ID bracelet. The bracelet is just that, a bracelet that includes identifying information along with pertinent healthcare details. This could be specific health conditions or allergies.
Medical ID bracelets may also include the name of your emergency contact. As mentioned above, a medical alert system is a device that alerts a monitoring center or loved one if you need assistance.
You can use a medical ID bracelet and medical alert system together. Having the bracelet is a nice source of backup in case something happens. While they work well together, one will not replace the other.
Monitored vs. Unmonitored Systems
You will also have to choose between a monitored and unmonitored system. This means whether you have a call button that puts you in touch with someone at a dispatching center.
You can choose a system that does not have this monitoring. In this case, if you press the call button, the device will call a family member or friend who is part of your emergency call list.
Sometimes, these products can be set up to call several people and even emergency services if no one on your list answers. The main difference between these two is the cost. With monitored systems, you must pay a fee along with the initial purchase price.
However, with an unmonitored system, you will only pay for the device itself.
You may find that monitored systems also come with additional fees, including activation fees and minimum contracts or commitments. The return and cancellation policies can vary from one company to another.
Fall Detection Features
Some medical alert systems offer automatic fall detection for an extra fee. This device can detect when a fall occurs and contact the dispatch center. They work just like pressing the button does.
While this is a popular feature, it won’t work perfectly every time. While the technology is good and continuing to improve, it is not foolproof. Because of this, there should be other safety features, too.
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Do You Need a Medical Alert System?
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It may be necessary to have a medical alert system if you live alone and want peace of mind that help will be available if you need it. This type of device is perfect for older patients who are at risk of falling or who have fallen before.
Medical alert systems may also be needed for older adults who live far from their loved ones or anyone who could help them.
With a medical alert system, you have a virtual person in the room who can notify someone for help. Some of the other top reasons to consider the use of a medical alert system include:
- Assurance of being able to contact someone for help
- Taking medications with certain side effects
- Health conditions that cause wandering or confusion
- No caregivers or family members nearby
- Anxiety about living alone
These are all important reasons to invest in a medical alert system.
Now You Know What to Consider when Choosing Medical Alert Systems
When choosing medical alert systems, there are many features to consider. Using the information above can help you narrow down the options and find a system that suits your needs.
For more health and safety-related information, be sure to read some of our other blogs.