5 Things to Consider Before Buying a Medical Alert System

Updated on March 15, 2022

Are you looking for a medical alert system that may provide the best solution for you and your senior loved one? Fortunately, these medical alert reviews may help you make a decision. Your senior loved one can have peace of mind knowing that a friend or a caregiver is just a button-push away. Moreover, family friends of older adults can keep tabs on how their loved ones are doing at home by visiting the activity dashboard. Read on to discover five things to consider before buying a medical alert system. 

  1. Installation. The first thing to consider is where the base unit of the system will be installed. This decision will help you prepare for the installation process and go a long way in helping you choose the right device. If you stay at home with your older adult and only leave when accompanied or to appointments, consider getting a medical alert system with a base system. Experts can install this home base unit in your living room, kitchen, or any centrally located place in your home. Medical professionals may also recommend installing the base system where your senior spends most of their time. However, if you or your senior loved one are active and on the go, consider a medical alert system with a base station. You can also use a pendant or watch-style device that runs with WiFi or GPS. 
  2. Budget. Although it is worth spending more to know your loved one is safe, your budget is a vital thing to consider. For starters, ensure you purchase a system that your loved one is comfortable using. Some medical alert systems charge a one-time equipment fee and a monthly monitoring fee. Some manufacturers may require you to pay both fees up-front when you first purchase the unit. Also, check if you need to pay for add-on features. Add-on features make the medical alert system easier to use or more emergency-ready. Some of the features include SOS buttons, pendants, lockbox, and extra wearable devices. Although most systems rely on preference, experts recommend adding a fall detection feature to your medical alert system, especially for seniors who have taken a fall before. 
  3. Wearable Medical Alert Device. For a medical alert system to work effectively, your loved one must commit to wearing one. While most medical alert manufacturers provide pendants or watch-style options, some seniors refuse to wear one. In such cases, you can find a system with real-time monitoring throughout the home sensors on the wall. Typically, older adults with a history of falling and those with chronic conditions are open to wearing a medical alert system. However, active seniors with no history of falling or chronic conditions may resist wearing a device and prefer using a cell phone in case of emergencies. However, this method only works if your loved one carries the cell phone all the time. If your loved one refuses to wear a medical alert system, you can reach out to their physician. Advice from their physician may lead them to consent to wear the device. 
  4. Monitoring. Is your family interested in being active participants in the safety and monitoring of your older adult? If the answer is yes, then it should be understood that they would like to be “in the know” and up-to-date with information regarding their loved one. If monitoring is a priority, you may consider some options like Safety Labs Safety Anchor-AP or MobileHelp. Such systems allow particular family members to log in and keep tabs on the safety of their seniors. Also, you must consider who will receive the medical alerts. You can choose an alert to family members, friends, or 911. However, if your loved one has special needs or requires specialized interactions, consider getting a monitoring service. 
  5. Tests. Reputable medical alert device companies have regular occurring testing cycles. The test includes the communication of the device to the monitoring center. For instance, some companies may test their devices monthly while others may do it weekly. However, you can test your buttons yourself to ensure they are functional with any system or provider. Confirm with your service provider how often they test your device. It would also be worth looking at comparisons between different medical alert systems so you can judge which system would be a best fit for you. 

Medical alert systems are a better choice for seniors wanting peace of mind and safety while at home or on the go. However, you must ensure that your device meets your needs and preferences. Take your time to research costs, user-friendliness, and safety before purchasing a medical alert system. 

The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.