The number of services offering medical alert systems has grown increasingly over the years. With more options than ever, it is important that you and your family know what to look for when selecting the right one for you.
Here are a couple of things to keep in mind when choosing a medical alert system:
Cost – Some systems are leased, some are bought. Make sure that you pay close attention to hidden costs. Avoid systems with upfront costs. The prices for the equipment and the service should all be included in the monthly cost. Make sure to ask about false alarm costs, as well, in case your loved one were to press the button accidently.
Contract – Payment can be based on a number of things depending on the system you choose. It is recommended that you never enter into a contract with a company. Month-to-month payments will allow for better flexibility should you need to cancel.
Monitoring – Consider what level of monitoring you want and need. Many alert systems offer a button to push in case of emergency. However, some systems extend their support by offering things like “fall detection” or being able to notify emergency services when fire or carbon monoxide are present. Some systems are even able to offer you constant monitoring of your loved one’s health through video, or apps. Some are even able to send health information directly to their primary doctor.
Availability – Before choosing a system, make sure that their monitoring center is open 24/7. This may seem like a no-brainer, but there are systems out there that do not comply to this. You will want to make sure that the alert system is operational at all hours in case of emergency.
Mobility – Some alert systems are designed specifically for the home. These systems are for people that don’t leave their house very often. Other systems offer a mobility feature operated through a GPS system which allows your loved one to be monitored even if they are out and about. Consider which one is more appropriate.
Preferences – Every alert system offers different ways to access it. Commonly, they offer a button to wear around the neck. However, many people do not like this. They feel uncomfortable. They can get in the way and the buttons are not subtle. If your loved one wants something a little more discreet, consider a bracelet, belt buckle, or strategically places buttons in the home.
Consider all of these different variables when selecting a system and never hesitate to ask questions. Shop around a bit before making a decision since there are a number of differences between the different services to ensure that you and your loved one is getting exactly what is needed.