Medical alert monitoring systems are not a new idea, yet due to a global movement towards healthier and safer living, they have recently started to feature more prominently in people’s consideration for their health and safety. There are however, many people who are still unaware of these medical alert monitoring systems and the benefits and security that they could provide them and their families.
What are medical alert monitoring systems and how do they work?
Medical alert monitoring systems are systems that you can easily install yourself to provide instant access to emergency medical services when you need them. They put you in contact with either 911 or an emergency response center operator and alert your friends or family members that you are in need of emergency medical care. The entire medical alert monitoring system consists only of a base unit that is connected to a telephone line and a waterproof emergency button with a rechargeable battery. If you like, many providers also give you the option of taking additional emergency buttons that can be mounted in different rooms of the house. Medical alert monitoring systems come with attachments that let you wear the button as a medical alert necklace, bracelet or on your belt.
If something has happened that has caused you to be in need of emergency medical assistance, all you have to do is push your emergency button. The medical alert monitoring system then either dials 911 on your behalf or connects you to the response center, which will first evaluate your situation and then send the correct services. While the ambulance, police or other services are on their way, they will also contact your chosen friend or family member to let them know what has happened. Some buttons are one way communication systems, while others are two way communication systems. Some of the buttons even detect extreme heat in case of fire, or detect movement and automatically notify the service center if you have fallen.
Who should have these medical alert monitoring systems?
These medical alert monitoring systems have proven to be a great aid to elderly people who want to hold on to the freedom of independent living. Emergency buttons have also proven helpful to families with small children or children with special needs. Yet, every family or household could benefit from the added security provided by these systems, which have proven time and time again in making the difference between partial recovery and full recovery.
A partial list of ailments or persons who should have medical alert monitoring systems in their houses:
- Heart disease
- Clinical trial patients
- Cystic fibrosis
- Kidney failure
- Multiple sclerosis
- Parkinson’s disease
- Cancer patients
- Rare diseases
- Cerebral palsy
Who are the suppliers?
The medical alert monitoring systems provided by Freedom Alert, immediately put a call through directly to 911 when the emergency button is pushed. You can change the settings on the device to rather phone four alternative numbers instead of 911, or you can add these numbers to your 911 call. The button has a 100 foot range from the base unit and can be used as a two way communication system. This means that you can relay important information to the 911 call center while emergency help is being dispatched to you.
Alert 1 medical alert monitoring systems connect you to their own emergency response centers when you push your emergency buttons. The operator assesses your situation and then sends out the correct emergency services, be it the local police, the fire brigade or an ambulance. After help has been sent, they contact your loved ones or caregiver to let them know what has happened. They also provide more than just medical alert monitoring systems. You can push your button if you have locked yourself out of your house or if a pipe has burst and they will assist you with that too. What sets Alert 1 apart from its competitors is that its emergency button can detect changes in room temperature. Thus, if it notices extreme heat, like in the event of a fire, emergency services are notified automatically on your behalf.
LifeStation has been providing medical alert monitoring systems for more than 30 years. When you push their emergency button, an operator will give you over the phone assistance while simultaneously notifying the proper emergency services and family members. The company has a great track record and customer feedback is generally positive. They ship the device to your house at no charge and it has a range of over 400 feet, with a battery life of 32 hours. The call center operator will stay on the phone with you until help arrives at your house and their ambulance services are excellent.
LifeLink medical alert monitoring systems not only phone 911, they also phone your cell phone, land line and pager in an attempt to get in contact with you once your emergency button has been pushed. LifeLink comes recommended by physicians, nurses and home care givers and is delivered within three to four days. It is incredibly easy to take the system with you when you go on holiday, all you need is an available phone line and an electrical outlet.
LifeGuardian is one of America’s most innovative and dedicated medical alert monitoring systems providers. Their devices are high quality and have the longest range of all the medical alert monitoring systems available today. They proudly operate one of the oldest and most experienced medical monitoring call centers and service North America and Canada. Seniors enjoy discounts to the value of over $160 when they purchase their medical alert monitoring systems from LifeGuardian.
CVS differs from other competing medical alert monitoring systems in the fact that, when your emergency button is pushed, they do not immediately dispatch emergency services. They first phone you at home to try to determine exactly what the emergency is. They then dispatch emergency services or contact loved ones if it is necessary. The system is incredibly easy to install and this can be done in less than five minutes.
LifeFone medical alert monitoring systems have an impressive 1000 foot range and the emergency button has a 36 hour battery life. The system ranks high on consumer reports in terms of how fast the ambulances arrive and customer service.
The ADT medical alert monitoring systems have a battery life of 12 hours and a range of 300 feet. Their company has been in business for over 130 years and is a trusted name in home security and protection. This is the most expensive of the high performance medical alert monitoring systems, however according to consumer reports and reviews, the service justifies the cost.
What makes Phillips LifeLine medical alert monitoring systems unique is the fact that their medical alert buttons can detect falls instantly, even if the button has not been pushed. Their medical alert monitoring systems have backup batteries that last between 15 and 30 hours. The VRI system boasts a backup battery that lasts between 40 and 80 hours and has a range of 250 to 600 feet. Pioneer is at a disadvantage as its backup battery lasts only for 12 hours and they do not have their own monitoring center.
How much does it cost?
Each of the medical alert monitoring systems comes with a different payment structure. Some companies charge only a set up and activation cost and no monthly fees. These once off charges start at around $200. Other suppliers charge no set up or activation fees, but do ask a monthly service fee, that can range from $20 to $100, depending on the supplier. Then there are still other companies that charge both of these fees. Note that the vast majority of suppliers let you try their equipment and services for a 30 day trial period, after which you can return it at no cost if you are not happy with the medical alert monitoring system. Not all suppliers require clients to enter into contracts and those who do offer contracts ranging from one year to three years. Look for a device that comes with a lifetime guarantee.
Deciding with which of the medical alert monitoring systems to go is an important decision, especially if you are locked into a contract with that supplier. Some standard issues to consider include:
- Do the calls go to a monitoring center or directly to emergency services?
- Does the company operate its own monitoring center?
- How reliable is the medical alert equipment?
- How often does the medical alert button need to be charged or receive replacement batteries?
- What are the customer service and technical support hours?
- What are the minimum payment requirements?
- Are there costs in addition to the monthly fee/once-off fee?
- What is the cancellation policy?
- What is the corporate history of the company?
Medical alert monitoring systems can literally be life savers, so educate yourself on all of your options before you make a final decision on which supplier to go with.