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Tips for Caregivers – Choosing the Right Medical Alert System

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Medical alert systems, fall monitor, medical-emergency-response-system (MERS), or personal-emergency-response-system (PERS.) These systems provide seniors with a tool for independent living, as well as peace of mind for their loved ones.

With so many medical alert systems available, selecting the right one can be an overwhelming experience. Individuals should match their choice to their needs for a tailored solution that provides the care they need in case of an emergency.

A basic unit featuring a panic button linked to an emergency services call center is a favorite, low-budget choice. However, seniors suffering from poor health may require advanced systems that monitor blood pressure and heart rate.

In the case of a fall where the senior is left unconscious, the device detects a surge in vital signs and automatically notifies the emergency services.

Here is everything you need to consider before you settle on the medical alert system that right for you.

Step 1 – What Are Your Requirements?

Medical alert systems have a range of functionality which includes the following;

•    Panic buttons to call for help.

•    Fall detection and prevention.

•    Biofunction monitoring.

•    Activity monitoring.

•    Daily updates and check-in services.

•    Exercise and fitness tracking.

•    Home security monitoring.

•    Fire alarms and smoke detection.

Depending on your situation, you may require one or all of the above services.

Step 2 – Selecting Your Ideal Device

Selecting the alert device also has specific requirements. Wearable devices come in different formats. Some units connect to chains worn around the neck or a smartwatch for the wrist. Your choice depends on personal preference.

A waterproof device for the shower or bathtub is also an important feature to consider. If you fall in the tub, your device needs a water-resistant capability to ensure it calls for help, instead of malfunctioning.

Connectivity and range are also critical factors for your device. Most units connect to a base device installed somewhere in the home. If you have a large house, you need to ensure that the signal extends to every room, as well as outside.

Some devices work via 4G networks, allowing the wearer to stay protected on trips to the grocery store or their local social club. Check the battery life of the model and ensure it offers quick charging, some units provide wireless charging to enable recharge while you’re wearing the device.

Step 3 – Monitoring and Response Times

Check with the service provider for average response times. They should be in seconds, not minutes. Choose a company that offers in-house monitoring and response. Companies that outsource this responsibility to contractors may cost you valuable seconds in an emergency scenario.

Call routing is also an essential factor to consider. Check with the service provider to see if they directly route the signal to the relevant emergency services. In the case of a fire, do they directly route the call to the fire department?

Step 4 – Costs and Fees

Review the pricing plan for hidden costs before you sign up with your service provider. Check for additional expenses on devices, shipping, activation, and installation, as well as the replacement and repair of the equipment or base unit.

Review the pricing plan and try to avoid signing service contracts. Look for a month-to-month service that you can cancel at any time due to vacation or hospitalization. Ask about discounts and specials on service plans, installation, and equipment.

Step 5 – Check Reviews

Look online for peer reviews of the system you are interested in purchasing. Your prospective product should have excellent service reviews on social media and review websites. Check these medical alert system reviews to make an informed purchase decision.

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