Frequently Asked Questions
- What Is A Medical Alert Device?
- How Does A Personal Emergency Response System Work?
- Who Should Wear A Personal Emergency And Medical Alert Device?
- What If A Fall Happens?
- Can’t I Just Use My Phone?
- How Much Does A Medical Alert System Cost?
- Does The Medical Alert Company I Am Choosing Have A Commitment To Constant Technology Change So My Device Is Upgraded With The Latest Software, IncreasingThe Life Span Of The Unit I Own?
A medical alert alarm system is designed to signal the presence of an emergency which requires urgent attention and summons emergency medical personnel. Another term for a medical alarm (alert) is Personal Emergency Response System.
An example scenario is for the active person who spends time out of their home, perhaps walking, biking, running or shopping. A PERS with GPS (GLOBAL POSITIONING SYSTEM) is ideal for active seniors. It features a built-in technology which enables you to send your location to first responders and request critical assistance during an emergency outside your home.
Personal Emergency Response Systems work as long as adequate cell coverage is available, so it is advisable to make sure the carrier is reliable and the equipment is certified by that carrier.
The operator will communicate with you directly through the device’s 2-way speaker. And after assessing your needs, the monitoring center sends EMS assistance. The ideal device company is LTE (long term evolution) connected and will not let the monitoring center hang up until EMS arrives at your location and clears the call with the 911 service. At that point, one or all of your registered contacts will also be informed. The operator will stay in contact with you until help arrives at your location.
Anybody who thinks they might need assistance in case of a medical emergency will benefit from a personal emergency alert button. A Personal Emergency Response System provides you access to emergency help wherever you are, provided the one you get does not require a land line so you can leave the house, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—so you and your loved ones can enjoy peace of mind in knowing that you’re never alone. A proactive approach to falls and mobility issues is far easier and safer than a reactive one.
It might be difficult for some to know what to consider when choosing a PERS. A MedEquip Alert button can call for help with the touch of a button. Some systems don’t require that step since some devices have built-in sensors that alert the monitoring station if a fall is detected. This is an important consideration in case the fall renders someone unconscious or unable to reach the device. Little is more important than peace of mind when caring for an elderly loved one—these systems make it easier than ever and provide an independence they might not have otherwise. One of the problems with a fall detection device is that the unit must be worn as a pendant and will send a signal if tilted 45 degrees or better; that’s what it’s supposed to do. This means that false alerts could be sent out to the monitoring center just by tilting a little too far to one side - of course if someone actually falls, this feature is very helpful.
It requires being able to unlock a phone with your password and dial 911. After a fall, if disoriented, using smartphone menus complicates what should be a simple process. YOU MAY BE IN A STATE OF PANIC AND YOU MIGHT NOT CONNECT.
The scenario of “Help I’ve fallen” is not exactly for everyone. Older people want to remain active but want the security and safety of knowing help is just a button push away. If you are an active adult and you want to continue to be mobile, the unit for you is with a monitoring connected LTE PERS device.
Most units can be worn as a pendant or clipped on to your belt or pocketbook. If you find yourself alone in a crisis situation then all you have to do is push the button to get connected to a monitoring center for help. Many medical alert companies are regional or local. Shopping for a PERS device is easier when you know service is available no matter where you are. If the system isn’t available nationwide or the connection is not LTE, then find another company.
Some companies hide their prices behind a lot of printed and confusing information that harbor hidden fees. Be careful who you choose. A lot of companies will give you the unit but tag you on expensive monthly fees trying to up sell you into taking more services at an additional cost for each service.
The following are examples of what other medical alert systems cost:
Monthly fees range from $49.95, which equates to $599.40 per year x 10 years = $5994.00 (lifetime cost of unit), to $89.85 or $1078.20 per year, totaling $10,782.00 over ten years. IF YOU ARE ON A FIXED INCOME A MEDICAL ALERT CAN COST A LOT OF MONEY.
Look for the true or real costs you will actually be paying. Here are some scenarios happening on real websites:
One company will advertise its most basic service, starting at just $29.95 per month. For service that includes fall detection technology it costs $44.95. Another company starts at $54.95. Also, if you want your contacts added that will cost you extra.
Some other companies’ subscriptions start at $37.95 per month. You can also add automatic fall detection to any subscription for $10.00 per month or $ 47.95 x 575.40 per year or $5,754.00 in 10 years……., again a lot of money, and extras. It would seem that your total cost will depend on any additional services you might require. This reality is annoying to unsuspecting consumers. Try to go find a company that includes it all for a low price.
Some companies will tell you their most basic landline service is the lowest in the industry; they are not. Some will tell you it’s less than $1 per day. Well, that still adds up to $29.70 and that’s without adding any additional services.
The morale of the story is really to understand what you are getting and what the cost of your medical alert system will be after you include all of the features you want.
Does the medical alert company I am choosing have a Commitment to constant changes in Technology so my device is upgraded with new software increasing the life span of the unit I own?
Technology changes at a rapid rate. It is important for companies to be able to keep up. It’s also essential that the PERS device you choose is able to upgrade its internal workings without having to purchase another one. There are very few if any (we only know of one) that can allow upgrades to the internal workings wirelessly similar to the way your cell phone is upgraded. All done without disruption of service. If these options are not available in a PERS device, we advise that you do not buy that brand. To date there is only one PERS device that is AT&T certified and LTE and that is MedEquip Alert.
Finally, if a system is not certified by a nationwide company like AT&T or another carrier and is not LTE, find another one.