Medical alert monitoring systems come in three basic forms. The first, and most popular, are the two-way voice systems. They are the systems that you typically think of when considering a medical alert system – think of Life Alert systems.
The second are simple medical alert buttons that when pressed, send a medical alarm to a central monitoring station. They do not have two-way voice and are typically found on security systems.
The third is a non-monitored system that can dial a certain amount of telephone numbers (usually 3 or 4) and announce a pre-recorded message. Since these systems do not send a signal to a central monitoring station, we call them “non-monitored.” Instead, they will dial your home, your loved one’s neighbor, or your work, looking for an answer. If it gets one, it will make its announcement. It may say something like: “There’s a medical emergency at 1234 Anywhere Street, please come immediately!”
There is only one real advantage to a non-monitored medical alert system and that is that you do not have to pay a monthly fee to a monitoring company. That may seem like a large advantage at first, but as you will see, you will be giving-up some vital services that just can’t be matched with these non-monitored systems.
Why Monitored Medical Alert Systems Are Best
- When your system is professionally monitored, you save critical time that may be needed to save your loved one. Monitored systems dial only one number and are typically connected to a dispatcher within approximately 30 seconds. This means that the proper help can be contacted and in route very quickly.
- Monitored systems are better because they have built-in ways of testing themselves and can send signals to the monitoring station if these tests fail.
- You don’t have to remember to update the non-monitored medical alert system’s voice dialer or call list with new information. If a number has changed, has been disconnected, or you want to add critical life-saving information to the voice announcement, you’ll need to make these changes immediately.
- You don’t run the risk of no one answering their phone and also trying to have the phone number to the proper emergency medical service on hand. You can’t simply dial 911. It may not be the right one!
- Medical alert monitoring companies have the professional staff that know what information to relay to the first responders and keep vital medical information for your loved one in their databases.
As you can see, there are so many advantages, that you really aren’t saving much of anything with a non-monitored system. Since time is the most critical factor in an emergency medical situation, time savings is clearly what’s given up with a non-monitored medical alert system.