The Six Things You Need To Do First
- Think about the level of service that you or your loved one will need. Will you need optional services like activity detection or a second button for a spouse? See our video or written article on How Typical Medical Monitoring Systems Work.
- Decide if you require someone to install the system for you. It’s a very simple installation. See our video or written article here. Try not to limit your list of medical alert system providers to only those who provide installation services, as you’ll find most do not. If you can’t perform the installation due to distance from your loved one or a physical handicap you may have, then try to get a neighbor, friend, or young adult to help out. It will broaden your choices and save you money.
- Review our Provider Comparison information here. It provides a side-by-side chart of what are the most important items to consider when buying a system. Remember that you are buying a service, and not simply a product. The medical monitoring equipment is there to allow the process to work. If you have a difficult time getting the information you want before you’re a customer, imagine what it may be like once you actually are a customer.
- Prepare a list of ailments, handicaps, medications, allergies, primary doctors and specialists, etc. that you want the medical team who arrives at you or your loved one’s home to have and give it to your medical alert monitoring company. Keep a detailed, but simple list on-site for these first responders as well, and tell your medical alert monitoring company where it’s located (for example, it’s taped in a ZipLock bag inside the medicine cabinet or behind the master bedroom door). Keep it up to date and list a date showing when it was last updated.
- You need to provide a call list of who to notify if an emergency occurs. Everyone on the list should have a key to the home, burglar alarm codes to turn the system off, and they should know where the list of medical information is kept. People that can be there first should be higher-up the list (maybe a neighbor or sibling that lives close by). If you’re the only contact on the list and leave town, let the monitoring company know so they can pass that information on, as needed.
- It can be helpful and very practical to simply put a key lockbox on the doorknob to the home. It may be best to put it on a side door. You can then tell your medical alert monitoring company where the key lockbox is located and the code to it. If there’s room, be sure to put a code that will disarm any burglar alarm system in with the key, if applicable. If there’s no room, then give it to your medical alert monitoring company, as a siren screaming through the home will make it very difficult for the first response team. Also, if you or your loved one keeps a storm door locked, then it may not be possible for someone to get access to the lockbox, or the door to unlock it. Try to choose a door that does not have a lockable screen or storm glass.
It’s a good idea for any home to have an escape plan established in case of a fire, a procedure in the event of a home invasion, or safe place in the home in case of a tornado. Plan for these unlikely, but traumatic events now, before they occur, and write the procedures down. A good place to put them would be near the medical information obtained above. That way, they can be reviewed, by you or your loved one on a regular basis.