What to Look for When Buying a Medical Alert System

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Updated: June 8, 2022


medical alert costs & reviews

Do you know what to look for when you are buying a medical alert device?

It is estimated that approximately 75% of all medical alert monitoring systems are purchased by adult children for their aging parents.  If you fall into this category, it follows you have likely never purchased a medical alert system before.  With so many choices available, how do you know which is right for your loved one’s needs? Besides reading our Life Alert reviews,  look below for some things to look for when considering the purchase of a medical alert system.

1)      Does the system have a two-way voice feature?  This is an absolute must, as it will allow your loved one to speak to the medical alert system’s operators, hands free.  They are then be able to communicate their needs, and the operator can help to keep your loved one reassured and calm during their emergency.

2)      Does the system feature a waterproof call button?  This is essential so that your loved one can wear the button in the shower or bathtub; two places seniors are likely to slip and fall.

3)      Does the main console contain a call button?  This is a reassuring feature to have in the event your loved one misplaces the button they usually wear.  It also provides an easy way for you or a caregiver to get help if you’re with your loved one during  an emergency.

4)      Do you want the system to have a medication reminder?  Some systems can be programmed to remind your loved one to take their medication at certain times during the day.  Please note that this only serves as a reminder, and is not capable of providing specific medication or dosage information.

5)      Do you want the medical alert system to have activity monitoring?  This feature allows you to keep tabs on your loved from a distance.  The simple version will prompt your loved one to press a button on the system console every 12 hours or so to verify they are OK.  If they fail to do so, the monitoring company will be alerted.  A more complex system involves using motion detectors and door contacts to track your loved one’s movement in their home throughout the day by be sure they are moving around.

6)      What does the system need to function properly?  You will definitely want to be sure that the main console can run on a battery backup in case of a power outage.  Also, be certain to ask how long batteries will typically last in both the console and the wearable call button, as well as how your loved one will be alerted to the fact that the batteries are running low.

7)      Does the system have a fall detection option?  A fall detection sensor is becoming a common add-on feature with most medical alert devices.  Be sure this option is available to you in case you need it.

These are just some of the basic features to look for in a medical alert system.  Please look around our site for more detailed information, including our buyer’s guide.