Fall Alert Your Guide to Medical Alerts

medical alert systems

Lately, I hear a lot about seniors wanting or getting mobile medical alert systems so that they can be protected anywhere they go. I love hearing about seniors who are proactive about their safety and wellness. Your mom may have become interested in one because a lot of mom’s friends are getting the mobile devices now. Often times though, getting a mobile medical alert might not be exactly what mom needs for her situation, so it’s best to understand how these devices work before ordering them. Now, there are two main details that are important to know. These are details that a medical alert systems salesperson might not tell you up front. First off, mobile medical alert systems are not intended for use within your home. These devices work off of a cell signal. Much like a cell phone used in your home, these mobile devices can be unreliable. Maybe they work in one room and not the other or you could even just have bad reception on a given day. It is best to use a standard, primary medical alert within mom’s home. That is going to be the most bulletproof way for mom to reliably get help during an emergency in her home! Beyond that, it is important to know that mobile devices don’t work everywhere outside of the home either. There are limitations! Your mom’s mobile medical alert works off a cell signal that is associated with one of the major cell phone providers (Sprint, Verizon, AT&T). Depending on the cell service that the mobile medical alert works through and their coverage in your area, your mom may not have reliable coverage outside of the home. It’s best to ask what cell provider the mobile signal is through and understand their coverage in your area before ever ordering! Assuming that the mobile device gets good coverage in your mom’s area, it is fine for her to use one. But I’d recommend only using it as a secondary (outside the home) device. She still needs a primary medical alert to get reliable coverage inside her home or apartment!

Are fall alert systems only for senior citizens?

by admin on February 21, 2013

While commonly used by seniors, fall alert systems can be used by anyone! I’ve heard of lots of people in their 40′s or 50′s and even teenagers who use medical alert systems. It is not a question of your age, it is about the need. Many adults use it because they are at a high risk of a heart attack or stroke, or have a medical condition that necessitates it. Families with sons or daughters who are disabled often use fall alert systems if a situation arises where disabled child is alone regularly. So if you are not a senior but are looking into a good fall alert service, don’t feel out of place! These medical alert companies are familiar with situations like yours! The same rules apply that apply to seniors apply to younger people looking into a medical alert as well. Talk to any company you are interested in to get a good idea of their service and think about whether it is the best service for your situation! The biggest difference that you’ll find comes down to customer service, so make sure you are choosing a good one!

Recently, seniors across the country have been plagued by unwanted robocalls that are selling one specific company’s medical alert systems. While annoying sales calls have long been an unfortunate part of the medical alert industry, this has reached another level. Many seniors have received up to 30 sales calls from the same company, and they tend to continue calling even after being told never to call back. Lots of seniors have become very frustrated, annoyed, and angry as a result. In this type of situation, what is the best response to help make sure that this company no longer calls you and, in the long-term, stops bothering seniors?

First off, don’t hang up yet! Ask for information: Who is calling? What is the name of this medical alert company? What is their website? What is the name of the person you are speaking to? Where are they calling from? Write down the caller id that this call came from. Any and all information you can gather will help stop these robocalls. Next, ask the representative on the line to please put you on their Do Not Call List. All call centers have one, and the representative should be happy to do that for you. (For better or worse) Being polite will increase your chances of not being called ever again. Next, go to the company’s website and call the phone number listed there. Whether you reach a live person or a voice mail, please express your concern over these calls being made to vulnerable seniors everywhere! Next, you can file a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission if you see fit. Their website is: https://esupport.fcc.gov/ccmsforms/form1088.action?form_type=1088B

Taking action on this will help protect seniors throughout the country! There are a lot of great medical alert systems companies out there who treat seniors with the respect that they deserve. Don’t let one bad egg ruin your opinion about this entire industry!

When you order one of these fall alert devices, you’ll want to consider whether you have someone around and available who can help you plug in this device. Medical alert systems are very easy to plug, and most seniors are able to do it themselves! It simply plugs into a phone jack and an electrical outlet and you are done. But lots of seniors out there have heavy furniture in the way of their outlets or have limited mobility. And those with these obstacles should consider whether a family member or a neighbor might be able to help with this set up. Some companies offer to send a representative out in order to plug everything in. But this involves paying up to $100 for that installation and you’d have to bother with scheduling an appointment. For most seniors, simply ordering one of these fall alert devices from a good company that will ship their system out to you with no installation, activation, or shipping charges works best. That way you can set your medical alert systems up at your convenience and save up to $100 along the way! What if your daughter is able to help, but she’s not that technical of a person? Don’t worry! It really is that easy. And if she needs help, any good medical alert company will be able to walk her through that set up over the phone!

Medical alert systems as a christmas present

by admin on November 28, 2012

During the holidays it can be sometimes be tempting to get mom one of these medical alert systems and bring it to her as a gift without ever discussing it with her. You know that your mother needs one so you might as well just go for it, right? Wrong! It is so very important to talk to your mother about having a medical alert before just springing one on her. Your mom will be the one who is wearing the help button at all times. So if she doesn’t want the service, she can simply take the button off and leave it on a counter. If she is not on board with the plan, its just not going to do her much good! So talk to mom. Make sure she understands that having medical alert systems in her home is about keeping her independence, not taking it away! Both you and her want her to live a healthy, happy life in her home for many years to come. So your goal is the same! All I am saying, is talk to mom about her Christmas gift before ever ordering it! It’ll save you the time and effort of returning it if she is completely against the idea. And the simple act involving mom in the decision will automatically make her that much more open to it!

Dad doesn’t want medical alert systems

by admin on October 11, 2012

It is a worst case scenario of sorts when dad is opposed to the one thing that could really help make sure that he is safe in his current living situation. Often families feel backed against a wall. Their dad would like to stay at home, and that’s also where they’d like him to be – but he is completely opposed to wearing one of these medical alert systems help buttons. To him a help button is a symbol of him losing his independence, but the reality of the situation is it is about him keeping his independence for many years to come and continuing to live in the home that he loves. So how do you help dad accept the idea of medical alert systems? I’d recommend starting by ordering some literature for you and him to look over together. He should understand that he means a lot to you and you want him around for many years to come. Medical alert systems help seniors live longer by allowing them to get help quickly during an emergency and therefore recover quicker after an emergency! Rather than developing ongoing health issues from being stuck on the floor for hours, he will be on his way back to healthy sooner! Talk to him about how this is a preventative measure. It is the safest way for him to continue to live at home alone! And, most importantly, remind him and yourself that you have a common goal! Both of you want him to be happy, healthy, and independent in the house he loves. Taking your father’s concerns seriously and including him in the discussion about these medical alert systems is the best way to win him over. If you spring this type of service on him, he may simply refuse to wear the help button and it will do him no good! So make sure you talk to your father! Share your concerns and find a mutual solution…

Different medical alert companies quote you the time that it will take to get you help using their system. It makes sense that when someone signs up for a service, they want to be able to quantify the service they are getting. So it makes sense to ask, but no company can tell you exactly how long it will take. There are two parts to getting help. How quickly will their medical alert systems connect you with an operator? How long does it take for the paramedics to get to your house. No medical alert representative will be able to tell you exactly how long it will take from pressing that help button to the paramedics showing up at your house. In fact they won’t be able to even tell you how long it would take within a margin of 10 minutes. But what they can tell you is how long it will take to get an operator over the line when you press that button. Most medical alert systems will get you an operator within 20 to 30 seconds. Most of this equipment works very similarly, so while one company tells you 15 seconds and another quotes you 50 seconds – often the bigger difference is between a conservative estimate and a generous one. So you can ask all you want exactly how long it will take for help to arrive, but no that no company can accurately or honestly give you that information – only how quickly they can connect you with an operator!

In this day and age it is so easy to just open up your internet browser, find a product you like, and place your order online. It can be quick, easy, and painless process. But when you are looking at medical alert systems online, it’s best not to make any rash decisions. You are signing up for a service, not just a product. So you will want to make sure that the company that you choose delivers a reliable, customer-service oriented service! It is best to check out reviews of medical alert systems online, visit a few different companies’ websites and make calls. It can be hard to tell who is the best medical alert out there, but if you really understand a service before ordering, you stand a much better chance of choosing wisely :) … No matter what service you choose, make sure they allow you to cancel at anytime. A senior’s situation can change so very quickly so it is best to have this flexibility. Long story short, don’t just go with the first company you find! There are lots of medical alert systems available out there, and a lot of different options for a good service. Do your research before pressing that “order” button!

Seeing how different medical alert systems companies respond to the question of response time is very interesting to me. Many companies give an exact time: “It takes 25 seconds to get an operator on the line” – others give a range “20 – 40 seconds.” The reality is that the response time for their medical alert systems is going to depend on your phone service. Some types of phone services connect quicker than others, and some must actually connect slower in order to establish a reliable connection. My main recommendation to seniors looking into these systems is to not worry so heavily about response time. Once company may tell you that is takes 20 seconds while another tells you 40 seconds. This could simply be the difference between an optimistic estimate and a conservative estimate. These two companies may even provide the same type of equipment! The important thing to consider is the quality of the service (the quality of monitoring and customer service). If a company tells you that their system connects you to an operator in less than 20 seconds, you should ask more questions of them. In my experience, that quick of a response is unlikely and potentially misleading.

With how common medical alert systems are in this day and age, it always surprises me when a senior is opposed to the idea. More and more of your mother’s friends are using medical alert systems each year, and that means she will become more comfortable with the idea herself. I think the biggest hangup with some seniors, is the concept of needing help. Seniors who are able to take care of themselves without help, sometimes assume that things will always be that way. But a fall or emergency can happen at any time, leaving them unprepared when they need help the most. So it’s important for your mother to know that these medical alert systems are not about taking away her independence. They are about keeping independence for as long as possible and staying in the home that she loves for as long as possible. It is about her helping herself – simply by realizing that she is getting older and may need help at some point along the way, she’ll empower herself to live a longer, healthier life by being prepared during an emergency!