Fall Alert Your Guide to Medical Alerts

While many people understand how serious choosing the right fall alert is, for some it is a product like any other product. Some people casually select the first company that they encounter online. Believe me, as a spontaneous person I really understand where you are coming from, but here is why it is good to spend a little more time on your medical alert search: 1. The terms of the first medical alert company that you encounter may be notably different than most other companies. There are companies out there that lock you into a three year contract. They justify it as being “like a mobile phone plan,” but it turns out that very few other companies handle their service that way. You should also keep an eye out for other terms, like cancellation policies and price guarantees. You also may notice a big difference in price. The difference between a $34.95 per month plan and a $29.95 per month plan can seem small. But that is a savings of $60.00 per year, and many seniors use this system for 5 to 10 years even. If you are a senior on a budget, this can add up very quickly. It is important to get into the nitty-gritty details for a given plan and understand how they are different from other companies before you sign up for a service. And #2: The quality of customer service can differ radically between companies. There are a number of good, caring companies out there, and then there are those that, well, you should avoid. Ideally, you will simply plug in the system and never have billing or technical problems along the way. For many seniors out there, this is exactly how it works. But for others, technical or service issues can be a big deal if you don’t have a company that is set on really taking care of their customers. This type of service is incredibly vital to many seniors’ lives. You might find it shocking, but you will find a big difference in the quality of customer service from company to company. So try your best to make sure you go with a company that cares.

Be involved in your mom’s medical alert search!

by admin on September 23, 2013

For many families, searching for an emergency service like this for mom is a family endeavor. Often the kids will share the responsibility of calling different medical alert companies, one will place the order, and they will make a plan to share the future bills. While this is nice, not every family is so involved. You know your mom best. You know her situation and you know whether she’s able to navigate the task of finding and ordering a great service. Many seniors are fully capable of getting information, ordering with a good, reliable company, and even setting up their own system. But I’m always surprised when I hear of families whose mother needed help, but had to do the online shopping all by herself. The medical alert market is an incredibly tricky one to navigate. There are a lot of good companies out there, and then there are those who prey on seniors with aggressive, unfair sales tactics. Many of these companies call you back again and again whether you asked them to follow up or not. I’ve heard of situations where a company calls, and the senior, who has decided on a company but not ordered, asks if the caller if from the company that they had liked. Rather than being honest, the aggressive salesperson says “yes, that’s us” and takes the order. If your mom is not used to shopping online, or has never encountered aggressive sales techniques like this, it may be a smart idea for you or one of your siblings to help her out. Again, there are a lot of good companies out there, and they are not that hard to find. But on the flip side, there are a number of aggressive companies to avoid. Trust me, you’ll know what I mean after you make a few calls!

Fads in fall alert devices

by admin on August 15, 2013

I’ve been writing about fall alert devices for a number of years now, and it’s been interesting to me to be able to have this unique view of this industry. I’ve seen a lot of medical alert fads come and go now. With so much change in the industry, one thing remains the same: These devices are so important for aging seniors who want to continue living independently.

When I first started, people looking into fall alert devices couldn’t get enough of the wall button. What tends to make a fad just a fad rather than a lasting development in medical alerts, is reliability. These wall buttons made seniors feel safe and secure even without them wearing their necklace or wrist band, and that proved to be a problem. There was no guarantee that mom would fall within reach of a wall button, so the wall button’s presence actually prevented the proper use of the medical alert. Similarly, a couple years back fall detection became the thing that certain companies really pushed. Eventually, consumers began to understand that fall detection could lead to many false alarms and a good amount of frustration. Fall detection was actually getting in the way of the intended long-term use of a medical alert. Seniors could become frustrated from the false alarms and even become scared of wearing their button! While both fall detection and wall buttons still exist, they both have proved to be useful in certain situations, but harmful in others. The current fad in fall alert devices is GPS mobile devices. While GPS devices are a nice way to help cover mom or dad outside of their home, they just don’t work as reliably as you’d need inside a home. Many seniors are using GPS devices as their only medical alert system right now. And many are learning the hard way why using GPS mobile devices instead of a standard in-home medical alert is just a fad.

The most important thing I can tell you, is that medical alerts have been around for a long time! Ignoring the fads and choosing standard reliable fall alert devices is easily your best bet for long-term success!

During an extra hot summer, seniors, small children, and people with certain conditions should be extra careful. The summer heat doesn’t just make you sweat or give you a sunburn, it can also be a serious health risk if you don’t take it seriously. As you know, using fall alert system in your home can be a great way to get help quickly when you have an emergency. Ideally though, you’d prefer to prevent potential emergencies by taking the appropriate precautions. So during the summer, here are a few easy steps for seniors with medical alerts: 1. Drink lots of fluids! Of course, during the heat it is important to be properly hydrated. Avoid drinking alcohol or caffeinated beverages because they can dehydrate your body! This step may seem like a no-brainer, but did you know that many aging seniors begin to lose their feeling of thirst? Your body could be in a greater need of water than you think. 2. Wear appropriate clothing and use sunscreen! Lightweight, light-colored, and loose-fitting clothing works the very best! Do you also own a good hat for keeping the sun off of you? Having a sunburn affects your ability to cool down and dehydrates you as well! So when possible, use lots of sunscreen! 3. Keep cool by staying indoors! If you don’t have A/C, you could take a couple hours out of your day to visit the grocery store, a mall, or the library. But the best way to stay cool, is to stay out of the sun altogether. Now, if you have one of these fall alert systems, don’t be afraid to use it. Even if you are just feeling dizzy or off, you can certainly press that button. Your fall alert system can be an effective way to get in touch with family, friends or neighbors to come check on you without expending a lot of energy!

Mobile medical alerts are an option for seniors who like to take road trips. In fact, aside from using a cell phone during an emergency, these mobile devices tend to be the only option. It is important to understand the limitations of these mobile GPS devices so that you have accurate expectations though. Using one of these devices is very similar to using a cell phone. You can actually program a cell phone’s speed dial to call 911 simply by pressing one button and the “talk” key. This tends to be an excellent alternative to mobile medical alert systems. GPS devices actually work off of a cell signal, provided by one of three major cell providers – so just like your cell phone, GPS devices DO NOT get coverage everywhere. Often, cell phones and GPS devices are not reliable options for getting help in isolated areas. When you are traveling by car, you may go miles at a time where you have no cell signal. If you are traveling the western half of the US, you could potentially drive for a hundred miles without a reliable signal. So it is important to understand, while GPS devices are an option – they are certainly not fail-proof. If you have serious health problems but still like to take road trips, consider traveling with a group or reconsider your travel plans altogether. Whether you plan on using your cell phone or a mobile medical alert to get help on the road, it is important to understand how these devices work!

Everyone knows that these fall alert devices are real life savers for seniors during emergencies or falls. But hopefully this sort of thing is just a single occurrence, at most happening once out of a full year of wearing that medical alert button. What people don’t often consider is what that button does for a senior during the rest of the year… Wearing fall alert devices allows seniors to have confidence that they’ll be able to get help during an emergency. Their life is no longer consumed with caution and worries. Once your mother or father starts using these fall alert devices, you might notice some big positive changes! Maybe its that mom feels comfortable venturing into the garage, or doing certain things for herself that she wouldn’t consider doing previously. Even if it is just a matter of your mother feeling more confident living alone in her home, that is well worth incorporating this type of system into her life. More importantly, when a fall or emergency happens she’ll be able to get help quickly and easily. Getting help fast means she’ll recover quicker without developing ongoing health problems. This empowers her to spend more time living in the home that she loves! It really is an ongoing positive cycle! So here’s looking forward to a longer life of living more confidently!

With all the potential pit-falls of using a medical alert with fall detection, it can be a very useful service for seniors in specific situations or with certain medical conditions. Let’s say that your loved one has a history of having strokes. During the stroke they would not be able to press a button to get help and, of course, they still need emergency crews at their house immediately! The fall detection would activate when your loved one hits the ground and help would be on the way shortly. There are a number of different possible situations where seniors would certain benefit by using fall detection, but it is important to note that fall detection is not for everyone. If your mom is incorporating a medical alert into her life simply because she is getting a little older, fall detection is not for her. To increase long-term use of this type of service, it is important to keep mom’s medical alert easy to use and understand. It is a fact that fall detection leads to more false alarms. This can be frustrating for many seniors and most of whom did not need an auto-alert type system to begin with. Those seniors may decide to cancel their service or not wear their button. If your mom doesn’t have a special situation that requires fall detection, she will do best with a button that she has to press. As long as she wears the button at all times, she’ll be able to get help if she ever has a fall or other emergency! And you’ll even save some money by going with a reliable primary medical alert!

Be proud of your medical alert button!

by admin on April 26, 2013

I don’t know if you have noticed, but more and more seniors are becoming comfortable with the idea of having a medical alert. And these are not just seniors who have had a fall or other emergency where they were unable to get help, these are seniors taking precautionary measures! That fact is so exciting to me. Let’s take a moment to celebrate that the stigma of wearing a medical alert button is going away. So many seniors wear their help button with such great pride. They tell all their friends about their medical alert service and about how they don’t have to worry about what would happen if they had an emergency while they were at home alone. It’s okay to admit that you might need a little help here and there, especially as you age. And it is so wonderful that you are taking steps towards protecting your health! Having a medical alert will allow you to stay in the home that you love longer and live a longer healthier life. So wear your medical alert necklace on the outside of your shirt! And tell all of your friends! Here’s to good health and happiness and to longer, more enjoyable golden years!

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!

How heavy is a medical alert button?

by admin on March 21, 2013

When you get your parents a medical alert for their home, there are a lot of different things to consider… You’d like your parents to wear this device at all times within their home – and you want them to do that for as long as they continue living in their home. With such a long-term goal in mind, it might not be surprising that the weight of a help button can effect the long-term use of a medical alert system. Most standard medical alert buttons are small and lightweight (many weigh less than an ounce). But some models aren’t that small. Some companies offer a button that has a speaker in the pendant. This can be useful for more tech-savvy seniors, but it is always important to consider the cons of such a button. Buttons with the speaker inside them are automatically heavier and larger. Some seniors might find it bothersome to wear that large of a button at all times, and that could result in them removing the button when they shouldn’t. Also, mobile medical alert devices, which are intended for use outside of a home but are sometimes mistakenly used as a primary home medical alert systems, are about the size of a cell phone. Carrying that button around all day sure could get tiresome. While I don’t recommend using a mobile medical alert in the home for a number of reasons, the weight of that button is the icing on the cake. It is important to think about the long-term usability of any medical alert before ordering for their parents. You want to have them around for a long time after all, and a medical alert is a great way to do that!