Fall Alert Your Guide to Medical Alerts

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!

What is Fall Detection?

by admin on January 28, 2013

Fall detection is an add-on feature that some medical alert companies offer. The difference between fall detection and a standard medical alert system is that fall detection is designed to activate on its own based on a seniors movement. If a senior has a fall the system automatically alerts their monitoring center. Sometimes the system might activate when a senior hasn’t fallen but was just laying down, bending over, or had dropped the button. It’s true, these fall detection systems lead to a higher rate of false alarms (which can be frustrating for some seniors). Most seniors do better with a standard medical alert system. With these standard systems, they will have to press the button in order to get help. But this prevents lots of false alarms from happening and still protects seniors in the vast majority of situations.

I recommend fall detection primarily for seniors who have a medical condition that will prevent them from pressing a button during an emergency. Maybe they have a history of strokes or fainting. Most seniors should consider sticking to a standard medical alert. These are better for their long term success because they are easier to use and understand as they age!

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!

The winter months are often the hardest for seniors using medical alert systems. Some seniors feel stiffer when it is cold out, and most have a tough time with ice and snow on the ground. If your mother has trouble walking or has balance issues, now is a perfect time to get a fall alert installed in her home. Aging seniors are much more susceptible to falls during harsh winter months. A good medical alert device will protect her while she is outside in her yard or garden as well. So if she were to have a bad fall while going out to her mailbox, all she’s have to do is press her fall alert button and help will be on its way! Her fall alert company will even notify you or other family members after dispatching the paramedics. A medical alert is a good way to keep mom safe when you or your siblings can’t be there. As always, there is no time like the present to get mom started on a dependable alert program!

Is fall detection good for all seniors?

by admin on December 10, 2012

Fall detection is a really neat step in the right direction for protecting seniors. Someday when the technology is perfected, this feature will be a part of every standard medical alert system. In the meantime, while it may be tempting to sign your mom up for the “very best” and spend a lot more on her medical alert service, in most cases fall detection is not necessary and in some cases it can be very counterproductive to mom’s long-term success. It just is not for all seniors! As you can imagine these devices that predict falls can’t get it right every time. Often, things like bending over or laying down can activate the medical alert! Having a button that keeps alerting by itself or having the paramedics show up at mom’s home without her pressing the button can certainly prove to be frustrating for her. So I only recommend these types of devices for seniors who have a specific type of medical condition. Maybe mom has a history of fainting or a history of strokes that makes you think she has a higher chance of having an emergency where she is not able to press the button. For long-term protection, most seniors do better with a standard medical alert – where they have to press the button to get help. These systems are easier to use and understand, and have fewer false alarms! So consider keeping mom’s medical alert protection simple, user-friendly, and affordable! I think you’ll be glad that you did…

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!

Under no circumstance do I recommend mobile fall alert devices to be used instead of a standard medical alert in your home. I have heard of too many seniors who switch back to a standard medical alert because they learned the hard way that the cell signal that their mobile device uses is much less reliable than a standard phone line. But some families want to protect their parents even when they are outside the home, out in public. Mobile fall alert devices certainly are a reasonable solution, but many seniors do just as well with a cell phone. These mobile devices tend to be about the size of a cell phone, and the GPS inside them is actually no different from the GPS inside of a cell phone. In fact, because the GPS in mobile devices only can locate within 100 yards of an individual many agencies will not dispatch to a GPS signal alone. So your parent would have to be able to speak to the operator to let them know what is going on and where they are (exactly the same as using the speed dial in a cell phone). The main advantage to a cell phone is that it provides flexibility in a non-emergency situation. What if your mom just needs you or your brother called? The added benefit of a cell phone is that it is a cell phone! While many seniors want to be protected while they are out and about, there will be other people around if they were to experience a fall. Many seniors only use a fall alert inside their home for when they are alone for prolonged periods of time.

Using a Cable Phone or Standard Land Line

by admin on November 9, 2012

Often seniors are surprised to hear that what type of phone service they use in their home will effect their medical alert service. I always recommend a standard land line for seniors using a medical alert at home. The medical alert uses your home telephone service to connect you with an operator during an emergency, and standard land lines are the most reliable type of phone service that you can choose. They work during a power outage and they aren’t subject to random cable outages. If the power goes out in your home and you have a cable phone, the phone will be down too. This is because your phone works through the cable modem, which is directly ties into your electricity. Beyond that, sometimes your cable service in the area will be down. This is just not something you can plan for ever, and, therefore, it is not ideal for use with a medical alert. Of course, many seniors save money by getting their phone service through a cable provider, and most medical alert equipment does work with this type of phone service. But it is so very important to understand the limitations of a cable service. If you regularly have electrical or cable outages in your area, you should absolutely look into installing a standard land line in your home. You are taking an important step by getting a medical alert in your home, so consider going further to make sure your home phone and medical alert are working at all times.

I am aware of a growing number of seniors that are ditching their old home telephone service to just use their cell phone. They figure that the cell phone will work both while they are out and about and while they are at home, and they simply want to save some money each month as well. This is all fine and good except if these seniors decide to protect themselves with fall alert systems in their home, they will have to reinstate their home telephone service. This is because all standard home medical alert services require a home telephone and will not work with cell phones. Cell phone signals are often unreliable (especially in people’s homes) and should not be relied on for this type of emergency help service. For my personal purposes a cell phone is fine. When I am not getting a good signal at home I simply walk outside and talk there. But you would not be able to do that in an emergency situation! There are even some home telephone services now that are through cell signals. This is a very different type of phone connection, with the same issues that a cell phone has… So it is both not recommended for use with fall alert systems, and no companies currently offer equipment that is compatible with that type of service. So if mom or dad is considering getting rid of their phone service to save some money and considering a medical alert in their home, plan ahead! They need to keep that phone to have a fall alert in their home!