11 Things to Know About Medical Alert Systems
11 Things to Know About Medical Alert Systems
Babyboomers.com Staff

If you're like most people, when you think of medical alert systems, the first thing that comes to mind is elderly people with health problems. And while medical alert systems are great for senior citizens, there are several other reasons you might want to invest in one.

When you're living on your own, it's important to have a way to get help if something happens. Medical alert systems can provide peace of mind for people with health conditions or those worried about becoming incapacitated.

If you are considering a medical alert system for yourself or your senior elderly one, here are eleven things you need to know.

1. Teach Your Elderly Loved Ones How to Use the Systems

If you have elderly parents, relatives, or friends thinking about getting a medical alert system, it might be wise to sit down with them and show them how the system works.

With the medical alert systems for seniors, your loved ones will know what to do if they ever need help quickly. The last thing you want is an emergency to catch your family member off guard.

2. The Personal

Medical alert systems can be worn around the wrist or ankle. They also come in two pieces: a base unit and a button to wear with you wherever you go.

When you need help, simply press the button, and the base unit immediately calls up to four of your emergency contacts. You can then speak with the person you've called and let them know your situation. They will see where you're calling from and speak with you directly through the base unit's speakerphone.

3. The Cost

The price for a medical alert system varies depending on what you want. For example, many systems are free for the first month and then cost about $30 per month after that. To find out what kind of contract or terms are available to you, talk with a representative from the company before signing anything.

4. The Quality

When choosing a medical alert system, make sure you choose something trusted and reliable. Some have a lot of great features and are nationally recognized brands.

Here's what might be the most important feature: most come with a one-year or more guarantee with 100% satisfaction assurance. If you try it out for a year and don't like it, you can get all your money back.

5. The Learning Curve

One thing you probably don't want is to have someone sent over right away if you accidentally set off your alarm. That's because medical alert systems are just that - systems designed to get help when necessary but not cause a disturbance for no reason.

However, your contacts will know that your button was pushed, so if a few minutes go by and you don't answer their calls, they'll call for help. If you have vision problems or hearing loss, pressing the button can be difficult. It is usually possible to get an alert device activated from a distance. This is especially useful when you're in the shower.

6. The Inclusions in the Package

When you buy a medical alert system, it usually comes with a base unit and one or two buttons. Most companies also include at least four contacts and the installation of the equipment by a professional company representative who will demonstrate how to use your system. You can choose from either a landline-activated device (with a regular telephone line) or a cellular device (with a cell phone account).

7. The Quality of the Contact

When you purchase your medical alert system, be sure that you know exactly what each company does and does not cover when it comes to contacting your contacts. Some companies might make multiple calls before an ambulance is dispatched, for example, while others will send help immediately.

Also, some companies might charge you extra if they have to take an ambulance out of service to bring you in. Make sure the company is clear about how it handles any emergency so that there are no misunderstandings.

8. The Company's Reputation

Choosing a medical alert system involves choosing a company that makes the equipment and handles all your needs when you subscribe. You can ask friends or family members to recommend their favorite companies so that you know which ones are well-trusted in the community.

9. The Features and Benefits

A medical alert system can make all the difference when it comes to your safety and well-being. Make sure you know what kind of equipment is included, how much it costs per month, and whether or not you want a company watching out for your best interests. You can always go for one that offers an impartial representative available 24/7.

Likewise, be sure that your system will come with at least four contacts and plenty of other bells and whistles such as a speakerphone, medication reminder alerts for seniors, waterproof units in case you need to activate help while in the shower or bathtub, and more.

10. Always Read Reviews Before Buying the Alert Systems

When considering which medical alert system is best for you, be sure to read reviews online to know what others think of the company. This will help you determine if this is a reputable firm with good customer service or one that doesn't deliver on its promises.

Read through the product description and customer reviews to better understand what the company is promising and whether or not it delivers on its promises. If most of the reviews are negative, you need to reconsider your choices hastily.

11. Be Sure to Maximize Your Coverage

Although it's your medical alert system, you shouldn't have to pay for service charges when there's nothing wrong with the equipment. If your phone line goes out or if there's a glitch in your cellular coverage in the middle of an emergency, you shouldn't be charged for a call that didn't go through.

Be sure to read the fine print when you are considering which company is right for you so that there are no surprises when your bill comes at the end of the month.


Medical alert systems can assist your elderly loved ones to stay independent and give them peace of mind knowing that help is only a button press away. It's important to consider all the options available, make sure you understand all of your options for coverage, and then choose a system that offers everything you want at a price you can afford.

With patience and determination, your loved one is sure to find the right system for their needs.

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