Medical problems are widespread today, considering that the world is becoming more and more unpredictable. Strokes and heart attacks are just two dangerous medical conditions that plague the elderly consistently, which often end in grave situations. As a result, medical alert systems can be the difference between life and death. It’s important to ensure a child or a geriatric’s safety, if you are living with one, especially when you are not at home. It’s also important if you have a serious condition with life threatening, impromptu attacks. There are many decent models currently for sale, but here are the best ones that we have picked:
Table of Contents
- 1 Smart Caregiver Two Call Buttons & Wireless Caregiver Pager
- 2 SOS Emergency Panic Button HELP Dialer by ATS-TN.com
- 3 Logicmark 37920 Freedom Alert Emergency Wall Communicator
- 4 LogicMark 35911 Freedom AlertMedical Alert System
- 5 LifeLink Prodigy No Fee Medical Alert System
- 6 Vigilant 125dB Wearable Personal Alarm Emergency Alert System
- 7 Medical Alert System – No Monthly Charges
- 8 Freedom Talk Dect VI 2-Way Medical Alert System
- 9 Personal Assistance Voice Dialer II
- 10 LogicMark Guardian Alert 911
- 11 Medical Alert Systems Buying Guide
Smart Caregiver Two Call Buttons & Wireless Caregiver Pager
This one by Smart Caregiver places tenth on our list and is worth considering because it’s safe for all skin, compact, durable, and quick to use. During emergencies, all you need to do is push a call button (there are two), which the alert system does through the compatible pager, in order to call for help. It runs on 2 AA batteries and can respond to as far as 150 ft.
SOS Emergency Panic Button HELP Dialer by ATS-TN.com
Our ninth choice is this medical alert system by ATS-TN.com, which has proven to be different from many other over-publicized systems for sale today. Not only is the SOS HELP Dialer easy to use and won’t empty out your wallet, it’s effective and very safe. It usually places in many other medical alert system rankings due to its great effectiveness and safety. The panic buttons are easy to see and can call to a maximum of 3 telephone numbers through your mobile phone/landline, all while playing a customized help call. The dialer is safe because it does not contain BPA contaminated plastic, is waterproof, and doesn’t interfere with pacemakers. It can respond to as far as 100 ft.
Logicmark 37920 Freedom Alert Emergency Wall Communicator
This medical alert system can be installed on any wall and allows people to communicate for 5 hours. The two-way communication setup is particularly effective as it will call for help immediately, thus avoiding potentially tragic accidents, including death. What’s more is that the Logicmark 37920 is long lasting with its plastic structure, waterproof, and simple to use.
LogicMark 35911 Freedom AlertMedical Alert System
The Logicmark 35911 Alert System has already aided a multitude people as it is secure and dependable. Similar to the other alert systems on the list, the Logicmark 35911 is long lasting, convenient, simple to use, and can operate in all settings. There is only one fee (so you won’t be hit with a bunch of extraneous fees, like contracts, activation fees, or monthly fees) for a great device that allows users to get in touch with contacts that they designate beforehand, in addition to a 911 operator on call 24/7.
LifeLink Prodigy No Fee Medical Alert System
Next is LifeLink Prodigy’s alert system due to its portability and how it allows users to interact with their contacts. This alert system is simple to carry so that you can go on with your life without having to constantly worry about your safety. LifeLink’s emergency alert system is also resistant to water and regular wear and tear. In addition, users can rely on this system as it uses a cutting edge technology so that users are able to reach friends, family, or 911 emergency operators. It can respond to as far as 300 ft.
Vigilant 125dB Wearable Personal Alarm Emergency Alert System
This state of the art system that is one of the best around is designed specifically for senior citizens with its exceptional attributes. It is known for its high performance, reliability, and ease, such as with the large sized panic button. The only thing users need to do is to press the button just one time, releasing a 125 dB alarm that lasts 30 minutes. You can press the button again to discontinue the sound. It also emits a flashing red light that people can see from up to 20 yards away, letting people find you more quickly. You need to pay merely one cost up front so you can count on the fact that you won’t be stuck with fees or contracts.
Medical Alert System – No Monthly Charges
The Touch N’Talk is extremely low cost yet effective, making it one of the best alert systems of 2015. It can respond as far as a 600 ft. radius/1 million ft.2 The alert system has a Wear Talk call button that is comfortable, hardwearing, and waterproof, much like the console itself. It allows users to interact with at most 4 preselected numbers from family/friends & 911 (5 total). It even has an extended battery life and doesn’t come with any unexpected charges, like contracts or fees.
Freedom Talk Dect VI 2-Way Medical Alert System
Manufactured by ATS-TN.com, this alert system is a voice necklace that allows for a top quality communication system. Users have 5 call numbers: 911 & they can designate 4 family/friends. You don’t need to be afraid of any fees to make it work since you only need to pay once upfront. The Freedom Talk Dect Vi also works in a variety of locations, whether it is outside, inside, or in wet environments, like a bathroom, because it is water-resistant and quick to use. It can respond as far as a 600 ft. radius/1 million ft.2
Personal Assistance Voice Dialer II
The Personal Assistance Voice Dialer II includes a wrist watch, phone, and pendant that makes it among the most advanced in the market. It runs on batteries and you don’t need to pay any fees every month. The phone is sturdy and contains an intensified strobe light ringer, as well as a functioning speaker. Otherwise, the pendant and watch are water resistant and can respond over an area of 150 ft.
LogicMark Guardian Alert 911
The LogicMark Guardian is our top choice for 2015 because of its great performance without any fees and charges, especially if you have some money saved away to buy this. You can speak with 911 operators, and if you utilize the tool correctly, it will definitely aid in all your emergencies around your house. It responses up to 600 ft. using land lines and VoIP, and works at 900 MHZ.
Medical Alert Systems Buying Guide
How to Choose a Medical Alert System
Medical alert systems are extremely practical solutions when it comes to emergency situations and they are gaining more and more popularity as times goes by. You can easily communicate and contact the appropriate official this way as the lines are fast and effective. No matter what kind of emergency comes up, you can rest assured that you will get the right assistance promptly and effectively. Let’s dig them up a bit further and find out more details about why are they so awesome!
How Do Medical Alert Systems Work?
It is very simple, whenever an urgent situation occurs, all you need to do is press a specific button to send the signal from the base unit all the way to the monitoring center. Once that is done, an official should quickly contact you via an integrated speakerphone in order to confirm whether you really need assistance. If the answer is “yes”, you can expect him/her in your room anytime from that point. In case you are not able to speak you can tell some of your loved ones and/or your other friends or neighbors to use the alert system and call for help instead of you.
Do I Need a Medical Alert System?
You may end up thinking that this is something that only old people will need and that you are too young to even have this sort of need for yourself. But contrary to what you may think, the medical alert system can be used just as good by younger people as well, and they are not meant to be used by the old and/or disabled people only. That remains the primary focus of these systems but there are no restrictions when it comes to age or even the type of illness that you (may) have.
- Prolonged Illnesses – These diseases tend to strike older people in the first place but any age can be affected, especially with the modern ways of living today. And what is worse, the progress of these diseases is often very unpredictable, so you can end up glued to your bed anytime. And that is when a medical alert system comes very handy. Not to mention that it can even save your life (depending on the condition and its current state).
- Disabilities – It doesn’t even have to be a disease nor a life-threatening condition, but even if you any type of disability you should consider getting a medical alert system. Any chance of reducing the risk of yourself getting injured or even suffering a major damage to your body because of lack of assistance should be taken seriously. If you can’t speak, you can always make some of your closest ones use the alert system and call for help when it is needed.
Components of a Medical Alert System
A typical medical alert system consists of several standard parts – the base station, medical alert device, a call center, and one or more emergency center (that is filled people who will respond to your call). Now we will give out more details about each of these.
- The base station – This is the most important element in the entire medical alert system. It can be connected to a provider either by using the cellular or a landline system. The range is quite a big one (it is estimated to be 300-2000 feet on average), so you will be able to properly decide what is the best network for your own personal usage.
- Medical alert device – The medical alert device is connected to the base unit and it allows you to effectively transmit the signal for assistance between the station and the call center. Both of them need to be in a specific range in order to work properly (pretty much the same values as above). If the scope goes out of range, it will be tough to establish a working connection.
- The call center – This is “the second end” of the line that should have expert staff waiting and responding to your medical inquiries. Once the communication is established and once you tell them that you need help, they will be sending off the appropriate official(s) in a matter of minutes. Make sure to choose the proper call center with proper officials before you even start using your medical alert system.
- Emergency Contacts – This is the most critical aspect of the system, as this is the group of people that will come to assist you when you push the “help” button. You need these people to be knowledgeable and to have experience when dealing with issues like these. Obviously, as they are already a part of the team, they DO have the needed knowledge and experience, but you should aim for your service to be as good as possible.
Also, make sure that they are available as often as it is needed. If that is not the case, you can consider appointing a medical proxy and using them as your emergency officials. That way somebody else can call out the assistance if you are unable to do that on your own (if your speak is disabled, for example).
Why Use a Medical Alert System?
There are too many reasons to just list them out in a short sentence. You should always aim that you (or your loved ones) have prompt and quality assistance whenever it is needed and no matter how urgent the situation is. Having that in mind, we can classify the main reasons into several different categories.
Stay Safe – Although it will not fight off the problem on its own, it will certainly help out a lot by providing safety. Every second is important when you need help, especially when you are in a life-threatening condition. Let’s just take a relatively banal example like “falling”. According to the statistical reports provided by CDC themselves, nearly a half of the population older than 65 will end up falling. I believe I don’t need to go into specific details on how dangerous that could be and what kind of injuries could happen as a result of that, but imagine the worst scenario where you are not there to help him/her out and he/she is just left laying there on their own. That is exactly where the medical alert system is extremely helpful because experts will jump to the rescue in a matter of moments as soon as the “help” button is pressed. Of course, this is just one example – they prove to be even more significant when we talk about the more serious conditions such as the heart attack and/or a stroke.
In addition to their basic function, many of these systems also have some extra stuff like a detection system for carbon monoxide and smoke. This helps with raising the safety to a whole new level.
Maintain Independence & Save Money – It is very common for many people to have their (already old) parents and/or other relatives put in a nursing home or, at least, inside their own home as well. That is both understandable and acceptable but you should also take note that many of them still want to be in their own home and independent just like you. A medical alert system will give them that, as they will be able to send out signals for help whenever it is needed, and they will also get it as quickly as possible.
Another major thing to point out is that medical alert systems save up a lot of money as well. Your loved ones (or you, if you intend to buy one for yourself) will be at home and they will be able get help whenever they need it. The best of all is that you won’t have to throw away hundreds, or even thousands of dollars for nursing home services. While it may not be the same as if they were constantly monitored by the health officials, a medical alert system certainly offers everything that is needed to provide a maximum quality care.
Increase Emergency Response Times – Time is extremely precious when someone needs help, especially if the condition is dangerous and life-threatening. Picking up the phone and dialing the number could end up being too long. Instead of that, you can just buy a medical alert system where only a push of the single button will do the whole trick in a matter of seconds.
Response rates are also much higher in this case because, ideally, help is already on their way as soon as the button is pressed. And these milliseconds are extremely important, especially if the patient had a stroke or a heart attack. The quicker the response, the better the survival.
Be Aware of Medical Alert Scams – Yes, it’s sad, but there are scams when it comes to things like these as well. They know that many older people are gullible and that they fall for their tricks much easier than the younger audience, so they use that to their advantage as much as they can. They are thinking of new ways to get your credit card number or other personal info that they may find useful, and once that goes away it’s very hard to revert the damage. It is very common for them to use “automatic calls” where older people are offered to get free medical alert systems. The “only” thing they need is their personal information. It is easy to think rational and just tell to yourself that there is no such thing as a truly free service, but not everybody thinks like this. Another common method is to call random numbers and tell their “victims” that some of their closest ones have bought a medical alert system for them already and they just need some additional info to complete the service. Every year thousands of different people fall for this regularly.
Although being careful and having a critical mind will certainly help out the cause, sometimes that is not enough. That is why I recommend sticking to the following devices:
- Be alert. Whenever you get a suspicious phone call where you are offered prizes, various extra benefits, where they say that “you are a lucky winner”….and when you see that they are asking for your personal information either just end the call right away or (even better) contact the Federal Trade Commission and inform them of your latest experience.
- Take note that nothing is free in this world and everything comes with a certain price. If you are offered a free medical system in exchange for your personal info, you should immediately consider reporting the scam.
- A general rule is that you should avoid giving personal information to anyone over the phone. If you didn’t call the company to buy from them directly, then don’t do this by any means.
- Another good thing to protect you from getting these calls is to register on the national “do not call” list. Make sure to use the official website only (DoNotCall.gov), because there is a scam waiting here as well and many of them are trying to trick people into going to wrong websites and giving out the personal information to them.
If you follow these basic instructions you will be properly secured from any fraud that tries to scam you. Do not hesitate to report them if you end up getting one on your back, as the ultimate goal is for all of us to fight against them and prevent these things from happening.
The Most Looked For Features in Medical Alarm Systems
Some medical alert systems are intended for the very basic usage while others may include a whole variety of additional features that are meant to improve the overall “quality of life” even further. Here are some features that I can definitely recommend:
Multi-Person Medical Monitoring – This type of medical alert system monitoring supports more than just one single person at a time. You don’t need one more base unit if you wish to “connect” another member of your family/household, you can just get a medical alert system that supports multi-monitoring and this issue is solved. A monthly fee for an additional member is not expensive either, so it definitely pays off.
The check-in services – The check-in services are additional services provided by some companies in order to check out and see if your medical alert system is working as it should. While many of them will charge extra fees, you can also find companies that offer the check-in services without requiring you to pay anything.
Voice Extension – This feature is also not a “must have” but it is very handy and I can certainly recommend to check it out. Voice extenders provide high-quality speakers and microphones that will allow you to speak and be heard even when you are not near the base unit. It is not uncommon for issues to occur when you least expect them and when you are in a position where, despite being at home, nobody can hear you and help you out. That is no longer going to be the case if you decide to get an alert system that provides this feature. You can speak up from any position and be heard no matter where you are.
Wall-Mounted Devices – Just like you can end up being too far away from the base unit when you end up struggling with an issue, you will also often be in a situation that you are not able to carry the device or you will just want to put it off for a while.
That is where wall-mounted additions end up being pretty handy. They allow you to place security buttons on the spots where you are likely to put off your neck pendant and/or wrist pendant.
Comfort and Durability of Your Medical Alert Device – A medical alert system has to be safe and serve to protect you regardless of the circumstances. It is intended to be carried around your home, so it has to be comfortable enough as well. You can choose between a neck pendant and a wrist pendant. It doesn’t matter too much which one you are going to choose in the long run as they both have their fair share of good sides and bad sides, while they both do their main job successfully as well. You can easily get your wrists irritated if the design is too “restricted” while neck pendants have a minuscule risk of their wearer getting strangled if the cord happens to be too tight.
Longevity is another thing to consider. Make sure that the device is waterproof so that it doesn’t create a chaos if it accidentally ends up in contact with water. Also, make sure that it is impact resistant and that it is able to withstand falls from a certain height and/or crashes against a wall since this is something that may happen at one point or another. Make sure to consider the weight as well as the heavier the device is, the more likely you will put it off.
A comfortable and durable device will be happily used for years to come!
Go Mobile With Your Personal Alarm System
In the era of mobile phones and wireless communications, it is natural to try to get your medical alert systems connected this way as well. There are 3 major ways to do this and we will look into them right now.
Mobile home stations
You can get your medical alert system connected wirelessly even without a landline. MobileHelp will easily connect you by using a mobile network. You will get your own mobile home station that acts as a perfect alternative for a standard landline base unit and you can also get a mobile device to track your movement just like a classical GPS system. This is extremely practical because it doesn’t matter where you are – as long as you are covered by a mobile network, you will always be connected to your health provider.
Sometimes you can also get a specific mobile Apps in order to connect to a medical alert system. Lifeline is one such provider. They allow you to install their software on your phone regardless of whether you have their own base unit or not. Their software works with both Android and iOS phones.
Basically, once you install their software on your phone, you will need to pay a monthly subscription in order to use their services. But even though this is an additional sum of money that you need to invest, it is certainly worthwhile. Your medical alert system will be connected to your phone and as mobile phones are something that we carry with us no matter where we go, you will be connected to your health provider no matter where you are!
The only 2 downsides I could think of right now are the lack of accessibility and a relatively lower battery power that mobile phones have compared to the actual medical alert device. Also, for some people, it may be more complicated to use the application instead of a simple push of a single button, but I would say that is a personal preference.
This is something that only you can decide, so (as always) make sure to consider your own needs before making the final purchase.
Add-On Mobile Devices
The 3rd and last variant is a combination of the previous 2 options. Instead of having a mobile network to serve as a connector and instead of using a specific mobile application, add-on solutions give you a base unit that you can carry wherever you go. They are bigger than the standard base stations, but they are much more convenient in this regard as well.
LifeFone is a provider that gives add-on solutions that support 3G and AT&T’s mobile networks respectively. Your base unit is thus connected through their own network instead of yours.
Even despite their bigger weight, the add-on solutions are very flexible and they have offer a great mobility as well. The battery life also appears to be longer than the one you get with the previous 2 solutions.
What Else Is Important in Selecting a Medical Alert System?
Although things that I already covered should be sufficient enough when choosing your ideal medical alert system, there are some additional factors that you should check out as well. Let’s dedicate a bit more attention to each of them.
What Add-ons Are Most Important in Your Medic Alert System?
These additional features are not included to your basic setup by default. You can choose them manually on your own. That way you will only have the features that are suitable to your own needs while you will avoid the unnecessary ones at the same time.
A mobile GPS system is a perfect solution if the person is disabled, while you might consider implementing the fall detection feature if the person who will use it is older than 65 (I already mentioned the statistics regarding the age and risk of falling). These are just some examples, there are more to consider for sure. The choice is yours!
Multi language support
English is the default language when it comes to any piece of technical equipment and this is not an exception. If you come from a country where English is not spoken widely and/or if it’s not your native language you will likely need to consider getting the medical alert system that provides more than just 1 language. A typical Multilanguage medical alert system offers up to 150 different languages so chances of having your own language covered on the list are really huge. One thing has to be noted, though – if there is no actual staff that speaks your language among the officials the translation may take a while.
Fall Protection for the Elderly
As I already said before, various researches have concluded that the risk of falling among the elderly increases a lot after the age of 65. No matter what the cause may be, it is a common interest to prevent this from happening (especially if the cause is a life-threatening condition like a stroke or heart attack).
About half of medical alert systems have this feature implemented by default. Whenever a medical alert user falls, the detection system is able to register that and transmit a signal to the base unit.
Although it mostly works as intended, there is a downside that it is not able to register every single fall.
GPS Medical Alerts
These systems are very handy because your loved one will be able to be located no matter where he/she is and even if he is unable to press the “help” button. It is not a standard feature so you would need to buy it. I would recommend spending those additional funds because you can only benefit from the additional safety that comes from the sole fact that even if the person is unable to press the button, the health officials will be able to determine the location.
Important Security Features for Your Medical Alarm Systems
Safety is the most important thing to consider here regardless of other features. It is vital to consider implementing the features that will improve your overall safety. Let us look into some of them right now.
- Medical Alert Access Lockbox – The main purpose of the lockbox addition is to secure your key and allow the health officials to use it even if your apartment is locked (again, for safety reasons). They usually allow more keys to be stored, so you can store keys for separate rooms as well. I recommend checking out the lockboxes provided by LifeStation.They require a monthly fee but it is a good offer from a money-saving standpoint.
- Smoke and fire detectors – These detectors will immediately transmit the appropriate signals to your medical alert providers in case fire or smoke is detected inside your home. There are many different brands available on the market, but I can recommend checking out the ones provided by Bay Alarm Medical.
- Carbon Monoxide monitoring – Carbon Monoxide is one of the most dangerous gases (if not THE most dangerous gas) and it has a dishonorable reputation of being a “silent killer”. By getting a specific carbon monoxide detector, you will get a monitor that will measure its presence inside your home. Whenever it gets too high, your medical care provider will be promptly alerted and help will already be on their way.
- Help & Support in Medical Alert Devices – You certainly need to have some support features in case you don’t know how to handle one or more features of your medical alert system. Depending on the alert system itself and the provider, you would typically be offered with various ways of reaching the technical support – the website, e-mail, phone….and you can sometimes also arrange a chat session with one of the officials. Regardless of what you are struggling with, you will always have a variety of different choices to get some tips.
Medical alert system will cost you, but it is a worthy investment. It will pay-off in the long run and your loved ones will be properly secured with it. Make sure to consider your (and their) needs, look at the list of features and consider getting some additional ones as well. I certainly hope this guide will help you out with your purchase. Good luck!