Helpful Information and Links
Medical Alert Devices - Buyer Beware
Medical Alerts Devices – Buyer Beware
With a growing senior population, even right here in Columbia County, having quick access to emergency assistance is a real concern. When someone slips and falls or has another type of medical emergency being able to call 911 and get help headed their way is absolutely time critical. Many seniors and family members helping care for their elders are choosing to purchase medical alert devices that can summon help at the push of a button. Most of them are reliable and backed by the companies that sell the devices. But not all medical devices are equal in the services they provide and spending some time investigating the medical device company prior to purchasing will help to insure that your family gets the best device for your needs.
When purchasing a medical alert device the MOST IMPORTANT features to consider is a device that will be able to pinpoint your location. Not all companies providing medical alert services have a GPS device that is portable and once activated can help bring help even if you are unable to speak. Unless you or your family member is homebound, look for a device that offers this feature. Knowing where you are even when you are unable to speak can be the difference between help arriving quickly without loss of precious minute or hours trying to locate you or your family member. Additional features to consider are having a device that has a 2-way voice system, is waterproof, simple to use, and large enough so that the wearer can easily access the alert button. Other features that may be important to you or your family member are automatic fall detection, medication reminders, and monitoring of blood pressure. Not all of the features offered may be needed but looking at companies that offer these features gives a good indication of whether or not they are serious providers of medical alert services.
When looking at different companies that provide medical alert services, look for companies with high BBB ratings, good reviews on their website and proven track records of being able to provide the services that they promise. Find out about the contract in clear terms as well as what their monthly fees are along with the cancellation terms. Get it in writing! Ask about their call receiving center and how it works. Know what their procedure is when an alert device is activated. Avoid companies that don't provide a 2-way call system (you can hear them and they can hear you) and only call 911 directly. Many times these devices from these companies will call 911 but cannot provide your location or your call back number and cannot provide 2-way calling. And if the person that activated the device cannot speak this could deter a 911 dispatcher from be able to locate the caller and provide assistance. And while many companies may initially offer a very inexpensive product, once you start adding the features you truly need, like GPS locating, your cost can increase significantly. Finding a top rated company with all the included features for on clear monthly rate will help save you money and may even save your life.
We have included a link to the Senior-List which offers additional information finding the best medical alert device for your needs.