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A Guide to Medical Alert Devices and Systems

Ashwini Kulkarni Sule Sep 30, 2018
Medical alert devices are a great way of assuring the safety of your loved ones while you are away. However, there are a few facts you should consider while buying medical alert systems. Read on to know more...
Most emergencies do not give you a chance to call for help. Things become even worse if you are a senior citizen. According to the Consumer Reports, fall-related injuries are the topmost cause of death for people above 65 years of age. This is solely because there is no one around to call for help, as the severity of injury renders them immobile.
Considering the number of old people who live alone in the U.S., this poses a major safety issue. However, buying medical alert systems relieves you of this anxiety.

Working of Medical Alert Systems

These systems comprise two components - a piece of waterproof medical alert accessory and the console. The accessory is mostly in the form of a piece of jewelry, such as a bracelet or a necklace. During an emergency, the person can press a button on the accessory which connects to the console. A call to the service center is dispatched via the console.
This mechanism works best for senior citizens as they are least likely to reach the telephone in such a situation. The operator at the service center assesses the situation and decides whether the relatives of the victim should be contacted or the emergency medical services should be summoned.

Guidelines for Buying Medical Alert Systems

You need to consider several factors before actually buying a medical alert system. Following are the guidelines that will help you choose the best system.

Cost and Insurance Coverage

The cost of the medical alert system would primarily depend upon whether the equipment supplier owns the emergency service center or outsources it. The expense is in two forms, the initial cost of the front equipment and the monthly service charge.
Some companies waive the installation charges. You can inquire about the monthly payment options. Although, most medical insurance companies do not cover medical alert systems' expenses, you can always check with your insurance company if they offer any criteria pay schemes.

Trial Period and Money Back Options

Many companies offer trial period schemes, which allow you to try the equipment without any financial risk. Companies that are confident about their service will even offer money back scheme, in case, you are not satisfied with their service. You can try the products of different companies and choose the one you are most comfortable with.

Customer Feedback and Reviews

Get the feedback from people who have actually used the equipment. Evaluate the various reviews on medical alert systems and compare systems of different companies. This will assist you in your selection of the right equipment.

Monitoring/Service Center

Always opt for the provider who has his own monitoring center. This assures quick and quality service. Some providers outsource their monitor centers or sub-contract them. The change of management may give rise to situations of conflict.

Operations Training

Inquire if the operations staff will be provided any special training to efficiently handle critical situations. Similarly, ask how the provider plans to train you about the correct usage of the equipment.

Service and Maintenance

This is an important aspect to be considered while buying medical alert systems. Inquire about the periodic servicing and the weekly automated service facility. Automated service involves sending a silent signal to the monitoring center on a weekly basis to report the working status of your system.

UL Listing

Check if the monitoring center is listed by the Underwriters Laboratory (UL). This ensures that the monitoring center meets the high standards required by the UL. Never settle for the provider who is not listed by the UL.
Buying the right medical alert systems and understanding their working is very important if you wish to fully utilize their features and services. Do not compromise on quality, as the life of your loved ones depends upon these devices.