Medical alert devices are very popular for seniors and those with special needs. When the individual experiences a medical problem, such as a fall, the device immediately contacts the system operators, who are able to dispatch help to the patient.
Medical alert technology has already saved the lives of many, but it is constantly being improved. Recent years have seen leaps and bounds of growth within this field, providing greatly improved medical alert systems such as bracelets, necklaces and handhelds.
Below is a breakdown of the 5 most crucial features that you’ll want in a modern medical alert device.
1. No Mandatory Long-term Contract
Some companies require their clients to sign outrageous contracts in order to receive service, with contracts extending as long as three years! A handful of these companies offer month-to-month options, but the rates are greatly inflated, making it cost prohibitive for many.
The best medical alert companies offer several options, including an affordable month-to-month plan. You should have the freedom to choose the best plan for you, and not be bullied or manipulated into a long-term plan that doesn’t meet your needs.
2. A Pendant or Bracelet that is Waterproof and Discreet
Your wearable device shouldn’t be huge, awkward, or clunky. The best medical alert devices available are small and should be barely noticeable – blending well into your wardrobe choices. However, the device shouldn’t be so small that it is difficult to operate. Find your perfect balance, while considering that it will probably take some time to get used to wearing the device.
It is crucial that the device is waterproof. Falls experienced by seniors often occur in the bathroom or shower. Look for waterproof medical alert devices, not just water resistant! You should be able to wear your device in the shower or bath.
3. Accurate and Effective Fall Alert & Detection Capabilities
A sometime controversial topic – there are mixed opinions about devices with fall detection capabilities. Some feel that the fall detection feature on medical alert devices is not sensitive enough, while others believe it is a lifesaver. The ongoing argument surrounds the different definitions of what a “fall” is and how it is communicated to the monitoring company. Both sides do agree that the technology needs to be improved. However, even while the technology continues to advance, it is better to have fall detection on your device than not having it at all.
It should be noted that several companies are making huge strides in creating more accurate fall alert technology, and the use of this technology is becoming the standard rule.
4. Lightweight and Comfortable to Wear
A medical alert system doesn’t do you any good if you don’t wear it. However, if the device is clunky or uncomfortable, this is exactly what will happen. Look for a system that has a wristband or pendant device that is designed to be comfortable and lightweight. Take the opportunity to try the device on and see how it fits and feels. It may take a short period of time to get used to wearing the device, but it should not rub and irritate, cut into the skin, or feel uncomfortable.
5. Communication Capabilities
Communication capability is a critically important feature of a medical alert device. If you fall or press the button on your medical alert device, who do you want it to call? The ability to program the device to call certain people such as 911 or a call center AND a family member, makes the device even more effective. Not all falls require emergency assistance, and your device should provide options for the type of help you need. Many devices allow you to communicate with the call center through your wearable device. This is a very useful option, which can increase your safety and control of your level of care.
Medical alert systems have helped many senior citizens and they can help you too! Don’t settle for substandard technology and a company that doesn’t quite meet your needs. Choose a system that will help you maintain the active, independent lifestyle that you deserve.