Samsung Jitterbug 5 Review

Jitterbug 5 red Samsung Jitterbug 5 ReviewThe Samsung Jitterbug line has been around a long time, and we know this phone well.  The Senior List originally reviewed the Samsung Jitterbug J model back in 2010!  We’re happy to report that this phone has evolved and today it’s better than ever.  The Jitterbug line has been one of the most popular senior friendly phones on the market.  There was a famous slogan penned by an ad agency back in 1968, we think fits pretty well with our Samsung Jitterbug 5 Review… Jitterbug 5 – You’ve come a long way baby!

Product Info: Jitterbug 5

  • Name:  Jitterbug 5 Phone for Seniors
  • Offered by:  GreatCall
  • Price:  $99 MSRP
  • Monthly Rates: Start at $24.99 (includes 5Star Service)
  • Colors:  Red, White or Blue
  • Carrier:  Verizon
  • Contracts or Cancellation Fees: None
  • Features:  Simple clam shell design, big, easy-to-see buttons, powerful speakerphone, 5Star service button, long lasting battery, Big Red (Verizon Network)

Product Review: GreatCall’s Jitterbug 5

j5 white magenta e1416697285902 Samsung Jitterbug 5 ReviewThe Samsung Jitterbug 5 from GreatCall is one of the most recognizable senior friendly phones today.   Nicole Lee at Cnet said of the Samsung Jitterbug 5’s early cousins “The Samsung Jitterbug J is incredibly easy to use.  It has a bright display, large font size, a roomy keypad with big buttons, and even a dial tone to make it similar to a landline telephone“.  We love the large buttons, and the fact that it’s easy to recognize the emergency button (in red) which alerts GreatCall operators to an inquiry or an emergency.

Staff here at The Senior List have personally tested out “5Star” services at GreatCall’s call center.  These services include dispatching emergency services, connecting the user to a registered nurse, and even conferencing in an emergency contact like a son or daughter.  The operators are trained, and they’re some of the most professional we’ve dealt with.  Another thing that we love is their contract… You know why? There isn’t one!  If you’ve followed our medical alert system reviews, you probably know we don’t like the idea of folks entering into long-term service contracts that they are locked into.  If you’re ever in doubt, make sure you get this assurance in writing.  With GreatCall’s Jitterbug you don’t have to.

How Does 5Star Service Work?

5Star Service from GreatCall Samsung Jitterbug 5 Review

The Bottom Line:

If you’re looking for a senior friendly cell phone the Samsung Jitterbug 5 from GreatCall is a can’t miss.  This isn’t just a cell phone though, it’s a cross between a phone and a medical alert system.  For this reason, The Senior List highly recommends this product.  The Jitterbug 5 remains our top choice in mobile phones for seniors because of it’s versatility, it’s value for money, and for top shelf service from GreatCall staff.

If you’ve used the Jitterbug 5 or know someone who has, please give us your opinion in the comment section below!

This post may contain affiliate links. We only consider affiliate relationships on products that we would absolutely recommend to friends and family.

QMedic Review: A smart medical alert system

QMedic1 QMedic Review: A smart medical alert systemThe QMedic Medical Alert System

QMedic offers a traditional PERS bracelet or pendant with a button to push when help is needed.  In addition to these features, QMedic also has some very smart sensing technology that we love.  The QMedic medical alert system will send text alerts to  loved ones/caregivers if the user is not wearing the device, fails to get out of bed or is inactive for an extended period of time.  Monthly Wellness Reports are also available to monitor activity, sleep, and  safety in the home.

What We Like: Waterproof, Smart sensing technology, inactivity alerts.  Free shipping, 30-day money back guarantee. Affordable, no hidden fees, no contract. 800-1,000 ft range. Will notify users preferences in case of an emergency (911 or family/ friends). Monthly wellness reports.

What We Would Change: No GPS features, tethered to home land-line.

Recommend?: Absolutely.  We love that it’s waterproof and think the sensing technology is a huge step above traditional personal emergency response systems.  We would love to see a GPS enabled version of QMedic.

Where to Purchase: Currently, purchases must be made through the QMedic website.

Cost: $30 per month. No long term contract. No equipment purchase. Free Shipping, 30-day money back guarantee.

Excellent Service

We found the staff at QMedic very easy to work with.  This started in their marketing department and spread to the folks at the call center who wanted to make sure I was okay when I pushed the button (many times).

Great Speaker Range on the QMedic

What really impressed me was the range of the speaker on the base station throughout my home.  The call center and I played “can you hear me now?” on both levels of my home and we could still hear each other the whole time.  The base station speaker is really loud if you are in the same room, but perfect if a user needs help a distance away from the base station.

We will be adding QMedic to our “Favorites List”, if you have used QMedic and have any feedback about your experience, we would love to hear about it below!

Bay Alarm Medical Alert System Reviews

Bay Alarm Medical has been family owned and operated since 1946.  We’ve had our eye on them for some time, and have appreciated our interaction with Bay Alarm’s staff over the past few years (answering questions, etc.).  Bay Alarm Medical has options for both traditional in-home medical alert systems as well as the more mobile cellular options.  You can find many Bay Alarm Medical Alert System Reviews by visiting their web page, or by searching them out yourself.  Always do your due diligence when buying a medical alert system for yourself or a family member.

The Bay Alarm Medical Alert System

  • Name:  Bay Alarm Medical Alert SystemBay Alarm Pendant Bay Alarm Medical Alert System Reviews
  • Website Info: www.bayalarmmedical.com
  • Auto Fall Detection? :  no
  • Equipment Cost:  $0
  • Monthly Cost:  $24.95 per month (based on 3 month billing)
  • Cancellation Policy: No Fees, Cancel at Anytime
  • Features:  Waterproof Pendant, Wireless, 24/7 Monitoring, 32 hour back-up battery for base station (in case of power failure), up to 1,000 feet range (pendant to base station).

Product Review: Bay Alarm Medical Alert System

Bay Alarm Kit Bay Alarm Medical Alert System Reviews

The Bay Alarm Medical Alert System is a great option if you’re looking for a traditional medical alert protection. Bay Alarm has been in business since 1946, and so far we’ve been impressed with staff’s responsiveness to questions and the like.  Since customer service is a big deal to The Senior List team, this speaks volumes.  Bay Alarm offers in-home medical alert system options as well as cellular mobile options.  The in-home medical alert system is offered for use with a traditional land line, OR a cellular style base station option (if you don’t have a land line in the home).  Bay Alarm also has a mobile hand held alert system with GPS for those that wish to leave the home environment.

If the pendant battery should start to run out, the pendant will send a signal to the base station.  This will prompt the base station to contact the call center, and a new pendant will be sent out immediately (free of charge).  The pendant battery is rated at 5 years, so this is an infrequent occurrence.

The Bottom Line: Bay Alarm Medical

Senior List Approved Bay Alarm Medical Alert System ReviewsWe’re recommending the Bay Alarm Medical Alert System because it satisfies many of our top criteria for medical alert system providers.  They offer short-term agreements, there is no equipment to buy, their staff is attentive, the pendant is waterproof, the in-home range is as good as it gets, it’s easy to install, and if that wasn’t enough they offer free monitoring for a second pendant purchase (for spouse or roommate).  We also like the fact that there are a number of positive Bay Alarm Medical Alert System Reviews available which gives us confidence in recommending them strongly.

If you’ve used the Bay Alarm Medical Alert System or know someone who has, please give us your opinion in the comment section below!

Would You Like a Recommendation?

Medical Alert Buyers Guide

 

This post may contain affiliate links. We only consider affiliate relationships on products that we recommend to friends and family.

iPhone App Reviews: CareBeacon iPhone App

iPhone App Reviews: The CareBeacon Medical Alert

I recently tested the CareBeacon fall detection (and inactivity) app for iPhone.  The app functions like a mobile medical alert system and notifies loved ones of falls by utilizing the accelerometer  and GPS (global positioning systems) functions in the smart phone.  The app is free for the first 30 days and is available from $8.33 per month (if you sign up for the year) to $12.99 (on a month to month) after the initial trial.

The CareBeacon app is great for those who have an existing iPhone and who carry it with them at all times.  The app will work wherever the phone has a signal and is not confined to the home like many traditional personal emergency response systems.  The pre-determined friends and family will be notified if the user does not answer the “Are You Ok?” prompts after a period of inactivity or a fall is sensed.  The time to sense inactivity can be adjusted by the user, from one to 15 minutes.  If the phone senses a fall, it sends a text and/or voice messages with the users location.  The friends/family would then contact the user and emergency services if needed.

iPhone App Reviews | CareBeacon | Likes and Dislikes

What I liked:

  • Conceptually utilizing the mobile phone functionality for active adults (that just need a safety blanket) makes a great deal of sense
  • For those that carry their mobile phone all over the place, it’s always with you
  • Accelerometer should work as well as other mPERS (mobile personal emergency response system) or better, though phone’s location on the body could make a difference in sensitivity for the fall algorithm
  • Simple to use and simple to set up
  • Designate friends and family (to contact in case of emergency) as you wish
  • Price is right when comparing it to traditional or mobile medical alert system subscriptions

What I didn’t like:

  • You have to have an iPhone (no Android version as yet)
  • If you don’t have adequate service coverage (from Verizon, AT&T, Sprint) you don’t have a functioning app
  • Only calls friends and family no direct 911 calling (this isn’t so bad as long as someone answers)
  • 15 minute inactivity alarm started bugging me, CareBeacon may want to adjust this to allow for less frequent check-ins
  • Price is high IF you’re comparing it to other apps on the iPhone app store

CareBeacon 268x300 iPhone App Reviews: CareBeacon iPhone App

Book Reviews: Plan Ahead: Tools for the Caregiver

planahead cover 200x300 150x150 Book Reviews: Plan Ahead: Tools for the CaregiverBook Reviews:

While there are many books for caregivers and senior care in general, few are able to distinguish themselves as part workbook, part resource and part guide.  The author, Walt Sonksen has done a nice job putting all three together in this easy-to-read caregiver workbook.  In this book, Walt shares life experiences, as well as those lessons learned  from the deaths of his own parents.  The book encompasses many aspects of family care…  Such as gathering personal information and wishes, transition planning, safety concerns, caregiving options, financial and legal issues, and community resources.

 This handbook is meant to be used before a crisis so the family and their designated caregivers can spend more quality time with their family member.

Plan Ahead: Tools for the Caregiver is a workbook that can be used and written in and is small enough to fit in a purse or tablet pouch.  This is a tool that you will use over time and will add to it as you go along the journey of caregiving. Some of the information is specific to Oregon and Washington, the author resides in the Northwest, however a reader who is resourceful will be able to access similar information for their own area.   The book is geared to the adult caregiver and is focused on senior care, but could apply to any caregiving situation (dependent children, etc…).  Throughout the book you will find checklists, tidbits, personal stories and encouragement.  Several well-respected leaders in the elder care field are also contributors to topics like senior living options, downsizing and moving, and mental health.

The book can be purchased on Amazon for a list price of $16.95.  Additional details and a downloadable Emergency Medical Packet are available at the website, www.planaheadtools.com.


 

Do I Need A Hearing Aid? What To Expect Before You Buy

If you’ve ever wondered; Do I need a hearing aid?  You just might… Professionals will tell you that hearing loss is such a gradual decline that folks with hearing issues are usually the last to know.  Many times they blame hearing issues on others, believing friends are mumbling, or perhaps they’re “quiet talkers” (to steal a Seinfeldism).

Do I need a hearing aid?

News reporter Emily Robinson interviews Heather Bennett, an audiologist with Advanced Hearing Centers for some great tips on what to expect if you think you might need a hearing aid.  First step (and most obvious on the list) is to get yourself tested.  Find a local qualified resource that can professionally diagnose your specific situation, and get some unbiased information on what options are available to you.  A number of audiologists sell hearing aids and will likely want to sell you one that they stock.

Buying a hearing aid from an audiologist isn’t a bad idea, but understand what you’re buying before you take the plunge.  Search online for equivalent hearing aid prices, and don’t be afraid to negotiate with sellers.  Did you know that Costco is now in the hearing aid business?  Bottom line is that consumers need to do their homework more than ever.  The old adage about making a good purchasing decision still holds true to this day;  Buy right… Cry once.

 

 

iPhone 5S and 5C Announcement

ainvite 300x234 iPhone 5S and 5C AnnouncementWell today is the day Apple fans.  Apple’s much anticipated iPhone 5S and 5C are expected to be unveiled today at 10 a.m. PT.  Just 3 questions remain ahead of this morning’s iPhone 5s and 5c announcement.

  1. Anything special about this iPhone?
  2. When will it be available?
  3. What else with they tease us with?

What’s so special about the iPhone 5S?

Rumors have been swirling for months about the iPhone 5S and it’s cheaper cousin the 5C.  The latest (feature) rumors include a dual LED flash, fingerprint scanner, longer lasting battery, faster processor, higher resolution, more color options, more RAM, more (storage) memory, better camera, and these beasts will ship with the new redesigned iOS7.  IF you don’t have an iPhone 5 yet, it’s time to upgrade.  IF you already have the iPhone 5, you might consider waiting for the iPhone 6 (unless you have $200-$300 dollars burning a hole in your pocket).  A new gold colored 5S wouldn’t be enough for me to upgrade from 5 to 5S, but hey that’s just me!

When will the iPhone 5S be available?

Well if Apple follows their traditional pattern, it will be available on September 20th, which would be 10 days following today’s announcement.  They could surprise us with immediate availability in some markets but that’s not likely.  Note: The Apple Store is currently “down” and being updated.

apple right back 285x300 iPhone 5S and 5C Announcement

What will Apple Tease Us With?

It could be on of a few things.  First, wearables are all the rage.  There’s been speculation about an iWatch all over the place.  Samsung recently announced their Samsung Galaxy Gear SmartWatch (a connected iWatch like device) and apple has been rumored to be dabbling in wearables for some time now.  Apple could also announce Apple TV enhancements, larger screen phones coming soon… (Can you say iPhone 6?), and/or an updated iPad line-up.

If you’re interested, click through to read our top 10 iPhone apps for Seniors 2012.  We’ll be following all the action down in Cupertino… Will you?

Medical Alert System Ratings and Reviews

eCare+Voice Medical Alert System Ratings and ReviewsIf you’ve visited The Senior List before you know that we love to post about technology, and how it affects the lives of boomers and seniors.  One way we do this is through product reviews, and another is through informative posts about the latest happenings in eldercare.  Some of the most interesting information comes from YOU (The Senior List community).  When readers become engaged, the comments come alive.  When the comments come alive, we can all relate and learn from each other.  Our community loves to share information when it relates to medical alert system ratings and reviews, and we’ve got all the top systems rated here on The Senior List.

Top Home Based Medical Alert Systems

One example of this is a popular post we wrote back in 2012, highlighting many of the top home based medical alert systems on the market.  That particular post offers a nice list of “tethered” (to a traditional home phone line) medical alert systems, with links to product reviews.  What is really interesting is the feedback in the comments located below that article.  There’s a lot of great information located on that page, and we’d like to thank those of you that have shared your experiences.  One of our chief goals is to continue to build a community that offers advice to others… A helping hand if you will!

“When readers become engaged, the comments come alive.  When the comments come alive, we can all relate and learn from each other.”

List of Mobile/Cellular Based Medical Alert Systems

If you’re searching for a list of mobile medical alert systems (cellular based), you’ll find that here on The Senior List as well.  We’ve reviewed a number of the top alert systems for seniors SureResponse lanyard Medical Alert System Ratings and Reviewsincluding GreatCall’s 5Star, the LifeTrac SecuraTrac, and the SureResponse from Verizon.  We’d like to encourage our readers to utilize the comments to voice your opinion following each post if you are so inclined.  In doing so, you’ll be providing feedback to others that could prove extremely valuable in their search for the right fit (and function) for any of the devices we discuss here on The Senior List.  Don’t forget to offer praise where it’s due either, there are a number of fantastic medical alert system providers out there offering great services to boomers and seniors.

If you (or someone you know) is currently using a medical alert system, we encourage you to take our Medical Alert System Customer Satisfaction Poll (located in the right hand side-bar).  Have a great weekend!

Would You Like a Medical Alert Recommendation?

Medical Alert Buyers Guide

Updated Review: The Verizon Sure Response Medical Alert System

SureResponse lanyard Updated Review: The Verizon Sure Response Medical Alert SystemLatest Product Review: Sure Response Needs More Product Support

The Verizon Sure Response medical alert system is one of the newer medical alert systems on the market today. This entry has great features in this space, HOWEVER Verizon’s execution of the Sure Response Medical Alert System so far has been far from satisfactory. The SureResponse is mobile/cellular driven, offers GPS tracking, and can connect your loved ones to caregivers (or family members) if necessary.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is an updated product review based on feedback from users in our community. Click here to read the original SureResponse review and note the community comments.   You’ll note in this original that we stated that we’d “be looking forward to monitoring their success with this mobile medical alert system” and (with your feedback), many now have a new outlook on this device.  We do expect Verizon to improve their support of this product in the future.

Product Info: Sure Response Medical Alert

  • Name: Verizon SureResponse
  • Website Info: Verizon Wireless – SureResponse
  • Auto Fall Detection? : Nodocking station Updated Review: The Verizon Sure Response Medical Alert System
  • Equipment Cost: $229.99 (retail) OR 19.99 with a 2 year plan (note: early termination fees will apply)
  • Monthly Cost: $30 per device (also requires a $35 activation fee)
  • Features: Lanyard, Wrist Strap and Belt Clip Accessories Included, Water Resistant Panic Buttons, Untethered 24/7 Monitoring on a Cellular Network (Verizon Wireless), GPS Tracking (must be enabled and shared/volunteered), Convenience Calling, and an Online Portal to help manage lists of caregivers etc. (called SureResponse Online)

Review: SureResponse Medical Alert System from Verizon

wearable emergency device Updated Review: The Verizon Sure Response Medical Alert SystemAs we noted above, Verizon’s SureResponse mobile emergency response system looks great, and has the financial backing of a leading mobile provider.  It stands to reason that this device should be at the top of our list when it comes to mobile medical alert systems but thus far, the support for the product hasn’t been there.  We like the form factor but it looks bulky on the wrist (uncomfortable) and we doubt many people would want to wear it there unless it gets much smaller. It’s bigger than traditional pendant alert systems, but it does more than they do.  If a pendant option is chosen, it may look like your loved one is wearing a small cell phone around their neck. We’re guessing this will be worn on the belt clip or kept in a pocket, although from an accessibility standpoint we do like a pendant option. This device lacks fall detection, but then again so do the others in this space (at this time). We probably wouldn’t trust this device in the shower. Until Verizon discloses a little more about just how water resistant the SureResponse is, we’d keep it out of the water.

OK now for the good stuff… From a product standpoint, we think this looks like a great option.  If (or when) the company gets their act together (and gives it the support it requires), it could be a great product.  The ability to be UNTETHERED is something that many folks are looking for (especially at comparable price points to tethered solutions). It’s backed by a reputable company with relatively transparent terms and conditions.  Also the (optional) GPS tracking is a nice feature on these cellular based medical alert systems.  If the Verizon tracking feature is not activated, it is only used in the case of an emergency (so emergency personnel can locate the person in need). Here’s another item worth mentioning- if your loved one needs to go into a nursing facility (under the existing terms and conditions) they ARE eligible to opt out of their 2 year agreement. There are specific details associated with this “second right to cancel” so read the T’s & C’s carefully.

The Bottom Line:

We want to see more from Verizon in terms of product support.  The Senior List even reached out to Verizon (back in March) in hopes that they’d respond to customer issues/inquiries but we’ve heard nothing.  Given this is new to the market and new to Verizon, we’re going to take a wait and see approach.  If we’re talking about the same support issues a year from now, we might as well scratch this one off the list.  We still think the SureResponse by Verizon is worth looking into. If Verizon supports the product like they should, it will be near the top of our list of mobile options.  For now, we’ll put them on our watch list.

verizon wireless tweet2 Updated Review: The Verizon Sure Response Medical Alert System

verizon wireless tweet1 Updated Review: The Verizon Sure Response Medical Alert System

Click here to read the original SureResponse Review and note user comments

If you’ve used the SureResponse Medical Alert System or know someone who has, please give us your opinion in the comment section below and provide a star rating!

Video:

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Medical Alert Systems: Products and Reviews

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The Top 10 Questions You Should Ask Before Buying A Medical Alert System

New Philips Lifeline GoSafe Launch Delayed

Philips GoSafe 300x210 New Philips Lifeline GoSafe Launch DelayedA Philips Lifeline employee has confirmed to The Senior List that their much anticipated launch into the mobile (cellular based) medical alert system market has been delayed for unknown reasons.  The “limited launch” of the Philips GoSafe mPERS (mobile personal emergency response system) occurred this past January at CES 2013, but the official consumer-launch has yet to take place.  It should be interesting to see who comes to market first between Philips and MobileHelp.  MobileHelp has been trying to get their new incarnation of the myHalo alert system to market as well, and both companies are playing the “coming soon” game online.

The new Philips GoSafe product is the latest in a line of newer mobile medical alert systems which uses the same cellular signal as your cell phone.  Instead of being tethered to a home phone-line, the consumer can take these new devices with them wherever they go (out to work in the yard, to the mall, or to a doctors appointment).  This new mobility feature is what separates the new mobile devices from their traditional (tethered) cousins.

IF Philips is able to bring this device to market soon, they could have a big advantage over their competition.   Healthcare strategist and Senior List co-founder Chris Clark commented on a likely (Philips) go-to-market strategy; “Philips should be able to take advantage of their huge installed-base, and segment that market into home-based vs. mobile candidates.  The perfect plan would be to execute an upgrade strategy for the mPERS candidates in their existing customer pool in-conjunction with going after new customers.”

Philips now anticipates putting the new GoSafe device in consumers hands this fall.  It will be fun to see these new mobile players duke it out for market share in the lucrative mPERS space.  If only they could get to market!