We're asked all the time to make recommendations on medical alert systems, and to provide best practices on what to look out for when shopping for one of these little devices. The best advice is not to rush into this purchase decision without doing a little due diligence. There are some nefarious providers out there, hoping you'll sign a long-term contract that you can't get out of… We've even heard from consumers that have been stuck in a bad contract for (dare we say) 3 years!
So you can probably tell that one of the things we hate are long-term agreements with no out-clauses. There are other things to watch out for as well, so let's get into the heart of the matter! First things first… Don't start looking at medical alert systems without knowing the Top 10 Questions to Ask When Buying a Medical Alert System.
Top Questions to Ask When Buying a Medical Alert System
- Does this medical alert system work with VOIP phones?
- What is the range of the pendant from the base unit?
- Who installs and tests the device in my home?
- Do I need a land-line in my home to use this alert system?
- Tell me about your call centers. Where are they located? What are response times? Are they trained?
- Does the medical alert system come with other services like medication reminders?
- What if something goes wrong with my equipment?
- Is automatic fall detection included?
- Do I own this device, or am I leasing the equipment?
- What is my total yearly cost?
- (Bonus Question) What do I do when I no longer need the service? (Get this in writing.)
- The pendant should be small, discrete and waterproof.
- The contract should be easy to opt out of.
- Pendant should be comfortable and lightweight.
- The fall detection technology should work well.
- Should have connectivity options to call your family, a call center, or 911.
Medical Alert System SCAM
Did you know there is a medical alert scam that is being perpetrated on the American public right now? These frauds are targeting seniors with an offer of a personal medical alert system at no cost to you. The call goes on to say “Since you’ve already been referred by a medical professional, your package is ready to be shipped”. State and federal authorities are aware of the scam which has been going on for over a year now. What you can do: Make your friends and family aware of the scam, and make sure they never give personal information to anyone that calls them out of the blue (ever)!
Common Mistakes to Avoid
Medical Alert System Buyers Guide
If you want more help or more information, poke around The Senior List a little bit. You can use our search bar on the front page to help guide your search for medical alert system information. We've conducted many reviews of specific devices, and browsing these reviews is a great way to educate yourself on the medical alert space. If you would like specific recommendations on medical alert systems, we have a Medical Alert System Buyers Guide that can walk you through some of our favorite medical alert system choices. These are alert systems that we recommend to friends and family, and they meet many of the criteria that we look for in a medical alert system provider.