Today’s senior citizens are much more active than most people realize. Gone are the days of frail older adults shuffling around nursing homes. In fact, the AARP has found that almost 90% of folks over the age of 65 prefer to remain independent by living out their golden years at home.
But even if you’re spending more time on the town than in a rocking chair, you still want to be able to live without the fear of falling or another type of medical emergency. That’s why so many seniors are choosing to use medical alert systems than ever before.
With today’s modern medical alert devices, you don’t have to worry about dealing with the stigma of wearing a bulky medical alert pendant around your neck. You can now choose stylish medical alert bracelets or even sleek smartwatch devices.
Medical alert devices are not just for your home anymore – mobile options allow you to go anywhere with confidence. We’re going to take a look at the most attractive medical alert devices that will help you maintain your on-the-go lifestyle.
How to Choose the Best Medical Alert System
If you’ve ever injured yourself in a fall or had another medical scare, you know how important it is to be able to get help quickly and easily. Medical alert systems give you a safety net and added confidence, without making you feel as if you can’t stay in your own home.
But how do you find the right medical alert device for you? We’re going to walk you through some simple steps for choosing the perfect personal emergency response system without having to waste a lot of time or money. Plus, we’ll show you the best medical alert companies to work with.
The Easy Way to Find a Medical Alert Device
Finding the right medical device for you is easier than you might think. All it takes is asking yourself three questions. Your answers will help point you in the right direction and get you one step closer to making the best choice possible.
1. Where Do You Spend Most of Your Time?
Medical alert systems were originally designed to work only in the home with landline phone service. But the top-rated providers now offer mobile options for more active seniors. These modern medical alert devices make use of cellular technology to give you total freedom.
If you’re more of a social butterfly than a homebody, you should look into the latest medical alert devices that can be used in or out of the house. This is especially important when you spend any time traveling or just like to hit the town to visit with friends and family.
2. Do You Want Access to Trained Operators?
There are two types of medical alert services – monitored and non-monitored. If you have a monitored system, you’ll be connected with a medically trained operator in a 24/7 emergency monitoring center every time you press the help button.
But non-monitored medical alert systems work without a live operator. Instead, when you press the help button, a call is automatically made to a previously determined emergency contact phone number, whether that’s a family member or a 911 dispatcher.
It might seem as if these two types of medical alert services are similar since you receive life-saving help with both monitored or non-monitored systems. But what if your emergency contact can’t answer the phone?
The scary thought of not getting the help you need is why many experts, including those at the AARP, recommend monitored medical alert systems for seniors. No matter what type of emergency you’re having or when you need assistance, you’ll be able to reach a live operator that’s trained in handling senior emergencies.
3. Are You Worried About Falling?
Many of the best medical alert systems offer automatic fall detection, which helps you get immediate assistance, even if you’re unable to press the call button on your device. If you’ve suffered a fall before or have been told that you’re at an increased risk for falling, you should consider this feature a must-have for your medical alert device.
Automatic fall detection works by monitoring altitude and instantly alerting a medical alert operator that a fall has occurred, no matter the time of day or night, or where you may have fallen down. The operator will then attempt to contact you to see if you’re alright. If they can’t reach you, an ambulance will automatically be sent to your location.
10 of the Most Important Medical Alert Features
Once you know whether a mobile or in-home medical alert device is the better option for you, it’s time to make sure that you choose a personal emergency response system with the features you need to keep you safe and independent.
Take a look at the following must-have medical alert features…
1. Fashionable and Discreet
If you’ve ever searched for “men’s medical alert bracelets” or “women’s medical alert bracelets” on Google, or maybe even “attractive medical alert jewelry,” chances are that you don’t want to worry about having to deal with the bulky medical pendants of the past.
The good news is that there are many fashionable and discreet medical alert devices available on the market today. Some of them are so stylish, most people won’t even know you’re wearing a medical alert device at all.
In fact, many of the best personal emergency response devices look like smart watches or a pretty necklace. So, you can stop wondering if an Apple watch can be used as a medical alert device and focus on living life on your terms with confidence.
2. Comfortable for All-Day Wear
Of course, if your medical alert device isn’t comfortable, chances are you won’t wear it, no matter how attractive it might be. That’s why you need to take comfort into consideration when shopping for a medical alert system.
Look for an emergency medical response system that comes with a device that doesn’t poke or scratch you, whether you’re wearing it around your wrist or your neck. You should choose a medical alert company that offers risk-free trials, so you can test your device out to see if it’s a good fit for you.
3. Ease of Use
Many of the newest medical alert devices offer some incredible technology to help keep you feeling safe. But you don’t want to become overwhelmed by all of the available features like GPS capability and a cellular connection.
If you’re worried about your medical alert device being too complicated to use, it’s almost inevitable that you won’t use it. You should look for companies that offer easy-to-use devices and 24/7 customer support to help you feel confident with operating your medical alert system.
4. Automatic Fall Detection
We’ve already gone over how important medical alert devices with automatic fall detection are to some senior citizens. But we feel strongly about this feature, so we’re mentioning it again. If you’ve ever fallen and haven’t been able to get back up on your own, you already have an idea of how valuable fall assistance can be for seniors.
Some medical alert companies include fall detection with all of their plans, while others offer it as an add-on service for a small additional charge. When shopping for an emergency medical response system, be sure and be honest with yourself about how likely it is you could fall and need help to get back on your feet.
5. Good Signal Range
If you decide to go with an in-home medical alert device, you need to take signal range into consideration, even though you won’t be leaving the house with it. Most home-based medical alert systems have a range of signal that’s around 600 feet, which should work in most cases.
But if you have a large home or like to visit your next door neighbors, you want to look for a medical alert signal range of more than 1,000 feet. This will give you plenty of “wiggle room” and help you to not feel chained to the medical alert base unit.
6. Long Lasting Battery Life
Another important feature to consider with medical alert devices is how long the battery will last, as low power can mean the difference between life and death during some emergencies. You want to look for a medical alert system that has a device with a battery life of at least a week.
Having to remember to charge a device each day can be frustrating and inconvenient, to say the least. And anyone with a smartphone will tell you how easy it is to find yourself with a dead device due to charging simply slipping your mind.
7. Live Operator Assistance
In our opinion, the best medical alert systems have 24/7 operators that are trained in assessing and addressing medical emergencies. Depending on where you live, an ambulance can take up to eight minutes to reach you, which is what makes access to life-saving medical advice so crucial.
If you suffer a serious injury and need immediate help, being able to get medical advice from an operator that’s had the same training as EMTs can be essential to your well-being. We recommend choosing a monitored medical alert system with 24-hour live operators on call.
8. Built-In GPS
Many of the best medical alert devices of today are not only mobile, but they also offer you location-based services with GPS. This feature is especially important if you’re ever injured outside of your home, as it will allow the medical alert operator to direct emergency responders to your exact location.
GPS-enabled medical alert devices can also be very helpful if you ever become lost and need assistance finding your way back to a safe place. And many of these stylish medical alert devices are much more affordable than you might think.
9. Resistant to Water Damage
This might be the most important feature to look for in a high-quality medical alert device. Many of the most dangerous falls happen in the bathroom, which makes taking a bath or shower without a medical alert device a risky undertaking.
You should look for a 100% waterproof medical alert device or at least one that is resistant to water. After all, medical alert devices are intended to be worn at all times, and especially when the risk for injury is the highest, like it is when you’re in the bathtub or shower.
10. Risk-Free Service Trial
What better way to find the perfect medical alert device for you than trying it for yourself? Many of the top emergency medical response companies offer money-back guarantees or a free medical alert device trial period.
This makes trying before you buying easy and pain-free when it comes to deciding which is the best medical alert device for your needs. Be sure to check that you have a good signal connection, a comfortable fit, and can use the system without any trouble during your medical alert free trial.
Put Your Trust in Top-Rated Companies
There are dozens of medical alert companies offering service to senior citizens. But how do you know which ones to trust? We did the research for you and found the medical alert systems with the best reviews and user ratings.
Not only do these top 11 medical alert providers offer you the most reliable service, best-in-class customer support, and highly-trained operators, but they also have some of the best medical alert prices available today.
If you’d like some help finding the most trusted medical alert companies to work with while shopping for the right personal emergency response system for you, you might want to take a look at our in-depth medical alert buyer’s guide for more information.