Assisted living facilities primarily help residents with non-medical needs. Although minor and infrequent medical services, such as first-aid for a wound, can sometimes be met on-site by nurses. These communities may sometimes also be called ALFs, residential care facilities, retirement homes, or long-term care facilities.
The financial options available to help pay for senior care is dependent on, among other things, the type of care that is required. If you are just beginning the research process on how to pay for long-term care, it is helpful to have an idea about the type of care you or your loved one currently requires, as well as to anticipate future needs. In addition, it is important to be familiar with the associated eldercare terminology.
Can using home care technology help your family save money caring for an aging loved one? The answer is most certainly “Yes”. Our goal is not to provide a comprehensive list, but rather to make sense of those that are available on the market today and can reduce the care hours required by elderly persons. As such, they can reduce a family’s out-of-pocket care costs or reduce the hours they spend providing care themselves.
Medicare Advantage (Part C), a privately offered alternative to Original Medicare (Parts A and B), has grown in popularity over the years. Despite the growing popularity of Medicare Advantage, some seniors face obstacles that prevent them from truly understanding how it works and who it benefits. Common mistakes about Medicare Advantage include misunderstanding its differences from Original Medicare, getting it confused with other forms of private Medicare insurance (like Medigap or Part D), or not understanding how to look up or evaluate plans.
The Alert1 range of medical alert systems helps seniors feel safe and confident in their own homes, allowing them to live independently and stay in their community amongst friends. Many older adults who live alone fear falling and suffering an injury. Fall-related injuries are common. Every year, one in four older Americans experiences a fall, and such accidents are the leading cause of injury and death in seniors.
The Alert1 range of help buttons and medical alert systems means seniors can feel confident that help is never far away. The company was founded in 1988 and offers services across the country, including home-based systems and mobile solutions for active seniors.
There are five packages for seniors to choose from, ranging from its most basic in-home only package to a higher-end package with cellular coverage and fall detection. The company promises nationwide, multilingual coverage, with multiple TMA Five Diamond Certified contact centers spread across the company.
Alert1: What You Should Know
Alert1 is one of the most long-standing brands in the world of medical alert systems. However, the company’s technology is starting to show its age. The basic in-home option relies on a landline for communications and comes with a pendant rated to have a range of 1,000 feet. In the real world, the pendant’s range is reduced by thick walls or other obstacles, but the range is still above average compared to competitors.
The cellular version of the in-home service comes with a large, bulky adapter. This may be an inconvenience for those who have a small home or who simply don’t want to have extra clutter on their counters.
Alert1 offers a fall detection pendant as an optional extra. This product automatically detects falls based on sudden changes in direction or speed. The device has been carefully configured to reduce the risk of false alarms, although it may still trigger if the system is dropped. If a fall is detected, the device automatically initiates a help call. If the alert was a false alarm, the senior can simply say this and the advisor will end the call. If the senior does not respond to the call, the advisor will send help to the senior’s current location.
There are two versions of the fall detection pendant. One for the in-home device, and one for the mobile and GPS device. The on-the-go devices have built-in two-way communication, although the audio quality on the devices is not as clear as the quality of some rival systems.
The features offered by Alert1 are quite barebone. For example, the system lacks a caregiver mobile app, so loved ones cannot receive updates on the location of the device user. Most of the other major medical alert system manufacturers now offer such a service.
Alert1 Pendant and Base Station
Included as standard
Included in On-The-Go Service Optional extra for the in-home system
Alert1 offers several plans at different price points, including a basic in-home only system and several offerings for active seniors who require coverage outside of the house:
Home: A low-cost landline-based in-home-only service. Cellular service is an optional extra.
Home + Fall Detection: The in-home system plus a fall-detection pendant.
On-The-Go: A mobile package for active seniors, with a speaker in the button.
On-The-Go + Fall Detection: The mobile package plus a fall-detection pendant.
On-The-Go, Home and Fall Detection: An in-home base unit, On-The-Go pendant, and fall detection.
The most basic Home package starts at $16.95 per month for a 36-month plan or $28.95 for month-to-month billing. The top-tier package of On-The-Go, Home and Fall Detection costs $49.95 to $61.95 depending on the billing periods chosen.
The basic pricing of $16.95 per month sounds affordable at first; however, this requires paying for 36 months up front, which is a substantial commitment. The same plan on month-to-month billing is actually slightly more expensive than similar services offered by rival providers.
There’s no up-front cost to purchase the device, but there is an activation fee. This, combined with the long contract required to benefit from the higher prices makes the systems less competitive in price than they first appear. There are several optional extras available, such as lockboxes and wall buttons; however, these are quite expensive.
Alert1 Pros and Cons
Alert1 has some good features, but the brand is in danger of being surpassed by some of its rivals:
Alert1’s Home system uses a base station and a short-range pendant. Users must stay within range of the base station to make use of the device. The On-The-Go product uses cellular and GPS, providing users with coverage outside of their home.
Are there any additional fees for using the Alert1 cellular service?
Alert1’s cellular devices work on the Verizon network. The monthly fee for the devices covers unlimited button pushes and talk time, so seniors do not need to worry about extra charges for using the device.
Is the Alert1 pendant water-resistant?
The Alert1 pendant is water-resistant and is safe to use in the shower or outdoors in rainy conditions.
Does Alert1 have a minimum contract period?
Alert1 uses tiered pricing, with discounts for those who sign on to a longer contract. There is an activation fee and several pricing tiers. The discount for paying for 36 months in advance is equivalent to getting six months of free service. Prepaying for one year equates to getting two months free. Users also have the option of paying quarterly, or month-to-month.
Does the Alert1 require a landline?
The most basic in-home package uses a landline. Users can purchase a cellular adaptor if they would prefer not to rely on the landline as their only source of connection. The On-The-Go devices use Verizon as the provider, and coverage is available nationwide; however, there may be regional variations in signal strength.
Is the Alert1 a good choice?
Alert1 may be a good choice for seniors whose primary language is not English. The company offers support in 190 different languages and that service is worth the extra cost. The multilingual support is the only true selling point of its packages, however.
The company’s packages are generally more expensive than equivalent services offered by rival brands, and its activation fees are off-putting too. The lack of a companion app, and the bulky, cellular adaptor provided with some versions of the product also make it hard to recommend them.