Having a way to contact help is an essential element in helping seniors feel safe in their homes. Phones are excellent tools, but after a fall, seniors may not be able to reach their landline or cell phone. This is where medical alert systems come in. Also known as personal emergency response systems, they combine hardware and software to send an alert when assistance is required. The device is wearable, usually as a pendant or wristband, and has a button to press for help. Most systems work on a subscription basis, and monitoring staff answer when the button is pressed.
Medical alert systems have integrated new technologies to create products with innovative features. Traditional systems used a base station connected to the landline to contact the monitoring center, but some new models have two-way speakers embedded that allow users to speak to monitoring staff from wherever they are. Thanks to cellular technology, many devices can be used outside of the home, enabling adults to stay active with the assurance that help can be easily reached, if required.This article details the best speaker medical alert systems and includes information on how to choose the right device for you.
Medical Guardian has a wide range of choices when it comes to medical alert systems, making it easy to find a subscription and device that meets seniors’ budget and needs. The company is known for its high-quality devices that have good battery life and connect quickly to their call center agents. There are two speaker medical alert options available, the Mobile Guardian and the Active Guardian, which are designed to be used on the go. The speakerphones in each are clear, and they come with GPS tracking so users can get help even if lost.
MobileHelp’s original focus was on cellular medical alert systems, and this is reflected in its advanced devices. It doesn’t charge extra fees for a cellular connection, which can help seniors on a budget. The mobile device is lightweight and easy to use, and an additional pendant with a help button is included. The devices also have nationwide cellular coverage and GPS technology, so users can be found even when on holiday. The MobileHelp Solo plan comes with one device and Mobile Duo has two devices, which is perfect for couples.
Bay Alarm Medical brings the experience of its parent company, Bay Alarm, which has been providing security systems for more than 70 years. Its on the go devices use a 4G LTE network for better coverage and fast connection speeds. Devices also have GPS tracking and some packages allow this to be connected to a Caregiver Tracking App, so family members can see where you are and get notified when the battery’s low. Active adults you may also wish to look at their in-car system, which has two-way speakers and alerts emergency services in case of a crash.
Traditional medical alert systems use a wearable alert button and a base station connected to a landline. Many base stations have a speaker that allows elderly owners to talk to monitoring staff in the case of an emergency. However, this isn’t always practical, especially if someone has fallen in the back of the garden or in a part of the house where their voice can’t be picked up by the speaker. It also means help can only be obtained while in the home.
Speaker medical alert systems work by embedding a small, two-way speaker into the alert device. This allows users to communicate from wherever they are, whether that’s by the mailbox or in the shed. A simple press of the button connects adults to the operator, much like using a cell phone, and most of these systems use cellular technology. This is an important feature, as it allows owners to tell the operator exactly what the problem is, ensuring the correct help is dispatched. If an emergency response is required, the operator can send an ambulance, but if the issue is minor, the operator can connect with someone on your contact list. Speaking to the operator can also be calming while you’re waiting for help to arrive and means that if it’s a false alarm, such as a button being pressed accidentally, you can let the operator know so they don’t contact anyone.
Speaker medical alert systems also have other benefits. Many systems work outside of the house, allowing seniors to get help whether they’re shopping or walking the dog. This gives aging adults and their family peace of mind and lets them stay independent and active, leading to better mental and physical health. The pendants are wearable devices, so they’re always on hand, unlike a mobile phone which may be out of reach.
When choosing a medical alert system, the decision generally comes down to budget, features and service. For many seniors, especially those on a fixed income, the price is the primary concern. As most systems are monitored, consumers pay a monthly subscription fee which can range from $25 to $75 or more. This generally includes the device and monitoring costs, though some companies charge an upfront fee for the device. Make sure to check their cancellation policy in case of short-lived use; for example, if you enter a nursing home, you may not need the system any longer.
When choosing a device look at the battery life. Speaker medical alert systems may have a shorter battery life than traditional systems. If you plan to wear it away from home, make sure the battery will last through the travel time frame. Also, consider a waterproof device because many falls take place in the bathroom.
Fall detection is becoming more common in medical alert systems. These use motion sensors to automatically detect a fall and call the monitoring center in case you can’t press the button. Companies say these sensors are 95% accurate. Keep in mind that companies may charge extra for this service.
Finally, ask about the service included. Ask who monitors the line and if they have emergency response training. Find out what the response time is, and if English isn’t your first language, ask if translation services are available. Speaker medical alert systems work with cellular coverage, so remember to ask which network the device works on and make sure that you have coverage in your area.