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Choosing a medical alert system can be a daunting task. That’s why you need to do your homework before making a decision on which medical alert company will earn your business.
Who will be monitoring your medical alert system?
Having a quality monitoring center is the key to having a quality medical alert system. Many of the larger medical alert companies will tell you that it’s important to have your own in-house monitoring center while many of the smaller to medium size companies will tell you it’s better to have an outside monitoring center. The truth is, there are pros and cons to both. When making your decision, ask to speak with a care specialist who works for the monitoring center. Are they friendly? Are the professional? Are they knowledgeable? What kind of training have they gone through?
Remember, companies are only as good as the people working for them.
Is the monitoring center UL Listed?
For more than 100 years, Underwriters Laboratories (UL) has been writing standards for safety. Make sure you ask if the monitoring center is UL certified. Remember, you are trusting your life or the life of a loved one by the monitoring center’s ability to have emergency medical personnel arrive quickly and with the patient’s medical history.
Did your medical alert company ask you for enough medical history?
When you or your aging senior parent has an emergency at home, it can be traumatic for them waiting for help to arrive. It’s important to know that the monitoring center will have two care specialists handle each emergency call. One care specialist stays on the line with the the person in need and provides reassurance and comfort, while the second care specialist notifies EMS or a family member on the emergency contact list.
How does the monitoring center handle calls?
Some people are under the impression that calls are directly routed to 911 services instead of a monitoring center. While this may be true for some medical alert products, it is not generally the case. Monitoring centers have the unique ability to talk directly with the medical alert caller to ensure that the appropriate people are called for aid. Sometimes 911 dispatch is called and sometimes only a family member or friend are called. This is why it’s important to have a care specialist on the other end of the line who has a complete medical profile of the person using the system.
How much does a medical alert system cost? And what is the cancellation policy?
Choosing a medical alert company is no different than interviewing a home caregiver. Always find out upfront what the monthly costs and fees are. Never sign a long term contract. Most medical alert providers offer a month to month subscription for their services.
Medical alert systems typically cost between $25 and $40 per month. It’s standard for a company to charge one to six months up front for service and then on a month to month basis. Again, the quality of the service is what’s important. Are you comfortable with the people on the other end of the phone?
Installation for most medical alert systems is generally very simple and does not require anyone to come out to the home. If you can plug in a phone line and a power cord, you can install one yourself.
Service and Accountability
Online reviews can give you a false sense of security. Many companies post their own reviews of their own products. Begin with the Better Business Bureau and doing your own online research. You can type in a search for “company name” + complaints. Most all companies will have complaints from time to time but it is how they handle these complaints that determine it a mediocre company or an outstanding company.
What are the customer service and technical support hours of operation?
It’s impossible to know when you or a loved one may need to place an emergency call for assistance; therefore, a monitoring center needs to be available 24/7. No exceptions on this one.
How reliable is the medical alert equipment?
Different medical alert companies are always advertising longer battery life and longer range than their competitors. The truth is that most all of the medical alert units are made by the same manufacturers. The only difference is how they are branded and how they are advertised.
If there is one piece of information I want you to take away with you after reading this article, it’s the fact that all medical alert companies are not created equal. Do your research. Talk with the customer service representatives and make an informed decision. Don’t be fooled by slick talking salespeople. If it sounds too good to be true it usually is.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us directly at 1-800-595-0718. One of our care specialist will be happy to help you.
One of the questions we get all the time is: How do your medical alert systems work?
Let’s first begin by explaining the individual parts. Generally, there are four components to a medical alert system (PERS). The first component is a radio transmitter, or the call button. The call button may be worn on the wrist like a wrist watch or it can be worn as a necklace (pendant). The second component is the console or base unit. The base unit communicates with the call button through radio waves. The third component is your standard phone line or Voice over IP line (VoIP). The last part of the medical alert system is the response center or monitoring center.
Once the call button is pushed on the wrist band or necklace, the base unit makes an outbound phone call to a preset number. The console will disable and interrupt any current phone calls as well as act as a two way speaker phone. Some medical alert systems have the speaker built in to the call button and some use the base station. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. The console is very sensitive to voices and will pick up a voice or sounds from most any room in the house. If there is no response, the call center will dial 911 and send out emergency personnel immediately. At MedFirst alert, we even call family members and neighbors if instructed to do so. This can be very helpful to a senior in need of immediate comforting and medical treatment. The range of the call button is approximately 200 to 600 feet outside of the house, depending on the medical alert system. This means that if an accident were to occur outside, help is still available.
The most important part of any medical alert system is the company standing behind the service and monitoring of these systems. At MedFirst Alert, we treat each person using our system as if they were part of our own family. We have a full time staff of care specialist which are highly trained answering the phones 24 hours a day. You can be assured that your loved one will be taken care of. Please give us a call at 1-800-595-0718 for more information or order a free brochure from http://medfirstalert.com/medical-alert-brochure