What To Look For When Purchasing A Medical Alert System For Your Parents

What To Look For When Purchasing A Medical Alert System For Your Parents

There aren’t many things as important as the health of your elderly parents. For many individuals with parents that have reached senior-citizen age, this can be one of the most stressful elements in their daily life. 

Sometimes it can be challenging to be as close to our elderly parents as we’d like. Commitments to work and other dynamics in our life can make it challenging to be available 24-hours per day. It becomes essential to have technology that can reassure us that our parents have emergency options. This page helps describe the best features to look for when you purchase a medical alert system for your loved ones. 

Medical alert systems can be one of the best ways to protect our parents and give them access to the fast emergency help they need. We have all seen the commercials for these systems and their overdramatic actors portraying scenes of the elderly in distress, but they don’t do much to describe why they might be the best product to help us. 

This is why we’ve compiled a guide that educates on things to look for while you’re shopping for products like this. Keep reading for all the best qualities a medical alert system should have before you commit. 

Our Responsibility

It’s been reported that individuals with elderly parents purchase nearly 75% of medical alert and monitoring systems. Shouldn’t we be the ones to research these products so we can understand what a quality system consists of?  

Pay close attention to the specifications listed below. These are the most critical elements when it comes to deciding on the right medical alert system. You don’t want to short yourself or your family on these systems; their lives depend on them. 

1. Communication

One of the essential elements of a quality medical alert system is the communication factor.  You should check for these characteristics when you’re shopping for these systems. Communication is one of the most important elements regarding these medical alert systems for seniors. 

  • Is there a two-way voice feature included with the system? This can be important for the well-being of your loved one. The senior should be able to speak directly to the dispatcher on the other end. This provides a level of comfort for your parent and also allows the dispatcher to instruct them on what they might need to do while they wait on paramedics. Likewise, they should be able to speak their needs and concerns directly to the dispatcher. Older systems didn’t possess a voice feature, only a button that triggered a call to the 911 system. This simple level of communication is not sufficient enough to assure you of your parent’s safety. 
  • Ask if there is a test call that can be utilized. This will clearly indicate whether the voice system is clear enough for the senior to hear and understand the dispatcher on the opposite end. 

2. Durability

It’s important to note how durable the components of the alert system are. The last thing you want is a breakdown of the system due to faulty or cheap equipment. 

  • All of the vital pieces of equipment included in the system should be waterproof. This is especially important considering many senior accidents happen in the shower and bathroom area. 
  • The equipment pieces should be made of durable, hard plastic in case they are dropped. Cheaper versions of these buttons and alert systems can easily break under too much weight or hard enough impact. 

3. Reminders

Newer, more modern versions of these systems are often equipped with some form of medication reminder. These systems can be programmed by you for your elderly parents. When the programmed time is reached, an alert or notification will read directly from a receiver or send a push notification to their phone or tablet. 

Usually this is an additional feature and might not come standard. Ask the representative you speak with if this is a different package option. Sometimes you can talk the rep into adding certain bonus features for free.

4. Monitoring

Another great feature that a quality medical alert system will have is additional monitoring. This is when you are able to communicate with your parents directly through the alert system or receive a notification that everything is okay. 

These systems normally have two levels of monitoring available. The first is a regular check-in feature that will prompt the user to push a button whenever the system asks. Assuming they respond to the notification, the system will be satisfied, and all is well. However, emergency workers will be dispatched to the scene if they fail to respond to the request by not pushing the button.

Another form of this monitoring activity is an intricate setup that uses motion detectors and door contacts to keep track of what your parent is doing within the home. If a door is opened that isn’t supposed to, or a strange pattern is detected by the system, you or emergency workers will be contacted. 

It’s important to put forth the required level of effort it takes to research these medical systems. There are so many that exist on the market, and finding efficient objects requires research. One additional tip you can take advantage of is by requesting a free trial.  This free trial period can help you decide whether a particular system is right for you and your parents.