Medic Alert System: Your parents want to stay in their home.
They don’t want to move to a senior living community. They feel they’re fine on their own. But, you can’t help but worry. They don’t have neighbors close by, and family members only stop by once a week. For that reason, you’re considering a medic alert system.
Before you purchase one, weigh the pros and cons. While medic alert systems help boost safety when you live alone, other options may work better.
How Medic Alert Systems Work
If you’ve never been exposed to a medic alert system, they work like this. There’s a pendant or bracelet push-button device that the user wears that works like a two-way radio. That device may have built-in sensors that detect falls. They can also have GPS tracking.
There’s also a base that the devices connect to. That base is connected to the phone line for calling the support professionals at the medic alert company. It’s automatically set to speakerphone to make it easy to hear and respond to the agent.
When the user doesn’t feel right or falls, they push the button. If it’s a fall, the device can activate the button automatically. The support professional at the monitoring center talks to the person to determine what’s wrong. If the issue is not an emergency, the contact person on the list is called. If it’s an emergency, the support agent calls the appropriate emergency team.
The Pros and Cons of a Medic Alert System
Medic alert systems may or may not involve a set-up fee and activation fee. The pendant or bracelet can also incur an additional cost. After the initial set-up and activation, there’s a monthly monitoring fee. If you add extra services like fall detection or GPS tracking, that will add to the cost.
Pay attention to the in-home range. Some have a range of 600 feet, while others can be upwards of 2,000 feet. A shorter range may not be suitable if your parents are in the garden. If the unit allows GPS or connects to cell towers, the protection extends when your parents are out for walks or shopping, too.
Your parents enjoy peace of mind, but the monitoring center agents are not there in person. Your parents won’t gain the benefits of companionship that caregivers offer.
Paid Caregivers Offer a Personal Touch
While a medic alert system helps keep your parents safe while they age at home, professional caregivers are better. Your parents enjoy companionship from caregivers who are there for conversations and fun activities. They have caregivers available to make sure they’re safe when taking a walk.
Call a home care agency and ask about the rates for caregivers. You’ll learn more about the available services and the frequency that you can have caregivers stop by to help out. When the caregivers leave for the day, the medic alert system is there at night.