Owners' Blog

Is a Medical Alert System Ever a Bad Idea?

By Hilary and Greg Eldridge

A medical alert system provides your parents with a quick and easy way to summon help in an emergency. Most have either a bracelet button or a pendant button that they wear all day and night. If something happens, they push that button and are connected to a representative who decides if emergency services are required or if it's best to have someone on the emergency contact list go to your parents' house.

In many cases, a medical alert system is an effective way to provide peace of mind. If it is needed, it's comforting. There are situations where it may not fit your family's needs.

Things to Know About a Medical Alert System

Some medical alert systems have contracts you have to sign. It's important to read over this contract carefully. You might find that it's harder to cancel than imagined. If your parent has hearing loss, the system that arrives may not be loud enough. When you go to return it, you learn that you have to swallow the shipping costs and pay any cancellation fee.

When you return a system, you have to send back all of the equipment. If you have a parent with memory loss who misplaces or throws away the wrist band or pendant, there's a fee to replace that missing item. You could find yourself required to pay $100 or more for this missing item.

Your mom or dad's pride may keep them from using a medical alert system. They may be convinced that they're safe on their own and don't need an electronic device to keep them safe. If they refuse to wear the button device or use the system, you're wasting money.

There is a monthly fee to be connected to a medical alert system. The more services you require, the higher that cost. A plan may start at $20, but add $30 per month for GPS tracking, $10 to $20 for fall detection, and $30 for wireless/mobile connectivity if your parent is out of range of the receiver. You'll suddenly find that monthly bill is now $100 or more.

Are There Better Options?

Have you considered the benefits of senior care? Instead of being connected to a phone system that connects to a stranger your parents hear but never see, they could have a person in their home for support. They have someone who can do more than call someone else for them. That person is there for support and socialization.

In place of a medical alert system, senior care services provide your family with a caregiver who is there for your mom and dad. They have a person available on a schedule to help them with housework, provide companionship, and rely on. With one call, a senior care representative can help you find the right schedule for your parents' needs.

If you or an aging loved one is considering hiring senior care in Stone Mountain, GA, please contact the caring staff at Home Helpers, call (678) 430-8511.