It’s kind of like flossing. Really important, but something you might tend to put off.
But it’s easy.
Press your help button. Wait for the system to connect. Talk with the operator who answers.
When they answer, just say you’re testing the system.
It’s a simple process. The companies don’t mind. They have enough staff on hand that you’re not blocking someone with a real emergency from getting help.
Make sure you test your medical alert system from different parts of the house, especially the areas you use most often.
Why is testing your medical alert important?
First, it gives you reassurance that the system is working properly. You can make sure the panic button is working, the base station receives the signal well, and the phone line is connecting properly. Most medical alert systems also have self-diagnostic routines that make sure the different parts of the system are functional and have enough battery power. But it doesn’t hurt to check for yourself.
Second, as you activate your system from different parts of your home, you’ll get a better idea for how hard or easy it is to communicate with the monitoring company. Remember, most monitoring companies will call your house if they can’t hear you over the speakerphone or pendant. They’ll do this before sending an ambulance to your door. This means you can test the range of the unit without worring about a false alarm. (Check with your company first, of course, to make sure this is their operating procedure.)
Third, the practice will make it more likely for you to use the system when you need help. Testing basically gives you a “muscle memory” of pressing your help button and going through the process. It will help make using the system more automatic in case of an accident where you might be panicked, in shock, or disoriented because of what’s just happened.
PS. Most likely you’re a caregiver or adult child, not the person who’s actually using the medical alert. You can pass along this information, suggest a regular testing schedule, or even make the testing part of your regular routine when you visit.