Every system has pros and cons, so don’t let the fact that no-fee medical alerts have some drawbacks stop you from buying one if they’re right for your situation.
The biggest disadvantage of a no-fee system is that even if the alarm unit works as expected, you might not get help when you need it.
For example, you could program in the numbers of 4 family members or friends, and it could be that none of them are available when you need them.
True, you can program many systems (like the Freedom Alert) to dial 911 if no one else on the call list can be reached, but do you really want to have to wait that long to be able to dial 911? Each phone call can take about a minute to ring without answer.
If you’re having a true life-threatening emergency, you don’t want to have to wait that long for a response.
This is why I think highly of the Guardian 911. All it does is call 911, so when you really need to call for help it does the job without any delays. However, it can’t be programmed to dial other numbers. It’s truly for major emergencies only.
If you’re not having a major emergency, you can probably get to the phone to make a regular call. If you are incapacitated to the point that you can’t make it to a phone, you probably do need the ambulance to come.
Regular no-fee systems also require the elderly person to do some cognitive work before pressing the panic button. They will have to think about the people who are on the call list and may have different feelings about who may answer. This could conceivably cause them to hesitate from making a call out of a desire not to worry the person who gets the call. This could result in a failure to ask for help when it’s needed.
You’ll have to rely on your knowledge of the elderly person to know what’s going to work best for them. In some cases, an elderly person might feel more comfortable asking for help from a stranger who has been paid to be a responder than to a family member or friend who is responding out of duty, friendship, or guilt.
In contrast to the no-fee alerts, with a monitored medical alert you always know there’s a professional responder on the other end of the line who will answer promptly and dispatch appropriate help.
Return to the no-fee medical alerts page.