There are a few steps we’re going to go through before we even begin to talk about specific medical alert systems.
This is because the sales pages for the different medical alert devices are or can be pretty confusing. It’s easy to get lost in all the different features and have a hard time keeping track of the the essential differences.
So a first thing to consider is how active is the person who is going to use the medical alert.
There are two factors here. The first is out of the property versus on property. The second is a house and garden issue.
a. Does the elderly person do a lot of things around town?
If your elderly friend has an active social life and spends a lot of time out of the house with friends, shopping, going to the theater, etc., you’ll want to keep this in mind with your planning. So far there’s no medical alert system that provides seamless coverage at home and on the town. If you want the senior person to be protected at all times, you’ll need to figure out a good system for them to use while they’re out. My main recommendation in this case is a simple cell phone like the Jitterbug J. This is a phone that’s been designed specifically for ease of use by the aging. It doesn’t have all the fancy features of a modern smartphone, but it’s really easy to make calls with it.
b. Does the senior spend a lot of time in the garden, shop, or other place that’s near but not really in the house?
This is a key question. If the person is pretty much house-bound and only spends time in a specific area of the house, then a base station unit with relatively short range will be fine. (there are two issues here: one is the distance between the panic button and the base station. The other is whether the speaker and microphone on the base station are powerful enough to allow a conversation from the same distance.)
If the person spends time outdoors, you’ll want a system with either very long range transmission to the base station, or a system that allows two-way communication through the actual pendant.