If you’re too far from the medical alert base station when you need help, the system might not work for you.
Here’s what happens. When you need to use the medical alert system in your house, you press the button that you carry with you. This activates the base station. The base unit then takes over the phone line (if someone else is making a call or you are using a dial-up internet connection) and makes the call to the medical monitoring facility.
What happens from here depends on your system and your equipment. Most medical alert devices act a lot like speakerphones. The person on the other end can talk to you through the speakerphone and you can answer.
As you can guess, this works best when you are in the same room as the unit.
If you’re too far away for your voice to reach the unit, then the monitoring employee won’t be able to hear what you’re saying.
Usually in a situation like this the monitoring companies assume that you need help fast and they dispatch an ambulance to help you.
Now, there’s one more situation you might want to watch out for. That’s if you’re actually too far away for the button to activate the base station. Let’s say you’re in your garden and the base station is at the other end of the house. It might be too far away. If you fall down or have a medical emergency in the garden, you might not be able to summon help.
This is why it’s so important to test the system when you buy it and install it. You’ll want to know exactly where it works and where it doesn’t.
If you move around a lot over a large yard or have a really big house, you’ll want to investigate whether you can find an extra-long-range system. You might also look for one that has a communications device on the button so you can have a two way conversation with the dispatcher no matter whether you’re not in the same room with the base unit. For example, check out my review of the MediPendant.