After researching and writing about medical alarms since 2009, I’m convinced that monitored medical alarms are better than no-fee medical alarms. For most people. Most of the time.
With a monitored medical alert, you get a trained professional on the other end of the phone when you have an emergency.
With a no-fee alert, you get a friend or family member who might or might not be able to respond effectively. Or you get no one.
I think the benefits of having a trained responder outweigh (by a long shot) the cost savings of having a no-fee alert.
But in a few situations, a no-fee alert can be better.
1. I know someone who bought a no-fee alert for his mother when she lived in an assisted living facility. The facility provided a call button on the wall, but it was out of reach if she fell transferring from her wheelchair to her sitting chair. With the no-fee alert, she was able to call the front desk if something happened, and they were able to respond.
2. People living with a full-time caregiver who is in the same building or on the same property can use a no-fee system to call the caregiver’s cell phone if they need help.
But for most situations, where a person is living alone and might need urgent help in an emergency, I’m more comfortable recommending a system that dials a real monitoring center. It feels like there are too many ways a no-fee alert can go wrong, from the delay of trying to reach multiple people to the fact that when you do reach someone, they may be unable to help effectively.
Of course, that assumes you have bought the right kind of monitored medical alert. If you buy one of the medical alerts with limited range due to the base station speakerphone, but you spend a lot of time outside, you are probably better off with a no-fee alert that works up to 600 feet from the base station. But that’s a bit of a false choice, because you’ll be much better off with a 2-way monitored device.
Do you agree? Disagree? Have more questions? Please make a comment.