Once you’ve determined that you or a loved one could benefit from a medical alert system then it’s time to begin checking out several senior alert systems reviews both on and offline. We’ll assume that you understand the basics of how such as system works and are looking for more in-depth information and reviews on particular brands and system types.
The first step in evaluating a medical alert system to make yourself aware of the two major types of systems as this will help immensely in narrowing down your decision. Along these same lines it’s vital that you accurately evaluate the needs of the person requiring the medical alert system. For this discussion, we’ll limit our focus to senior alert systems reviews in particular as opposed to medical alert systems, in general.
There are medical alert systems for conditions and diseases such as diabetes, epilepsy, and allergies that are based on a medical ID bracelet tied to a medical record stored at a call center. We’ll discuss this type of system on another article. For now, let’s focus on wireless alert systems for seniors who wish to continue living independently.
Requirements for Senior Alert Systems Reviews
- Reliable technology and equipment – the speaker box should have a good range so the operator or call contact is able to hear a senior a fair distance away. All the components of the system, including batteries should have a long life without frequent failures.
- The call button (pendant or wristlet) should be comfortable to wear even while sleeping. A big plus is waterproof pendants so that seniors can wear them safely in the shower or bath as many slips and falls with seniors occur in these locations.
- Ability for seniors to take the system with them when traveling. This is a big benefit and allows the entire system and access to the call center or contact list to travel with users either when on vacation or when visiting friends and relatives. Some systems include this with the basic price while others require purchasing additional equipment.
- The system should be easy to setup and operate. The system also shouldn’t require additional activation fees in order to setup.
- The cost of the system should be reasonable regardless if it’s a one-time fixed price or a monthly subscription.
There are many optional accessories and services that are offered with many senior alert systems and while some are worth considering, others just put more money into the company’s pockets.
A few of the top alert system companies are listed below:
- Philips Lifeline
While this list is by no means exhaustive, it is a good place to begin your investigation of companies that provide these kinds of systems. Included below are recommended steps to take when evaluating companies and their systems:
- Start by performing an Internet search of each alert system company that you are considering. Besides visiting the company Website also have a look at third-party review sites such as Amazon.com, Epinions.com, and ConsumerReports.org. Adding modifiers to your search will bring up negative reviews if they exist online. Modifiers such as “sucks”, “complaints”, “problems”, “scam”, “rude”, etc., will get you started.It’s also important to be an intelligent consumer of online information including reviews. Just because you find a few negative reviews doesn’t not necessarily mean that the company or their product is poor. Do some reading between the lines in order to determine if it’s simply a hard to please customer or a case that someone received a rare lemon. Conversely a lot of rave reviews may indicate that something is fishy with the review site.
- For subscription-based models have a careful look at the contracts. Sometimes these can be found online, but most likely you will need to request them. Be sure to read the contracts prior to making any purchasing decisions and don’t be afraid to ask company sales reps about anything that isn’t clear. If the rep is evasive or rude, then this should be a big red flag of potential problems.
- Interview the sales reps and support people. Simply call the contact number and begin asking questions. It should be clear pretty quickly if you feel comfortable with the people the company has manning their phone lines. If they come across as high pressure or rude, then tread carefully. Unfortunately some companies take advantage of elderly people and apply high-pressure tactics to force them into buying additional equipment and services that they do not need. In some cases, it may be preferable to have a child or younger person make the calls for you.
These are just a few of the basic steps you should consider taking when evaluating senior alert systems reviews. It’s an important decision and one that should be made only after careful consideration of both your individual needs and circumstances as well as the quality and reputation of the company providing the alert system.