Best Medical Alert Systems for Blind & Vision Impaired Seniors in 2020
COVID-19 Update: Since the medical alert industry is considered to be “essential” during the COVID crisis, monitoring and customer service centers are still open and ready to help. To learn more about how a medical alert device can help keep you or your elderly loved one safe and connected during this pandemic, take a look at our list of essential products for seniors during COVID-19.
Every minute counts when it comes to stroke recovery. Research shows that over time, stroke patients who receive treatment within three hours are 30% more likely to have a full recovery or minor complications than patients who received delayed care. Unfortunately, vision-impaired seniors can’t always seek prompt medical attention, especially if they don’t have a user-friendly medical alert system on hand.
If you fall in an unfamiliar place, you may not know how to locate a phone or find someone who can help. In fact, calling for help can even be difficult from your own home if you injure your hip or develop a concussion. To prevent these potential issues, many vision-impaired seniors rent or purchase medical alert systems.
Benefits of Medical Alert Systems for Blind and Vision Impaired Seniors
Home modifications help prevent injuries, but sometimes accidents still occur. The best medical alert systems provide 24/7 coverage for vision-impaired seniors, so injured adults can quickly contact help during an emergency. Devices generally have user-friendly designs, and some even offer automatic fall detection.
Automatic fall detection alerts medical providers that an accident has taken place, even if a senior can’t press the button for help. Hanging a PIN-protected lockbox on the front door makes it possible for emergency workers to enter a senior’s home and provide quick care.
Medical alert systems can save the life of someone you love, but choosing the right device isn’t easy. We’ve simplified the process by carefully researching medical alert systems for vision-impaired seniors before narrowing down our picks to the three listed below.
The 3 Best Medical Alert Systems for Blind and Vision Impaired Seniors
MobileHelp is a budget-friendly medical alert system provider. The company offers in-home units and mobile devices, both of which run through a cellular network. This is ideal for seniors who don’t have a landline connection.
There are four different plans for seniors, including a smartwatch and an in-home system. Monthly monitoring plans start at $19.95 and go up to $41.95 before you tack on additional expenses, such as the $10 monthly fall-detection fee. Fall detection is not available for the smartwatch, but it’s an option for other devices. Lockboxes are complimentary, so emergency workers can easily access seniors in need of urgent care.
Cellular triangulation and GPS tracking are an option for some devices. This lets caretakers know where their loved ones are at all times. When an issue arises, calls are routed through Rapid Response, a U.S.-based company.
Elderly adults can try the unit of their choice for up to 30 days and cancel with no fees, Life Alert is a company lacks this option, so MobileHelp is a good trial for seniors who are unsure whether it’s the right company for them.
QMedic medical alert systems provide a convenient way for vision-impaired seniors to request help, but they also track sleep patterns and activity levels. This makes it easier for caretakers to pinpoint potential problems, such as insomnia or exhaustion from prescription medications, before they get worse.
There are three QMedic plans available, and monthly fees range from $30 to $45. Fall detection is not an option, but some seniors still choose QMedic products because the plans provide plenty of caretaker benefits. More active, independent seniors may prefer MobileHelp devices with fall protection.
QMedic wrist monitors track sleeping habits and everyday activities, and then transmits information to the Caregiver Dashboard. Caretakers can also view call logs for real-time information about emergency calls to the U.S.-based call center. QMedic uses a cellular connection rather than a landline, so services are available nationwide.
Life Alert doesn’t have any special features, but sometimes that’s a perk rather than a deal breaker. Vision-impaired seniors who want a basic, easy-to-operate device do well with Life Alert pendants and bracelets. Two of Life Alert’s plans feature in-home units while the other product is an on-the-go device. You can buy each unit separately or request all three.
Prices for Life Alert plans are high when compared to other medical alert system options. The lowest-price plan starts at $49 per month, and some seniors pay nearly $90 for monthly services. However, some seniors don’t mind paying extra for peace of mind, as Life Alert devices are proven to save a subscriber’s life every 11 minutes.
Few devices compare to the long-battery life of medical alert systems from Life Alert. Seniors can use the on-the-go unit’s battery for up to 10 years, and the bathroom unit lasts just as long. Fall detection is not available, but the company offers a smartphone app. Subscribers can call for assistance via the smartphone app whenever they’re injured or feel unsafe.
Don’t choose Life Alert if you prefer a short-term contract, as users must commit to three years of service. Also, subscribers must pay activation fees ranging from $95 to $198 for medical alert systems from Life Alert.
Why Choose a Medical Alert System for Blind and Vision Impaired Seniors?
Loved ones and caretakers aren’t always available, so there are times when blind or vision-impaired seniors must fend for themselves. This may result in an unexpected fall, either from slipping on a wet surface, tripping over an unexpected object or fainting due to a stroke or low blood pressure.
When an emergency occurs, seniors with vision impairments may struggle to locate a telephone after a fall, especially if they’re injured in an unfamiliar environment. Medical alert systems provide wearable access to emergency services, and caretakers can even monitor activity for signs of a routine change that may stem from — or trigger — an accident. Some medical alert systems include a caretaker app, while others add caretakers to a prearranged contact list that provides updates when an accident occurs.
Medical alert systems provide peace of mind for family members and friends, but they also boost the confidence of mobile seniors because they can explore their community or navigate their home knowing they’re protected by a reliable medical alert system.
While some batteries only have a 24-hour lifespan, there are medical alert devices with batteries that last for months, sometimes even years. These devices are appropriate for short vacations or hospital stays. Look for a battery with a long lifespan if remembering to charge the medical alert system is a potential issue.
How to Find Medical Alert Systems for Blind and Vision Impaired Seniors
Elderly adults have different needs, so it’s important to compare multiple medical alert systems before making a decision. Before you invest in a device, consider your current budget as well as your future income. You might have a comfortable income now, but what happens if you have an unexpected medical expense or a household appliance breaks? Plan for these potential expenses when you consider how much you can afford for monthly subscription costs and device fees.
You should also consider the importance of special features. If you have your heart set on automatic fall detection, don’t choose a monthly subscription plan from a company that doesn’t offer this benefit. You should also consider whether you need a lockbox or wall-mounted button before committing to a medical alert system plan.
Some companies let you test drive devices before you sign a long-term contract. Take some time to get used to the device and see if the vision-impaired senior using the necklace or pendant can easily identify essential features, such as the help button. If not, you may need to go with a different company or product.
As adults age, they become more prone to falls. Protect yourself or a special senior in your life with a medical alert system that offers 24/7 monitoring.