Best Medical Alerts Systems for Disabled & Handicapped Seniors
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.
When a disabled senior falls out of a wheelchair, they may break or fracture a bone. After a hip is fractured, medical professionals should stabilize the area within 48 hours, and other fractures require similar treatment. Sadly, some seniors do not seek help during this time frame because the injury occurs while they are alone and unable to get the help they need.
Some handicapped seniors rely on home modifications for improved mobility, but these upgrades don’t always help prevent falls. When an accident occurs, seniors need a quick, convenient way to call for help, such as a medical alert system. The best medical alert systems monitor movements day and night, reassuring caretakers that their loved ones are safe.
Benefits of Medical Alert Systems
Medical alert systems give disabled seniors the freedom to navigate their home and community without worrying about an unexpected fall. If a fall does occur, the subscriber can call for help and receive prompt medical attention. Some medical alert providers even let elderly adults upgrade their devices with special features, such as automatic fall detection or GPS tracking. These features help medical professionals learn when and where an injury occurs, even if the affected senior can’t call for help.
Medical alert systems are affordable, convenient and effective. Seniors of all abilities can find options that suit their needs, from motion-tracking bracelets to voice-activated buttons. However, sorting through all the products available can get frustrating, so we’ve created this guide to help streamline the process. Whether you’re looking for an in-home unit or a smartwatch for on-the-go adults, the summaries below can help you choose the right device for disabled and handicapped seniors.
The 3 Best Medical Alert Systems for Disabled and Handicapped Seniors
Medical Care Alert provides budget-friendly plans for elderly adults in need of a medical alert system. Monthly costs typically fall between $29.95 and $39.95, but seniors can add fall detection to three of the company’s five devices for $10 per month. PIN-protected lock boxes and wall-mounted buttons are available for a one-time fee of $29.95. Though costs are listed monthly, new subscribers cannot select a monthly billing plan until they have completed at least one billing cycle on a quarterly plan.
Call center operators who answer Medical Care Alert calls are all EMT- or EMD-certified professionals. Operators must also undergo a certified training program from the Security Industry Association prior to answering emergency calls. When an operator dispatches help to an injured senior, text notifications are sent to anyone on the senior’s contact list, including doctors and family members. This helps caretakers track incidents so they can discuss them with medical professionals or implement a new safety plan for loved ones.
The affordable plans include on-the-go and in-home options, all of which have a 14-day trial period. If a subscriber is not satisfied with a device, they can return it during this time frame.
Medical Guardian has a large selection of medical alert devices, which makes it easy for handicapped seniors to find one they can comfortably operate. Traditional devices, such as wall-mounted buttons and water-resistant pendants are available, but seniors can also request contemporary options such as a smartwatch-inspired device.
Plans begin at $29.95 and cost up to $79.95 per month before add-ons. Expect to pay an additional $10 per month for fall detection, a feature offered with four of the company’s six plans. PIN-protected lock boxes and traditional wall-mounted buttons are $2 per month, and voice-activated buttons are available for a $5 monthly fee. The Medical Guardian watch requires a one-time activation fee of $99, but there are no activation, installation or cancellation fees for other products.
Medical Guardian is popular with caretakers because it provides a helpful app that logs movements via GPS monitoring. Caretakers can set alerts through the app, and the Freedom Guardian has a voice-to-text SMS messaging feature for convenient communication.
Some seniors complain that the smartwatch is confusing. Opt for a simple device, such as a pendant or wall-mounted button, for seniors who do not want multiple features or the option to text loved ones.
With plans starting at just $19.95 per month, MobileHelp is easily the most affordable option for many elderly adults. Higher-priced plans cost $37.95 to $41.95 before factoring in the cost of special features, such as the $10-per-month fall detection. Three of the company’s four devices offer fall detection.
Most medical alert system companies charge $2 to $10 per month for a PIN-protected lock box, but MobileHelp provides them for free. Mobile devices and in-home units are available, so seniors remain protected no matter where they go. Data runs through a cellular network rather than a landline, but there are no extra fees for cellular service.
In-home and on-the-go devices are available, including a smartwatch-style device. Medication scheduling is available for an extra cost, and seniors can enjoy helpful perks, such as weather forecasts, with some devices.
Emergency calls are routed through Rapid Response, a U.S.-based medical alert monitoring company. Operators are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Why Choose a Medical Alert System for Disabled and Handicapped Seniors?
When a disabled senior falls, they may not always have a caretaker or loved one nearby to help. This can result in serious medical issues, including hip fracture, dislocated spine, concussion or even death. A medical alert system contacts emergency professionals with the press of a button or a quick verbal prompt, so help arrives as soon as possible. Some medical alert systems even offer automatic fall detection and activity monitoring, so medical workers can help seniors who are unable to request assistance.
Even seniors with around-the-clock caretakers can become injured. Placing a wall-mounted medical alert button in the bathroom lets elderly adults call for help after slipping on a wet floor or getting stuck in the tub. A wearable pendant or wristband is also an option during bath time, as many devices are water resistant.
How to Find Medical Alert System for Disabled and Handicapped Seniors
Choosing a medical alert system gets tricky when you consider the large selection of products and companies. Before you commit to a subscription for a medical alert device, ask yourself the following questions:
- Can I afford this now? What about in the future?
- Is the device easy to use for a senior who is disabled or handicapped?
- How long does the battery last, and can it be recharged or replaced?
- What add-ons are needed, and how will they affect the monthly price?
- Is a long-term commitment required, or can you cancel at any time?
- Are there cancellation fees, installation fees or activation fees?
- What happens if the device malfunctions or breaks?
- Does the device offer GPS monitoring?
- Can caregivers access data from the medical alert system?
- Are operators available who speak the subscriber’s language?
These are all important factors to consider before selecting a medical alert system. A complicated device may not get much use, so it’s vital that you choose something convenient, comfortable and simple. You should also consider the number of devices you need, as well as whether you should get different devices for in-home use and on-the-go monitoring.
Weigh your options carefully, then choose the best device for a disabled senior. When used correctly, the right medical alert system can help prevent long-term damage from injuries and possibly even save a disabled senior’s life.