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.

Studies show that the majority of seniors prefer to stay in their homes as they age, but this idea may cause them or their families concern. Families, in particular, may prefer that help is on hand if their elderly loved ones have a fall or experience an emergency. This is where medical alert systems fill the gap. Also known as personal emergency response systems, medical alerts can be used to summon help for people who are home alone. An emergency button, usually worn as a pendant or wristband, is pressed when help is required, and the user is connected to an operator who can provide or arrange assistance. There are many options available, so seniors can find a system that suits their lifestyle.

Medical Alarm Concepts, the creator of MediPendant, has been in the medical alert business since 2009. However, its founders have been involved with the systems for much longer. The management team has over 30 years combined experience in the industry, and the chief engineer advisor was responsible for developing PERS technology. The business was founded to develop and manufacture state-of-the-art technology and offer all users superior customer service. Medical Alarm Systems was the first company to develop speaker pendant technology. MediPendant is the result of this innovation and allows seniors to speak directly to operators through their device, giving them more freedom and mobility.

MediPendant’s Best Features

The biggest benefit of the MediPendant system is the speaker. Most medical alert systems have an emergency button that activates a speaker in the base station, which plugs into the phone line. In larger homes, this can be some distance away from bedrooms, bathrooms or outdoor areas. If a senior calls for help when in the furthest corners of their home, they may not be able to speak to the operator, or may have to yell to be heard. Seniors who are hard of hearing may not be able to hear the operator’s responses. This can lead to unnecessary anxiety and can also result in an ambulance being called out when it’s not needed.

Improvements in speaker technology have allowed MediPendant to fit a speaker and microphone directly into the device. No matter where the senior is in the home, they can easily converse with the operator, provide information about their condition and receive reassurances that help is on the way. The MediPendant also has good coverage. Although it has to be in range of the base station, that range is 600 feet, which is the equivalent of two football fields.

MediPendant also concentrates on providing excellent service, as seen in their operators. Anyone who answers an emergency call is a certified EMT, with expert knowledge and experience keeping people calm in an emergency. MediPendant also guarantees that the operators will stay on the line, speaking to the user, until help arrives. Spanish speakers can also experience this level of service, as bilingual operators are available.

Seniors may wish to hear a familiar voice when they’re distressed, which can also be arranged. MediPendant has an emergency contact for each user and can connect to them during an emergency. This means the senior, their loved one and an operator can converse in a conference call to make decisions on the next steps that should be taken. If the senior doesn’t want to trouble anyone, their emergency contact will still receive a text message, alerting them about the situation.

Users may also appreciate MediPendant’s easy installation. It simply involves plugging the base station into a phone line and power outlet, and it’s ready to go. MediPendant can also work with alternative phone systems, such as Ooma, Vonage and AT&T U-Verse, or without a home phone line if the correct adapter is acquired. The base station can work with up to four pendants, so senior couples can each carry a device.

Option


MediPendant


Talking to Operators


Through speaker


Coverage


600 feet


Operator Training


EMT-Certified


Languages


English and Spanish


Battery Life


2+ years on standby


6 hours when in use


Base Station Battery Backup


30 hours


Wearable Options


Pendant around neck


Bracelet


Clipped to belt


Water Protection


Water-resistant


Additional Pendants


Up to 4 pendants can be used with one base station
Additional pendants available for up-front fee


The Cost of MediPendant

MediPendant has a very simple payment structure, as the company only offers one type of device and monitoring plan. The plan can be paid for on an annual, semiannual or quarterly basis, and the cost per month depends on the billing cycle. The monthly prices are similar to those of other systems.

Plan Type


Cost


Equivalent Monthly Cost


Annual


$359.40 billed once a year


$29.95


Semiannual


$197.70 billed every 6 months


$32.95


Quarterly


$104.85 billed every 3 months


$34.95


MediPendant doesn’t charge for equipment and there are no start-up costs, long-term contracts or cancellation fees. The only exception is for seniors who want extra pendants; that’s a one-time cost per additional device. There’s also a small, one-time fee for postage and handling. Discounts are available for AARP members, and seniors who sign up for a yearly billing cycle receive free shipping and a free lockbox.

This simple payment plan can be appealing to seniors on a budget, as there are no hidden fees and plans can be easily canceled if the situation changes. However, the lack of a monthly payment option may cause difficulty for other uses.

Pros and Cons of MediPendant

The pros of a MediPendant system largely come from its technology. The system can be used from anywhere in the home, as the user can hear the operator even if in a different room than the base station. The extensive range of the devices also gives seniors the ability to move freely around their home, and the pendant alerts users if they move out of range of the base station. As the device works without a landline, it’s a good choice for seniors who no longer have a traditional home phone.

The MediPendant also has excellent batteries. The lithium battery in the pendant can last for more than 12 months on stand-by and six hours when in use. Replacement batteries are easily obtained. The base station runs on household electrical power, but has a battery back-up that can last for around 30 hours in the event of an outage.

The high level of customer service is also a significant benefit of the system. People with EMT certification receive extensive training to be able to provide basic medical care, which gives them a deeper understanding of possible emergencies than many other medical alert system operators. They also know how to keep people calm and may be able to provide additional information to emergency responders who are sent to assist the user.

MediPendant can be worn around the neck as a pendant, as a bracelet or clipped to a belt loop. Since users can choose how to carry the emergency button, they’re more likely to wear it continuously, so it will be available when needed. The water-resistant pendant can be worn in the bath or shower, meaning assistance can be rendered no matter which room of the house an emergency occurs.

There are also disadvantages to MediPendant devices. The pendants are large, which may be unappealing to some customers. Bulkiness is a common feature of speaker devices, due to the need to fit a speaker and microphone in the case, although this may change as technology improves.

Although the pendants have a large range inside the house, they don’t work when away from the base station. New mobile technology is producing systems that work in the community, whether driving, shopping or walking the dog. Seniors who are still very active outside the house may find that one of these devices offers better protection.

The device is also very simple. Some seniors may see this minimalism as a benefit, as it makes it easy to use, but others may prefer additional features. Some companies are now making medical alert systems with fall detection. These are equipped with sensors to detect sudden movements and will initiate a call if it appears the senior has fallen. Other systems use sensors to monitor activity, and a change in regular movements will initiate a wellness check. MediPendant is no longer the only company producing devices with two-way speaker capabilities, and some seniors may find they prefer the extra features that other companies offer.