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.

Medical alert systems give seniors a way to summon help immediately through a pendant, wristband or a small unit clipped to a belt. If a senior has fallen or is experiencing a health crisis, pushing an emergency alert button sends an immediate signal to an operator who can summon help. Originally, all medical alert systems consisted of a base attached to a phone line and a portable alert button. However, newer technology has added various convenient features, such as two-way communication through portable devices, the use of cellular networks to enable mobility and GPS location tracking. The latter two improvements free active seniors from their homes while allowing them to stay connected to emergency services.

Why Use a Medical Alert System?

One in five falls among senior citizens can lead to serious injuries, and the more quickly help arrives, the better the outcome for seniors experiencing medical emergencies. Many older adults are committed to aging in place, staying in their homes and arranging for home assistance and support as needed. Technology can help with this, and the ability to immediately call for help is one advance that medical alert services have provided for older people living independently.

Numactive Emergency Alert Systems

Numactive offers two different systems, Alert Home and Alert Sky, to suit the unique needs of each user. Each option involves user activation and the opportunity to speak with a call center professional. Both levels of monitoring include an alert pendant, and the Alert Home service also includes a base unit. Testing out the system by making a call during setup gives seniors confidence in the emergency alert process while ensuring that the unit is working properly.

Below are the notable differences between Alert Home and Alert Sky.

Alert Home

For seniors with limited mobility, the Alert Home system provides monitoring in a house or apartment through a landline, so a traditional phone or cable phone service is required for setup. The signal range is 500 feet from the base, the usual range for a cordless phone, providing coverage from the yard, driveway and most rooms in the house.

Seniors can wear the alert as a pendant or wristband. In an emergency, a user simply presses a large button on the portable unit to summon help. Within 6 feet of the base, they can communicate by voice with the operator. If direct communication isn’t possible, the emergency contact on file will be called, and if the contact person is not available, operators are trained to call emergency services.

Alert Sky

With the Alert Sky system, the pendant is a portable unit capable of two-way communication, enabling the wearer to contact a friendly operator who can answer questions and call a contact person or emergency service on their behalf. Mobile sensors in the unit detect falls, instantly triggering two-way communication, and GPS data makes it easier to locate a senior when there’s an accident or emergency. Alert Sky operates using mobile phone networks, so it functions anywhere cell phone service is available, allowing complete mobility paired with the security of wearing a monitoring device.

The pendant for the Alert Sky system comes with a charger base and can be worn around the neck on a lanyard or clipped to a belt. The portable unit holds a charge for 72 hours, and a text alert is automatically sent when only two hours of operation remain. Numactive recommends that users keep the charger next to the bed and within reach so the unit remains available while being recharged each night. The Alert Sky system gives seniors more independence by providing service wherever cellular networks are available, including all of Canada and the United States, and during travel between the two countries.

Best Features of Numactive Emergency Alert Systems

Numactive has a successful record of providing quality emergency alert systems, and it has partnered with SecurityOne Alarm Systems LTD, a trusted alarm monitoring service founded in 1978, to provide a full-service medical alert system for seniors. Numactive provides in-house, professionally trained operators who are ready to assist users 24/7. Here are some valuable features included in the Numactive emergency alert system.

  • Operators trained in fall-risk identification and prevention
  • Automatic fall detection
  • GPS monitoring (valuable for memory care)
  • Two-way communication
  • Cellular coverage option
  • Waterproof pendant with a 1-year battery life
  • Daily low battery and power failure checks on equipment

There is a Numactive personal alarm system for every senior, regardless of their degree of mobility. Alert Home is tailored to homebound seniors, enabling them to call for help from anywhere in the house. Alert Sky is geared toward independent older adults who participate in activities outside the home, and it’s especially useful for those who travel.

The chart below illustrates the benefits and unique features of each system.


Alert Home


Alert Sky


Type of Unit


Base: Two-way communication
Pendant: One-way alert


Pendant: Two-way communication


Operating needs


Phone landline, AC power


AC power


Range


500 feet from base


Unlimited


Emergency Alerts


Designated contact
emergency services


Designated contact
emergency services


Package Includes


Base, pendant, wrist band, lanyard


Pendant, charger, lanyard, belt clip


Extra Benefits


Rechargeable AA battery backup


Automatic fall detection
GPS


Best For Use


Home-bound seniors


Mobile and independent seniors


Equipment Cost


N/A


N/A


Monthly Cost


$34.99 USD


$49.99 USD


Medical Alert and Monitoring Costs

The monitoring cost is $34.99 per month for the Alert Home system and $49.99 per month for the Alert Sky system. This cost is discounted when the service is paid for in advance. Monthly, quarterly and annual membership plans are available, with the annual plan offering the most savings. For seniors who may not be able to afford any of these options, financial assistance may be available through Medicaid and other programs, such as veterans’ assistance funds. Numactive systems include the monitoring equipment at no additional charge, and the hardware is returned when the service stops.

Numactive System Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Two service options suit seniors at any stage of life, from homebound to mobile.
  • Waterproof pendants can be worn in the bath and shower.
  • With Alert Sky, sensors automatically send an alert when a user has fallen.
  • Customer service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • Professionally trained responders offer friendly and thorough assistance.
  • A health record is created for each user, and call responders inform emergency personnel of any medical conditions and allergies.
  • Seniors can use a toll-free phone number or email address to contact Numactive with questions or concerns.
  • Free next-day shipping is provided with quarterly and annual plans.

Cons:

  • A 3-month prepayment is required to begin the service.
  • Although the activation fee can be waived, returning the unit within the first two years will incur a prorated activation fee of $49 to $149. Service ended because of death does not incur a fee.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will I get a discount for prepayment?

Yes, fees can be paid monthly, quarterly or yearly, and yearly service is the most economical.

What if I change my mind after I sign up?

Return the unit in brand new condition, and in the original box, within 15 days of receipt for a full refund.

Can the Numactive Emergency Alert System come with me if I move?

Yes, just call the customer support number for instructions on setting up your service at a new location.

How big are the emergency alert pendants?

Pendants are 2.5 x 1.5 x 0.5 inches in diameter, and they weigh less than two ounces.

How does the system detect falls?

Advanced sensors in the pendant can determine if a wearer is falling, automatically activating two-way communication with a responder.

How can I be sure that the system is working?

After the initial test call during setup, each unit is remotely tested daily to ensure that the power and signal are operational.

Is the Numactive Medical Alert System Right for You?

Operators for the Numactive system complete a six-week training course and final examination before assisting seniors. The course includes training in all types of emergencies, including medical, fire, automotive and flooding. Seniors who use the Numactive alert system are encouraged by company representatives to call for any type of emergency, not just falls and medical issues. Although Numactive provides a suite of monitoring benefits for seniors, the best way to choose a service is to compare the costs and advantages of each one and decide which is most suitable for each person’s living situation and level of activity. We give Numactive high marks for service, equipment and convenience.