Medical alert systems, sometimes referred to as personal emergency response systems, are wearable devices that make it easy for seniors to get the help they need in the event of a fall or another medical emergency. There are two basic types of devices: classic in-home systems and mobile units.

In-Home Medical Alert Systems

In-home units provide emergency protection within a limited range of your home and yard.

An in-home unit includes a stationary base station and a wearable component. The home base contains a powerful speaker and microphone that allows you to speak with an operator at the monitoring center.

The second part of the system, the wearable component, is a small button that is typically worn around the neck or on the wrist. In the event of an emergency, you push the button, which activates the help function of the base. If you are not able to communicate with the operator for any reason, they will put your emergency plan into place. Depending on your personal preferences and needs, this may involve calling loved ones or sending EMS to your address.

Portable Medical Alert Systems

Mobile units provide seniors access to emergency help wherever there is cell service.

These units use a cellular signal to connect with the monitoring center. They often also use GPS and other location services to provide family or operators with your exact location in the event of an emergency. With trustworthy companies, you won’t have to pay extra fees or add the device to your cell phone plan – the cell service is included in the monthly fee.

Mobile medical alert systems may be all-in-one devices or two-part systems. Both types have a two-way speaker that allows users to speak with the operators at the monitoring center. The main difference is that the two-part system has a separate wearable help button. This allows you to use the device while it’s charging or not on your person for some reason, such as if you stow it in your purse or another bag while on a walk.

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