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Tuesday, January 05, 2010

What to Consider When Choosing a Medical Alert System

Here is a timely article for Seniors, Baby Boomers and anyone living alone. Written by Greg Smith, the founder of Medscope America Corporation.

What to consider when the time comes to choose a medical alert system.

There are several types of medical alert systems. Each company seems to give you a different price, service, and explanation of how they work. So how do you choose a Personal Emergency Response System (medical alert system) when the time finally comes? When choosing a medical alarm you must first look at the company and the services they provide. How reliable is their emergency medical alert equipment? Do they offer 24 hr eldercare assistance? How fast is their response? These are just a few of the questions you have to ask yourself before determining which medical alarm service to go with.

Most medical alert systems are connected to your existing phone line. They connect using standard telephone wires (similar to an answering machine). Once the unit is hooked up, you'll want to test the system to ensure proper connectivity. When the unit is activated (as you test), you will be able understand the volume at which the speaker operates. Most consoles use a very loud speaker and sensitive microphone so you will be able to communicate with an emergency operator throughout your entire home. Most medical alarms feature a wireless, water-proof transmitter (normally you have a choice between a medical alert necklace and medical alert bracelet) that interacts with the personal emergency console when help is needed. The console, located near the telephone, will immediately call or notify a trained professional (when the emergency call button is pressed) who will communicate with you over the console.

The trained professional will then dispatch the appropriate help (ambulance, police, or fire departments). If there is no answer, help will be dispatched automatically. The operator will also inform any friends or family members that you would like to be notified (this information is collected ahead of time). Medical alarms are great for expecting mothers, the elderly, handicapped, or diabetic patients and those who want to enjoy independent living.

Cost

Most companies will rent the medial alert equipment to you for as long as you need it - at no cost. The fees that you incur are usually for the installation of the equipment, and the monitoring of that equipment. To clarify, there is a monthly fee you pay to have that medical alert equipment monitored 24-hours a day by a team of response operators. The installation fee ranges from $0 - $100 and monthly monitoring fees range from $30 - $75. One company that I am aware of that charges no installation fee for their medical alert system is MedScope America Corporation (medscope.org).

Questions to ask when purchasing a medical alert system:

• How fast is the response?
• Does the console have a rechargeable battery?
• Is the console attached to your existing phone line?
• What if the phone is busy during an emergency?
• Is the wireless transmitter waterproof?
• Is there a guarantee on parts, labor, and services?
• How far can the transmitter communicate with the console?
• What is the monthly fee?
• Any other charges. Setup, Activation, or Termination Fees?
• Does it assist in independent living?

Safety Tips

• Keep emergency numbers in large print near each phone.
• Put a phone near the floor in case you fall and cannot get up.
• Think about wearing a Medical Alarm that will bring help in case you fall and can't get up.

For more information about the benefits of MedScope's services, call 1-800-645-2060, or log online at medscope.org

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