There are so many mistakes to avoid when buying medical alert systems. Here’s a nifty video that our friends at The Senior List put together with some of the most common pitfalls.
Buying Medical Alert Systems – Don’t Make These Mistakes!
Buying the Wrong Type of Medical Alert System
You need to understand what your options are when shopping for a medical alert system. Do you need an in-home unit, or a cellular unit? Do you want to wear a pendant around your neck, clip one to your belt, or place one in your purse? It all matters!
Don’t sign long-term contracts unless you know exactly what you’re signing. We generally recommend that people avoid long-term contracts. Some medical alert providers dupe unsuspecting customers into 3 year commitments. Lot’s can happen in 3 years, and we definitely recommend against that one. Some vendors will provide a savings if you pay quarterly, semi-annually, or annually (up front). If you’re comfortable with that scenario, then go for it. We just want to make sure consumers know what they’re signing up for ahead of time.
Not Enough Home Coverage
There’s a huge disparity between vendors when it comes to in-home coverage. The coverage is defined as the circumference around the base station for which suitable connectivity exists. In other words, you’re pendant has to connect with the base station in case of emergency. Depending on the equipment, the effective range can be between 400 feet from the base station to 1000+ feet! Things that can impede this connectivity include:
- Distance from the base station
- How many walls are between the pendant and the base station
- The power ratings on the equipment itself
- Other electronic interference
Waiting For a Crisis to Occur
If you’re waiting for a crisis to occur before you commit to a medical alert system, you taking some awful big chances. It’s always better to get out in front of a crisis, and sometimes a medical alert system can be the difference between life, injury, and even death. We’re of the opinion that even if you end up paying for 6 months of service, that piece-of-mind is worth it.
Today’s medical alert systems are fairly easy to install, but sometimes they can be tricky depending on configuration. It’s always good to give yourself a lot of time for set-up and testing. You may want to call your medical alert provider for set-up help, or at least have access to their website. The cellular/mobile medical alert systems are a breeze. We tested a unit last week, and it came fully charged. All we had to do was unbox it and wait for it to boot-up. We depressed the emergency button to “test” the system, and that was it!
If we missed any other issues, let us know in the comments below.