A medical alert button is a valuable investment for any senior. However, choosing one can sometimes seem overwhelming. There are many different options out there, all with different features.
Our aim is to make it easier to choose the right medical alert. Today we’re taking on an often overlooked feature of medical alerts – their operational range.
Medical Alert Button: Why Range Matters
Not every in-home medical alert has the same range. One might only have a range of 600 ft, while another has a range of 1000 ft or more.
The range of your medical alert is vitally important. It determines how far away from the base station your pendant or bracelet will work. In other words – the range dictates how far away you can get from the base station, and still be able to call for help in an emergency.
It’s clear to see why range is such an important consideration when choosing your medical alert device. Let’s take a look at how to decide on the in-home alert range you need.
*Note- If you are considering a cellular unit, you don’t need to worry about range!
Think About Your Whole Home
Many people, when choosing a medical alert system, think about the places they are most likely to need it. This usually includes the bathroom, where slip and fall hazards are a real issue, and of course the living room, kitchen and bedroom.
However, there are many other places you might go during the course of the day. What about the laundry room, which can also be a high risk for slip and fall accidents? Perhaps you have a basement? Additionally, think about the space outside your home.
Ideally Your Alert Should Keep You Safe In Your Yard
The ideal medical alert button is one whose base station range keeps you covered even when you’re in your yard. We definitely recommend a medical alert system that will keep you protected when you go out to check your mailbox.
Getting full coverage from your alert system won’t always be possible, depending on the size of your home and yard. We recommend you aim to get as close to it as possible to covering the areas you frequent the most. After all, if your alert is out of range it will not work and you will not be able to get help if needed. Better coverage equals more peace of mind for seniors and their loved ones.
Consider Where You Position Your Base Station
Think of your base station as a hub, and the range as a circle radiating out from it. If possible, position your base station in a central location in your home so that it covers as much of your house and yard as possible.
Do be aware that the number and thickness of walls between your base station and where you are located make a difference to the clarity of the signal between the base station and your medical alert button.
The best medical alert companies we feature here will test the base station with you after you install it, to make sure it’s working the way it should.
Available Ranges Vary Widely
During our time reviewing and assessing medical alert systems we have noticed that the base station ranges vary quite widely.
For example, MobileHelp and ResponseNow only cover you up to 600 ft from the base station, while QMedic and Bay Alarm Medical are good up to 1000 ft. We are particularly impressed with the range of Medical Guardian – at a generous 1300 ft, it has the biggest range we’ve seen to date.
For those who have a large property, or who want seamless coverage from inside the house and beyond, when out and about or on vacation, mobile options are a better consideration.
There are many things to consider when choosing a medical alert company. We recommend making the range of the base station one of the things on your checklist, so you can make sure you are covered in your home.