The time came for us (or perhaps is past time) to delve into the world of medical alert devices.  My loved one is getting more mobile after a nasty hip fracture and is getting more freedom.  At the same time, I’m tired and didn’t take the time to do a lot of research.  I’m still trying to recover from my own health issues (as is common among caregivers).  So here is my review of what we went with in a a medical alert system.

I picked a reputable brand, Medical Alert Systems, and went with it.  Maybe because I’ve heard of it before and new it was a brand-name safety company.

At first we went with the cheapest system.  It consisted of a lock box (so EMS doesn’t have to break the door down), an alert necklace, an alert bracelet and a phone emergency alarm button that attached to the phone system.

Basic Medical Alert System Review

The Good

  • The necklace and bracelet were small which my loved one appreciated.
  • There is a huge box that attached to the phone with a big button that says emergency.  When you push it, the box squawks quite loudly proclaiming “Emergency!” and than a person comes on the speaker.  If they don’t get a voice response, a loved one is called.  If they don’t get a loved one on the phone, they call EMS before starting on down the emergency list.
  • It has a range of 3000′
  • Buy 11 months get 1 month free

The Not so Good

  • It’s range is limited mostly around the house.  If your loved one falls in the bathroom of the grocery store or out in town, it won’t work.  This is clearly only for home-bound loved ones.
  • When the emergency button is hit, the loud “emergency” sound is enough to cause duress for the loved one.  It doesn’t stop until the operator comes on the speaker
  • A loved one may panic if they cannot reach the speaker box.
  • There is no voice that comes through the call button.

We sent it back in exchange for the advanced system.

Advanced Medical Alert System Review

Medical Alert System ReviewThe Good

  • It is like a small cell phone that a loved one can talk directly with the operator.  (My mom accidentally pushed it the other night and the voice came through the device asking if there was an emergency.)
  • It’s range goes pretty much anywhere, at least anywhere there is a cell phone tower
  • If you want to pay extra, it can detect a fall and call automatically

The Bad

  • It’s $10 more expensive a month for an already semi-expensive unit
  • It is limited to cell phone service range.  Works fine in the big cities.  We don’t live in a big city.  So it does pretty good but is not perfect.  It did not work at the gym today
  • It needs recharged regularly.  We still haven’t figured out how long the charge lasts, but it daily needs charging.
  • It’s definitely more bulky and clunky around the neck.

Since we purchased the unit at a year long plan, we’re locked in.  But after the year I’m not sure we’ll stick with it.  For the price we’ve found some other ones cheaper.  We just don’t know if they are the same quality though.

If you’ve found something better than the one described, please let us know here in the comments or on Facebook.  Thanks.

Medical Alert System Review