Risk & Limitations of Medical Alert Systems
November 28, 2017
Is your loved one worried about getting a medical alert system due to the possible risks? Co-Founder of TheSeniorList.com, Amie Clark, discusses the most common risks and limitations of medical life alert systems that worry caregivers.
Amie Clark: I’m Amie with theseniorlist.com. I’m going to be talking about the risks and limitations of medical alert systems.
Kayla Quinn: I’m Kayla with Bay Alarm Medical. I’m going to be talking about the solutions to those risks.
Amie: Kayla, what if the medical alert system becomes disconnected from the phone line?
Kayla: If the system becomes disconnected from the phone line, it’s not going to work. My solution would be, go with a cellular system. Especially if your phone line is unreliable or faulty, the cellular system only requires power and works off of the cellular network. You don’t have to worry about that, debunked.
Amie: Slammed. What about this, what if the phone line is down. Seniors like to leave their phones off the hook.
Kayla: If the phone is off the hook, this can get tricky. If the phone is off the hook and the phone is plugged into the medical alert system, your medical alert system or most medical alert systems should disconnect that call and still call out. However, if this is a common problem with your loved one, I wouldn’t recommend even risking that. Again, I would go with the cellular option because it doesn’t require a phone line, it’s always going to make that call for you.
Amie: Darn it, she answered that one again. What if the battery dies in the button?
Kayla: That’s a good one. Most of the in-home buttons have a pretty long battery life, it’s usually not a problem and usually, the company will get a signal that that battery is low. Sometimes they will reach out to the user and actually send you a brand new button. I would suggest that you contact your medical alert company and find out what their policies are around that. That’s just for the in-home buttons. Now, the GPS devices usually do have to be charged, probably every two to three days. My suggestion is just, as soon as you get home, make sure you put it right on the charger so that it’s ready and charged when you are leaving the house.
Amie: Okay. She answered that one too. What if the system malfunctions and it just doesn’t work?
Kayla: You might have me on that one. It’s an electronic, it can malfunction, my recommendation is just to regularly make sure that you’re testing your button. Push the button, let it go all the way through to dispatch, let them know you’re testing so that you’re confident that your system is working properly. If you do that on a regular basis, most companies recommend once a month, some people just to have that extra peace of mind do it on a weekly basis. Do it as much as you need to so that you know that your system is working.
Amie: Okay. I’m still trying to stump her. I think this one happens more than people know. What happens if a fall occurs and the person is unconscious or they pass out, how would they ever get help?
Kayla: Unfortunately, that does happen more than we would like. If they’re not able to press their button, they’re not going to get help. A lot of medical alert companies do offer a solution for that called fall detection, I’m sure you’ve heard of it. It’s actually technology in the button that senses an impact followed by no movement. If someone does fall, say, they hit their head, lose consciousness, that fall detection should pick up that signal and call for help. I think it’s important to talk to someone when you’re looking into something like this for your loved one or even yourself.
Don’t be afraid to tell them about what you’re experiencing and what you’re going through because they’re the expert, this is what their job is, to recommend what’s going to best fit your needs and provide solutions like the one I provided today.
Amie: Yes, that’s awesome. Okay, that’s it. I didn’t stump, Kayla.
Kayla: Did not stump me.
Amie: She had an answer for everything.
Kayla: In the end, medical alert systems aren’t going to solve all of your problems, they have their flaws. My recommendation is to call your medical alert company and address these concerns and they should have a solution for you. Amie has a great blog on theseniorlist.com that will address all of these concerns and the solutions. Feel free to visit the link below. Come see us next time on when Amie tries to stump Kayla.