As we age, independence and peace of mind can look different to everyone. For some, this can include a conversation surrounding installing a medical alert system. These indispensable devices help enhance the autonomy of the wearer, allowing them to continue to live life as they choose, with the added comfort of support should they need it. But choosing the right provider, well, that can feel like another task altogether.  

    With rapid advancements in medical alert technology, new features and providers can make it difficult to choose based on their static information alone. Rather, it is essential to consider the individual, the wearer, to help make an informed decision. In this post, we’ll explore how to choose a medical alert system based on a few factors. Let’s jump in:

    Understanding the Fundamentals of Medical Alert Systems

    Although there are a few different types of medical alert systems, which we will explore a little later in this post, they all operate on the same foundational principles:

    1. A mobile pendant facilitates these systems, and when that pendant’s button is pushed, the device connects the wearer to a centralized response centre. 
    2. A trained responder then speaks with the wearer to evaluate the nature and urgency of the situation.
    3. Based on the assessed needs, the responder dispatches appropriate emergency services, conveying essential medical details about the wearer to facilitate optimal care.
    4.  The responder may also reach out to the wearer’s designated emergency contacts to keep them informed.

    Types of Medical Alert Systems

    Now that we’ve outlined the basic functions of a medical alert system, it’s time to delve into the specific types available to facilitate a more informed decision. Let’s look at the two main types available:

    • In-home Systems: With Lifeline Canada, our HomeSafe system provides a wearable wristlet or pendant, depending on personal preferences. It also includes an in-home communicator that establishes a direct line to our emergency response centre at the touch of a button.
    • Mobile Systems: Suited for those leading an active lifestyle outside their residence, our On the Go system offers functionalities that extend beyond the home environment. It features enhanced capabilities like automatic fall detection and a GPS tracker to help locate the wearer during emergencies.

    Assessing Seniors’ Needs

    Understanding the wearer’s needs is one of the most important pieces to consider when choosing the right medical alert system. Here are some key aspects to take into account:

    Health and Mobility Considerations

    The fundamental purpose of medical alert systems is to support overall health and mobility for the wearer. Of course, these considerations can look different based on every person. If you aren’t sure where to start, consider consulting with healthcare professionals to discuss significant medical conditions or potential risk factors. Employing a medical alert system, even as a precautionary measure, can provide a sense of security should the unexpected happen.

    Lifestyle and Daily Activities

    As we age, our lifestyles can flourish into a few different avenues. For some, that means enjoying more time at home and planning outings as needed. Leaving the house often might be necessary for others, causing your calendar to fill up quickly. Your personal lifestyle—whether you’re predominantly homebound or frequently on the move—will play a pivotal role in determining the kind of medical alert system that best aligns with your needs and the features it should encompass.

    Key Features to Look for

    Once you’ve determined your primary needs, you’ll likely be able to choose between an at-home system or a mobile one. From there, looking at the distinct features of the various companies that provide these systems can help narrow your decision further. For example:

    • Fall Detection Technology: Prioritize systems equipped with fall detection technology. This smart feature is designed to detect falls and automatically trigger an alert, even if the wearer can’t press the button themselves. It’s a valuable safety net.
    • Monitoring Services: Opt for a company that guarantees round-the-clock monitoring services. This means trained professionals are always on standby to respond to alerts and provide required assistance.
    • Battery Life and Backup Power: Check the device’s battery life and inquire about backup power options. It’s essential that the system remains operational during power outages or when the battery runs low.
    • Cost and Pricing Models: Familiarize yourself with the provider’s pricing model and choose a plan that suits your budget. Some companies offer monthly subscriptions, while others have annual or even lifetime plans. Compare costs and features to find the best value for your needs.

    Your safety and peace of mind are paramount, and selecting the right medical alert system can be instrumental in maintaining independence and security.

    Evaluating and Comparing Providers

    As mentioned, there are numerous providers in the medical alert space. While this can be beneficial based on the breadth of options, it can also be overwhelming to compare and contrast different brands. To streamline your decision-making process, delve deep into customer reviews and testimonials. For a more comprehensive comparison, check out our article on the five best medical alert systems, where we demonstrate a side-by-side analysis of each option.

    Installation and Setup

    After zeroing in on a provider, the crucial next step is ensuring the precise installation and setup of the chosen system. You’ll likely have plenty of questions, so selecting a provider that offers robust support during this phase can be helpful. At Lifeline Canada, we provide professional installation services as a way to instill confidence in our users, ensuring that the device is working correctly, thoroughly tested, and, of course, all of your questions have been answered. Once complete, we’ll leave you with an instruction booklet detailing specifics about your medical alert system and how to contact us if needed.

    Making the Final Decision

    If you’re considering incorporating a medical alert system in your home or daily life, you’ll likely conduct plenty of research before choosing a provider. Feeling confident in your choice can ease the transition and allow you to feel more empowered about how this device can help you if needed. At Lifeline Canada, we’re happy to discuss the details of our systems with you, whether you have specific questions or would just like a walkthrough. Reach out to us today if you’re looking for a hand regarding how to choose a medical alert system.

    Related: Comparing the best medical alert systems in Canada

    What You Should Do Now:

    Here are 5 ways we can help you or your loved one live safer and more independently at home as long as possible:

    1. Get our latest tips, tools and resources straight to your inbox. Sign up for our monthly newsletter.
    2. Not sure if the time is right for a medical alert service? Take this quick assessment to find out.
    3. If you would like to learn how to live a healthier and safer lifestyle, go to our blog or visit our resources section, where you can read and download guides.
    4. Wondering which medical alert system company is the best for your needs? We’ve put together a guide comparing the best medical alert systems for you.