Fall injuries can be devastating for anyone, especially for the elderly. In addition to the pain and potential for injury, the risk of not being found for extended periods is a major issue. According to Philips (Life Line Medical Alert Systems), over 13.5 million people over 65 will fall in a single year. Preventing falls in the elderly can be helped by activating a fall alarm system.
Fall alarms are really a service.
We did some research on medical alarm systems and here’s what we discovered.
Fall alarms are really a service, not dissimilar to a mobile phone or a home alarm service. They give you a gadget to wear which either has a button to press or the more sophisticated ones simply detects that a fall has happened.
In the even of a fall, the gadget dials up a call center and they send help, or alert emergency services.
Which gadgets are the best?
In researching this topic we came across Jeff Miller, who professes to be a pioneer in the industry (which we are not disputing – Jeff seems like a nice guy, we just haven’t had the opportunity to meet him personally). Jeff has bought all the different gadgets from his competitors and tested them. His conclusion: they all seem to do the job – it’s really the service side of the program that makes the difference.
Click here to check out Jeff’s website and a short video that we found quite informative.
What should you ask before making a purchase?
We also tried to find a comparison of the different systems on the market and it was surprisingly difficult (if you know of one please let us know!). Concerning Age has created a basic comparison for some systems and also offered this handy list of questions for prospective system buyers:
- What are the complete upfront/one-time costs?
- Is there a contract? If so, for how long?
- What is the cancellation policy?
- Do they offer a trial period? What are the terms?
- Who does the monitoring? Are they certified? What are their hours of operation?
- What is the range of the equipment?
- How do you get the equipment repaired? Is there an equipment warranty? What are the terms?
The monthly fees seem to fall into the $25 – $40 range – your zip code is also a determining factor.
Where to find more information
We haven’t tested the systems ourselves, but here are some links to some of the name brand solutions:
- Philips Life Line Medical Alert Service
- Walgreens Ready response
- Vital Link Personal Medical Alert System
You could also Google “Fall Alarms”, “Medical Alarms” or Medical Alarm Services” for more options.