4 Seniors: How to pick a medical alert system

OKLAHOMA CITY - One of the biggest concerns among families that have an elderly parent living alone is a medical emergency.

Medical alert systems are popular products for elderly seniors who live alone. They can be leased for about $1 a day and provide a wearable help button that connects to the home phone line or a cellular network.

At the press of a button, a loved one can call and talk to a trained operator to notify family members, friends or emergency services in case of a crisis.

In addition to basic home systems, many companies are also offering motion sensitive pendants that can detect a fall and automatically call for help. Some mobile medical alerts even work when your loved one is away from home due to GPS tracking capabilities.

When shopping for a home medical alert system, consider the following:

  • Extra help buttons: Most companies offer waterproof neck pendant and wristband help buttons, but some also offer wall-mounted buttons that can be placed near the floor in places like the bathroom or kitchen.
  • Range: The base station should have a range of at least 400 feet so it can be activated from anywhere on the property.
  • Backup: Make sure the system has a battery backup in case of a power failure.
  • Monitoring: Make sure the response center is staffed with trained emergency operators located in the U.S, available 24-hour basis and responds to calls promptly.
  • Contacts: Choose a company that provides multiple contact choices that they can contact if your loved one needs help.

A top rated system is Bay Alarm Medical, which offers prices starting at $26 per month.