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Complete Guide to Medical Alert Systems – Things to Consider Prior to Buying a Medical Alert System

Complete Guide to Medical Alert Systems – Things to Consider Prior to Buying a Medical Alert System

While there are many resources available to aid in choosing a medical alert system, not all of them are able to address your exact needs. Everybody has their own list of questions, and as such, it can be difficult to find one place that has a comprehensive list of all the information you need. This article doesn’t claim to be a comprehensive list, but it may be able to plant some seeds of thought to help you ask your own questions.

Location

When trying to find a suitable medical alert device, it is important to bear in mind where you will be residing and whether you still leave the home or not. Are you living in your own home? Are you fixed in one address, or do you move around?

Are you homebound? This is a great starting point when asking questions, as the answer will greatly narrow down the suitable medical alert systems. If the answer to this question is “yes,” then there is another question to ask. Where are you homebound? Are you living in an apartment building? A house? These answers will also narrow the pool of medical alert devices that will work for you.

Are you mobile? If you aren’t homebound, are you mobile? Do you have a primary residence as well as other places you visit (cottage, your children’s homes, etc.)? If the answer to this is yes, then your options for medical alert systems may be limited to mobile device-based systems. Two such options are the Philips Lifeline Go Safe system and the Safety Labs Safety Anchor-PA system. Options that require you to be in one place won’t work if you have plans to move around outside a primary residence. Systems that can function even outside the home will be needed.

Monitoring, 911 and Family

Is the family interested in being active participants in the safety and monitoring of the individual? If the answer to this is yes, it needs to be understood that they are not responsible for the safety of the individual, but rather that they would like to be “in the know” and up to date with information regarding their loved one. If this is a priority, a couple of great options would be Safety Labs Safety Anchor-PA or MobileHelp. These systems permit chosen family members to log in and keep tabs on the safety of their loved one.

Who receives the medical alerts? This is an important consideration when choosing a system that is right for you. Would an alert to family, friends and 911 be sufficient, or would a monitoring service be a better choice? If you have special needs and require specialized interactions, a monitoring service may be a good fit. Otherwise, systems such as Safety Labs Safety Anchor-PA (for use anywhere) or Logic Mark Freedom Alert (for use around the home) would be sufficient choices.

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Installation and Management

While it’s not a question that affects the quality of the safety device, it’s still important to ask whether installation and management of the system is something you can do on your own. Most medical alert systems are easy to install and maintain – such as Safety Labs Safety Anchor-PA, Logic Mark Freedom Alert and Freeus Belle 3G mPERS. For systems that require more involved installation and personalization, it may be necessary to call the company for help.

One-time and Ongoing Costs

Some financial considerations are necessary when looking at medical alert options. Should you rent the system or purchase it outright? Does the system have a monthly fee? Do you have to buy the hardware? Does it have a battery? If so, how long does it last before needing replacement?

Some systems have long-lasting batteries, but those batteries will need replacing once the charge runs out. Other systems, like the Freeus Belle 3G mPERS, have rechargeable batteries. This is a simple pendant that doesn’t need a base unit for use. It comes with a charger for the pendant and takes only about 3 hours for a full charge. It can last up to 30 days on a single charge, and when it runs out, you can just place it back in the charger until it is ready to go again – at no additional cost to you!

If the system is something that will be used short-term – for less than a year – it may be in your best interest, financially, to rent. However, if it will be used longer than a year, you may want to consider purchasing the system.

Most medical alert companies, such as Philips Lifeline Go Safe, offer their hardware for free but do require a monthly fee for use of the service. On the other hand, companies like Safety Labs Safety Anchor-PA and Logic Mark Freedom Alert require purchase of the system but have no monthly fees!

Additional Features You Should Look For

Fall Detection – This is a feature that some systems have. These systems claim to be able to identify if the individual has fallen. If the system believes a fall has taken place, an auto alert is sent. This may seem like an attractive feature, but it is important to keep in mind that this feature hasn’t been proven effective by any 3rd party labs, and relying on this feature can provide a false sense of security.

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Health/Wellness Monitoring – Health monitoring looks at things like sleep quality, activity level, medication schedules, etc. Health and safety certainly go hand-in-hand, but as of now, there are not many systems which bridge the gap between health monitoring and safety. MobileHelp and GreatCall both merge medical alerts with special features to maintain wellness. MobileHelp allows for medication reminders on its base unit. GreatCall’s Lively Wearable watch allows for activity tracking via a step counter and also has accompanying software which provides fun mental challenges! Keep your eyes open in the coming years for new advancements that might make it easier for more companies to better link these two needs together.

Peace of mind is priceless. The cost of safety, the quality of safety, the look of safety and the function of safety are all important things to consider when looking at which medical alert system will work best for you. It’s not a decision you should jump into quickly, and hopefully this guide will provide you with some valuable information to help you inch closer to your safety goals.

Which Are Currently the Leading Medical Alert Systems?

Safety Labs Anchor-PA is a system that works with internet and Bluetooth and can work anywhere you have access to the internet and WiFi. Because the button links up with smart phones, the system will be able to help provide safety everywhere. It also allows loved ones to proactively check the safety status of the individual wearing the button. They can log in online (from a computer or an easy-to-use app) and check the individual’s location and even the time of the last update. In the case of an emergency, the individual would press their button. This would send an alert to the Safety Anchor, which would forward the alert to a “monitoring station/911” and to any pre-selected individuals. The system can even be personalized to include multiple people who would receive information should the button be pushed – including location information.

Features: Medical Alert Button, Home and On the Go, Family Monitoring and Alert Option, Easy Set Up, Monthly Fee $3.99, Start Up Cost $198, Battery Life up to 1 year, Wearable, Ability to Locate Individual.

Philips Lifeline Go Safe is a system with a wearable medical alert necklace which (when home) connects to an In-Home-Communicator called a Lifestation, and when outside the home, connects wirelessly to a Lifeline response center. It uses “Assisted GPS, Wi-Fi Enhanced Locating and Intelligent Bread Crumbs” to give information about location to the Lifeline response center. The pendant is also equipped with a two-way voice function. This allows the individual to communicate directly with the Lifeline alert responder. Another feature it provides is Fall Detection with Auto Alert. This means that the device attempts to predict if the individual has fallen and will alert the Lifeline response center with location information. From there, the response center makes a call to emergency services. The responder will also send a signal to the pendant to emit a loud alarm so that if the person is out of sight, emergency responders will easily be able to find them.

Features: Medical Alert Button, Home and On the Go, Easy Set Up, Monthly Fee $54.95 – $64.95, Start Up Cost $149, Battery Life up to 7 days – Rechargeable (can charge while worn), Wearable, Ability to Locate Individual, Fall Detection, Two Way Voice Feature.

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Logic Mark Freedom Alert is a system which uses a two-way pendant communicator on a medical alert necklace. It has three distinct settings which allow for personalized options as to whom the alert is sent to. The first setting sends the alert directly to 911. The second setting allows you to call up to four different contacts of your choice. The third and final option allows for both things to happen simultaneously. The system will call your desired contacts, but even if none of them are available, you still have the assurance that 911 has been notified. This system does have a wide connectivity range, but it is not suitable for use while out and about. Its intended application is in and around the house.

Features: Medical Alert Button, Home Use Only, Family Monitoring and Alert Option, Easy Set Up, No Monthly Fee, Start Up Cost $180 – $270, Battery Life up to 6 months – Rechargeable, Wearable, Two Way Voice Feature

Freeus Belle 3G mPERS is a system which uses a two-way pendant communicator. It doesn’t require the use of a base station or a landline and comes with a charger for the pendant. It takes about 3 hours to charge, and once it is charged it will last up to 30 days. It can be used both inside and outside the home (in the United States), wherever there is cellular service. Upon pushing the alert button on the pendant, a call will be sent to a care specialist – the specialists are available 24/7. Once the call has been placed, the care specialist has access to the individual’s name as well as information as to if they are at home or not. From there, the situation will be assessed and the care specialist will either send family or emergency service providers (ambulance, fire fighters, etc.).

Features: Medical Alert Button, Home and On the Go, Family Alert Option, Easy Set Up, Monthly Fee $25 – $35, Start Up Cost $229, Battery Life up to 1 month – Rechargeable, Wearable, Two Way Voice Feature

MobileHelp is a company that gives you options. MobileHelp Classic is a system that gives you in-home protection. It’s a simple medical alert system that doesn’t require the use of a landline phone. It comes with a base station and either a wrist button or a neck pendant. Upon pushing the button, the MobileHelp team will notify emergency services as well as pre-selected loved ones. MobileHelp Solo is an option which works both at home and away from home. It is similar to the Classic option in that it can be worn as either a medical alert necklace or a medical alert bracelet. But, the difference is that there is no main home base. You have the freedom to go where you’d like, and with the system’s GPS technology, responders can find exactly where you are once the alert has been sent. Both of these options are compatible with the MobileHelp Fall Button, which is an “automatic fall detection” button. There are no hardware costs, but there are fees for use. MobileHelp also offers the option of using their MobileHelp Connect feature. This allows for loved ones to have access to information (alerts, location etc.). For additional fees, you can also add on medication reminders (which require the use of the home base unit) and activity tracking!

Features on Classic option: Medical Alert Button, Home Use Only, Family Monitoring and Alert Option, Easy Set Up, Monthly Fee $29.95, No Start Up Cost, Battery Life up to 5 years, Wearable, Wellness Features Available

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Features on Solo option: Medical Alert Button, Home and On the Go, Family Monitoring and Alert Option, Easy Set Up, Monthly Fee $37.95, No Start Up Cost, Battery Life up to 5 years, Wearable, Ability to Locate Individual, Wellness Features Available.

GreatCall is another company that gives you options. There are two available models for safety medical alert systems from GreatCall. They offer one called the Lively Urgent Response Device and another called Lively Wearable. Lively Wearable works through your smart phone and is mainly a fitness device. However, it also comes equipped with a built-in emergency alert system. In the case of an emergency, you would push the button. From there one of GreatCall’s agents will respond through your smart phone. Your location will be confirmed, and if the situation calls for it, emergency services will be sent. The button can be worn either in a wrist band or as a pendant. The product is accompanied by a free app which provides a daily step count and fun mental challenges. Lively Wearable also has a fall detector. There is both a fee for the hardware and a monthly usage fee. Then there’s the Lively Urgent Response Device. Similar to Lively Wearable, this product is a wearable button (medical alert jewelry). The difference is that this device is a two-way pendant communicator (meaning no smart phone is needed for contact). Once you push the button in an emergency situation, you will be connected to an agent who can identify your location (through the built-in GPS) and send help accordingly. There is also software which allows loved ones to keep tabs on what is going on. It is a rechargeable unit which lasts approximately one day, so it’s suggested that you charge it every night.

Features on Lively Urgent Response Device: Medical Alert Button, Home and On the Go, Family Monitoring and Alert Option, Easy Set Up, Monthly Fee $19.99 – $34.99, Start Up Cost $49.99, Battery Life up to 1 day – Rechargeable, Wearable, Ability to Locate Individual, Fall Detection Option, Two Way Voice Feature

Features on Lively Wearable: Medical Alert Button, Home and On the Go, Family Alert Option, Easy Set Up, Monthly Fee $14.99, Start Up Cost $49.99, Battery Life up to 6 months, Wearable, Ability to Locate Individual, Fall Detection, Wellness Features Available.

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Last Updated on February 20, 2019

13 Tips to Face Your Fears, Grow with Them and Enjoy the Ride

13 Tips to Face Your Fears, Grow with Them and Enjoy the Ride

Fear. I spend my life talking about fear — fighting fears, fixing fears and understanding fears. And yet I doubt I get 10 calls a year from people saying “Mandie can you help me fix my fear?”

Why is this so critically important to you?

The realization for me is that fear is not the fundamental driving force in your life it’s what regardless of whether I’m talking to a doctor, a teacher, a CEO’s, a senior citizens or teenager – every single one of those conversations has a direct correlation with your world.

Fear can range from the overwhelming desire to look away or stop in your tracks to literally fleeing your country and the life you knew. In this article, I will share you with 13 tips to face your fears and enjoy the ride.

1. Know That Fear Is Real, but Can Be Overcome

Right now around the world people are facing fear — real fear. Fear that I pray my children and I will never experience. Does that lessen my fears or your fears in your relativity safe 21st century life?

When I look at the world we all live in, I find that fear like so many other emotions can mean so many different things to so many different people:

  • The child who has to be physically dragged to their first day of school.
  • The man facing the judge.
  • The woman with her hand poised over the buttons over her phone because she has to walk down a dark corridor late at night alone.
  • The man as the surgeon says “count backwards from 10 Mr Smith.”
  • The woman that’s told “We are sorry, we can’t help you.”
  • The man that faces the empty circle of a gun and prays for his very existence.

These and a million more (Portrayed in every kind of movie, book or song you could imagine) are what make us human. We face fear and somehow move forward or are stopped in our tracks.

Like the rabbit in the headlights of the car that veers off through the field away from the tyres of the car or stays still praying for salvation. Like someone will save them. Sound familiar?

Fear is huge. Fear is everywhere and yet fear can be overcome, controlled and can even be a power for good.

2. Accept Your Fear

Firstly if you aren’t facing the barrel of the gun, atrocities that make the news or impeding death, that’s a good start. However it doesn’t mean your fear is any less real.

We are quick to say “I can’t moan, my life is not as bad as X.” While in theory, that’s honorable your appreciation of Mr. or Mrs. X’s horrific life won’t change anything directly. So accept your fear is relative to you.

And here’s what can be done.

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3. Get Some Perspective

I found myself asking anyone that would answer “what is your worst fear”. The answer that intrigued me the most came from my daughter (15 years old and she usually has a copy of Fight the Fear – my book – in her school bag so she can help someone else be as positive and confident as her. No matter what life throws up.)

And her fear, surprised me — heights. I pointed out that we live in a sprawling bungalow (one storey) and the highest she goes is two storeys’ at school! She laughed but added, fear isn’t like that Mum. I know it’s not a real fear, but it’s like when you stand on a chair and feel unsafe.

That girl will go far. Because she truly gets fear.

We know something is scary and yet we still do it. Why? Because we have a perspective to the fear. When you lose perspective, it can feel too big, and too scary.

So look around you to get some perspective on your fear:

  • Are you really at risk?
  • Will this kill you?
  • Which leads us on to..
  • If the worse was to happen what would it be?

4. Hold a Hand

As a coach, it is my job to holds someone’s metaphorical hand and help them face a fear.

Like the child petrified of the thunder storm or the teen that can’t get back in a car again after failing their test, your job as a parent is to reassure, encourage, enable and motivate someone to face something that ideally they never would choose to again.

We know many of our fears aren’t real. However, it is only when someone guides us with love, respect, lack of judgement and safety are we able to get through fear. And trust me, you can get through your fears. I’ve seen it so many times.

Ask yourself:

  • If the worse were to happen, what would that be?
  • Could that really happen?
  • If the worse did happen, how would you recover?
  • If the worse were to happen, what would you need to do next?

By seeing fear as not the end destination but part of being human, you can see through it’s wily evil ways and move forward.

5. Know Whose Hand You Hold Either Physically or Emotionally

This helps with fears for the rest of your life.

Think of someone you can always rely on (and ideally you won’t just answer yourself because that adds a lot of pressure to your existence!) And you will find that you’ve already found a way to get through fear.

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The beauty of this is that it means that fear becomes part of life not something to be feared and shied away from.

It means you know you can turn to your friend, partner, colleague, parent, sibling and say “Right I need to deal with this, and I’m going to need you to help me.”

For one moment, think about it from the other person’s view point. When we get to help other people we feel valued, loved, respected and lots of other positive emotions and we get a good dose of positive chemicals setting off in our bodies too.

Your fear, and your determination to fight it, helped someone else too. Now that’s cool right?

6. Understand That There Are Some Things Fear Will Never Touch

I like to find role models in life — people who have faced heroism, history changing moments, war, atrocities, miracles, life saving inventions.

Not everyone was looking for greatness, however they all found it. And one of my favourite books to date is written about Alistair Urquhart, the forgotten highlander. If this doesn’t get turned into a film in the future, then no man’s story is likely to.

Alistair went through the most horrific experiences in the 2nd world war. If you think of one of the awful things that happened back then in our world, Alistair went through at least 3 of them! Asked afterwards how did you cope? He talked about how whatever they did to his body, no matter how they starved, tortured, threatened or mocked him, they couldn’t have his mind. In his mind he was free.

Of all the people’s voices I’ve heard in my head over the years, this is one of those statements that reminds me anything is possible if you have faith and hope.

Look for the things in life that fear can’t touch. They will create confidence and faith for the future, whatever you face. And they will give you a sense of why being you is awesome.

Of all the billions of people on this planet, no one will have an answer identical to yours!

7. Process Your Fears to Carry on with Life

Being brave is not about sticking your chest out and smiling regardless of what hell you endure. It is about finding a way to emotionally process your fears to be able to keep going.

I have a tool kit of things I can rely on – tools, strategies, techniques. They include people to hug or talk to, music. hobbies, walks on the beach and even my favourite food. It sounds mad but at the times where I have questioned “how will I get through this?” I’ve found immense joy in doing the most unlikely of thing that makes me smile.

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It may be a short lived moment of happiness. However, it reminded that nothing stays the same and I can find away.

One client told me that it was crazy when it felt like their world was falling around their ears to run a bath to the brim (you don’t waste water) get the best bath oils, light too many candles, lock the door and drink a glass of bubbly (champagne is only for special occasions.)

Did that moment fix the disaster that my clients life felt? No, however it gave them a moment of calm and the brain is far quicker to find solutions, resolve and motivation to keep going when you do that.

It may feel like madness to do something you love, however it can be a powerful way to help you find solutions to the fears you face in life.

8. Assume the Worse

If you read the statement from the client above. Notice how they assumed it was wrong to fill the bath up to the top? How bubbly is only for special occasions?

Think how naughty they felt to be doing something that was not allowed?

  • Think about what age it may have made them feel?
  • Think about how they feel about champagne?
  • What special moments it’s been a part of in their lives?

And you can see how the assumptions they made about their “right” to have these things was not healthy.

When I drag the assumptions out of people’s words for them to see, they are often struck by how negative the words make them feel.

Don’t assume your words aren’t impacting on you. You can go through fear and actually enjoy the ride when you take the time to understand how you are letting words get to you.

9. Take a Fear That Feels Insurmountable Right Now.

If you were to repeat it to me out loud, what would you say?

Would you have blame on yourself in there? Would you assume others can do it and it’s just you? Would you feel small, unsuccessful, useless, unworthy?

Usually, when you do this exercise, you are able to spot the untruths that run wild in your head convincing you that you are doomed. And rarely when we are faced with our assumptions is there is a lot of evidence to them.

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10. You Are Not Defined by Your Fear

One fear does not define your life – be mindful of that. It is likely to lead you to thinking of all the times you’ve succeeded and bring a moment of calm, confidence and faith back to you.

11. Go with Fear

When you learn to go with fear, you could find yourself actually having fun, no seriously – having fun.

I have a few amazing clients I’m working with right now who would describe themselves as life long worriers, or pessimists. In the past that has served them well, enabling them to keep safe, steer clear of risks and even develop strategies in the event of disasters. However, now they find it’s becoming hard to break the cycle and they really want to because it’s holding them back.

Notice how they’ve found their hidden fears and want to face them?

One client said “I knew this was going to be tough, and I knew I couldn’t fight it alone and I knew you would be the one to help me.” Before I sat an incredibly successful, confident, capable business owner with a family and a social life to die for.

However, I’ve learned that the most successful looking lives can hide things that impact on life, success, love, happiness and business.

We didn’t start with the fear that they felt was holding them back, we broke the fear down, and found lots of little obstacles that had been deemed as “life” and “unchangeable” and “that’s just the way it is” by developing awareness to the little steps on the road to their obstacles to happiness and success they were able to tackle them in a different way.

12. Discover Great Skills in Your Scary Moments

And in that clients words “I came here to work with you to grow my company, and my own personal skills. I didn’t expect to get the children to be cleaning up after themselves and my partner being more attentive! It all feels a little magic.”

The moral is that out of the scariest of moments, we can find great skills we didn’t know we had. Find better, healthier, happier ways to live and find ways to enjoy life more. (And have a bit of magic!)

What a great place to be in ready for the next fear that thinks it’s going to get in the way of you, right?

13. Own Your Fear

Think back over these tips and come up with at least one example for each one. Write them down. Put them on your phone. Turn them into a piece of art. Turn them into a poem. Frame them. Go for a fast walk across the fields, beach, down town and repeat these things in your head to the sound of your feet on the ground.

We rarely take the time to appreciate how far we have come, how much we can achieve or what we are capable of – by really owning the tips in this article you will have given your brain a big fat dose of “Damn right I can do this!” and the motivation and accountability to say “Let’s find a way” through any fear.

You can’t help but feel good when you see that can you? And fear doesn’t stand a chance, does it?

More Resources About Fighting Fear

Featured photo credit: Ben White via unsplash.com

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