Advertising
Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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

Advertising

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.

More by this author

7 Hacks for a Stress-Free Office Relocation Facts About Junk & Rubbish Clearance Top 9 Tips to Keep You Secure in the Saddle Good Reasons to Live In or Visit Philadelphia Will the Future of Music Software Be Rent-On-Demand?

Trending in Health

1 The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight 2 Why Am I Exhausted? The Real Causes and How to Fix It Forever 3 How to Manage Stress (A Step-by-Step Guide to Turn Stress Into Success) 4 How to Stop Feeling Tired All the Time (And the Real Causes Explained) 5 Why Am I So Tired? 10 Reasons You’re Extremely Tired And How to Fix It

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on October 16, 2018

The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight

The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight

It’s well past midnight and you’ve got to get up in less than six hours. You toss and turn all night. Before you know it, another hour passes by and you start panicking.

If I don’t get to sleep in the next 30 minutes, I’m going to be exhausted tomorrow!”

One thing is for sure, you’re not alone. Over 70M+ Americans have stated that they don’t get the proper sleep they need at night.[1] So what could possibly be causing this insomnia epidemic?

Throughout my entrepreneurial journey of building my language learning company, I have experimented and researched dozens of best sleep practices. Some have flopped but a few have dramatically improved the quality of my life and work.

In this article, I’ll look into the reason why you’re sleep deprived and how to sleep through the night tonight.

Why you can’t sleep through the night

The first step to improving anything is getting to the bottom of the root problem. Different studies have shown the reasons why most people cannot sleep well at night.[2] Here are the main ones that the average person faces:

Advertising

Stress

If you’ve ever stayed up at night worrying about something, know that it’s a major sleep inhibitor. When you’re feeling stress, your mind and body becomes more activated, making it incredibly difficult to fall asleep. Even when you do manage to sleep, it won’t be deep enough to help you feel rested the next day.

Exposure to blue light before sleep time

We’re exposed to harmful blue light on a daily basis through the use of our digital screens. If you’ve never heard of blue light, it’s part of the visible light spectrum that suppresses melatonin, our sleep hormones. Other harmful effects include digital eye strains and macular cellular damage.

While daytime exposure to blue light is not very harmful, night time exposure tricks our brain into thinking it’s daytime. By keeping your brain alert and suppressing melatonin, your mind is unable to shut down and relax before bedtime.

Eating close to bedtime

Eating too late can actually be an issue for many people, especially those who are older than 40. The reason is, eating before laying down increases the chances of Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), in which stomach acid backflows into the esophagus.

Another reason not to eat too late is sleep quality. Even if you manage to sleep right after eating, it’s likely that you’ll wake up tired. Instead of letting your body rest during sleep, it has to digest the food that was entered before bedtime.

Rule of thumb: eat 3-4 hours before bedtime.

Advertising

Medical conditions

In some cases, it could be medical conditions that cause your sleep problems. If you can’t relate yourself to the above reasons or any of these common sleep problem causes, you should visit the doctor.

The vicious sleep cycle

The biggest danger to repeating the bad habits mentioned above is the negative cycle that it can take you through. A bad night’s sleep can affect not only your energy but your willpower and decision making skills.

Here’s an example of a bad sleep pattern:

You get a bad night’s sleep
–> You feel tired and stressful throughout the day.
–> You compensate it with unhealthy habits (for example junk food, skipping exercises, watching Netflix etc.)
–> You can’t sleep well (again) the next night.

    You can imagine what could happen if this cycle repeats over a longer period of time.

    Advertising

    How to sleep better (throughout the night)

    To help you break the vicious cycle and stop waking up in the middle of the night, I’ll explain to you a list of actionable steps to solve your trouble staying asleep.

    1. Take control over the last 90 minutes of your night

    What you do (or don’t do) before bedtime have significant impact on the quality of your sleep. Many times, it can be the difference between staying up until 4am and sleeping like a baby.

    Here are a few suggestions:

    • Go from light to dark – Darkness stimulates production of the sleep hormone melatonin. Turn off unused light around the house, and think about investing into warm light that you can use in the bedroom before bedtime.
    • Avoid screens (or wear blue light blocking glasses) – Keep the bedroom a technology-free zone as the light from electronic devices can disturb your sleep. If you need to work, wear blue light blocking glasses (also known as computer glasses) throughout or before you sleep to prevent sleep disruption.
    • Find an activity that helps you to wind down  This could be anything that calms you down, and reduces thinking (especially unnecessary stress). Fir example, listening to soothing/good feel music, taking a hot bath, reading or meditating.
    • Keep any electronics you have on the other side of the room or outside the room – One of the most harmful things that can disrupt your sleep is the notifications you get from your smartphones. The simplest way to avoid this is to keep it away from you.
    • Create a bedtime routine – A night routine is a couple of things you do prior to going to bed. By doing these things every night, you’ll have a more restful and high-quality sleep. Learn how to pick up a night routine here: The Ultimate Night Routine Guide to Sleep Better and Wake Up Productive

    2. Eat the right nutrients (and avoid the wrong ones)

    What you eat (not just when we eat) plays a critical role in your sleep quality. If you’re ever in doubt of what to eat to improve your sleep, take the following into consideration:

    • Kiwi – This green fruit may be the ultimate pre-bed snack. When volunteers ate two kiwis an hour before hitting the hay, they slept almost a full extra hour. Kiwis are full of vitamins C and E, serotonin and folate—all of which may help you snooze.
    • Soy foods – Foods made with soy such as tofu, miso and edamame, are rich in isoflavones. These compounds increase the production of serotonin, a brain chemical that influences the body’s sleep-wake cycle.
    • Fiber-rich foods – Eating more fiber could be key for better sleep. Eating fiber was associated with more restorative slow-wave sleep—the more you eat, the better you sleep—per a study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. Fiber prevents blood sugar surges that may lower melatonin. Get a fiber boost from beans, artichokes, bran cereal and quinoa.
    • Salmon – Most fish, especially salmon, halibut and tuna boost vitamin B6, which is needed to make melatonin— a sleep-inducing hormone triggered by darkness.

    3. Adjust your sleep temperature

    Once you’ve gone through the first 2 recommendations, the last step to experiment with is temperature. According to Sleep.org, the ideal temperature for sleep is 60-67 Farenheit. This may be cooler than what most people are used to, but keep in mind that our body temperature changes once we fall asleep.

    Rule of thumb: sleeping in cooler temperature is better for sleep quality than warmer temperature.

    Advertising

    Find out how to maintain the optimal temperature to sleep better here: How to Sleep Faster with the Best Temperature

    Sleep better form now on

    Congrats on making it to the end of this guide on sleep. If you’re serious about taking the necessary steps in improving your sleep, remember to take it one step at a time.

    I recommend trying just one of the steps mentioned such as taking a hot bath, blocking out blue light at night, or sleeping in cooler temperature. From there, see how it impacts your sleep quality and you can keep doing what works, and throw away what doesn’t.

    As long as you follow these steps cautiously and diligently, I know you’ll see improved results in your sleep!

    Featured photo credit: pixabay via pixabay.com

    Reference

    Read Next