There are a large number of medical alarm system providers offering similar systems so how do you decide which medical alarm is right for you?
Find out about the monthly fees and examine the contract.
The monthly monitoring fees are the major cost so check this out first. The monthly fee is charged to have your alarm equipment monitored 24 hours a day by a team of response operators trained to handle emergency calls. The monitoring fees range from about $ 20 to $ 75 per month. The installation fee ranges for $ 0 to $ 100. Most medical alarm companies will rent the equipment to you for free for as long as you need it. Look for a company that uses a month-to-month agreement with no cancellation or termination fees.
Choose a medical alarm monitoring service that uses live operators.
Make sure live operators are employed to deal with calls at the monitoring center and not a phone response or voicemail system that would cause delays. Ask about the speed of response to calls.
Find out about the operator training process.
You want qualified people to assist you when you make a call. Ask what type of training is provided and how long staff spend training before going on the job. Typically 4 to 8 weeks of training is provided.
Get an easy-to-use medical alert unit.
The base unit and the wireless transmitter should be easy to use with large illuminated buttons. Make sure the units chosen are suitable for your needs. Find out over what distance the transmitter can communicate with the console ie will the system work if you are outside.
Get a base unit with a battery backup .
In case the mains power is out there must be a battery backup so that the base unit continues to operate. This is important especially as accidents are more likely to occur if it is dark inside the house.
Test your medical alarm unit.
You should test your medical alarm as soon as you receive it. See how long it takes for someone to respond to your call, how clear it sounds and how far away from the base unit the transmitter will still work.
Does the system automatically self-test?
Some systems are set up so that the base unit can send a signal to the monitoring center every week to test that the medical alert system is still connected and working.
Go for a trial period.
Insist on a 30-day risk-free trial period to give you the opportunity to try a medical alert system.
Check that the equipment is reliable.
Make use of a trial period to check the reliability of the equipment and the longer-term performance of the monitoring center.
Find out how long the monitoring service has been in business.
Dealing with a medical alarm company that has only just entered the business increases your risk.
Do you want to use a provider that has its own monitoring center?
Many smaller providers outsource the medical alert monitoring because of the expense of running their own facilities. This raises questions about quality of service and management control and evaluation.
Do not just go for the cheapest.
You need to use a monitoring center that has the resources to provide you with a safe and secure service. Phone a selection of medical alarm system providers and question them about their services.