As people age, they become more susceptible to getting hurt at home. In fact, falling is the leading cause of injuries for aging seniors, according to the National Council on Aging. Medical alert systems save lives by contacting family, caregivers or medical professionals in the case of injury. Our partners at ConsumerAffairs researched the best medical alert systems in Denver.
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The benefit of a medical alert system is to get help if you've fallen or had a health issue where you can't reach a phone. It can also be used to call for help in the event of an intruder or fire. Approximately 18 percent of the population in Denver is above 60 years old and so is almost 20 percent of Northern Colorado.
Falls contribute to 70 percent of accidental deaths in people 75 years and older, and getting immediate care can improve a patient's chances of recovery. Those taking medication or with impaired vision and weakness in legs and feet could be at greater risk for a fall.
The elderly aren't the only ones who benefit from a medical alert system, but also people:
With a medical condition, such as epilepsy
Taking medication that causes dizziness
In recovery from a surgery
Undergoing physical therapy
Who live alone
When considering a medical alert system in Denver, there are questions to ask, such as:
Does it require batteries or a landline telephone connection?
If it has a battery, what is the battery life? What is the sign that the battery needs to be replaced?
Is the equipment worn on the body, mounted on the wall or both?
How does the installation process work?
What is the range? Does it work outside the home? Can it travel with you?
Do smartphone apps extend the range of service?
Is there an option for automatic fall detection if you're unable to push the button?
Are emergency contacts notified if the alarm is set off?
Is it waterproof? Can you use it in the shower or while swimming?
Is there a risk-free trial period?
The cost of a medical alert system varies by company and services. In many cases, a basic in-home only service is the cheapest option, and then customers can opt to pay additional for automatic fall protection, on-the-go protection or in-the-car protection. Besides the basic cost, there can be fees for equipment, installation and cancellation. Depending on the company, you are either purchasing or leasing the equipment.
In some cases and states, Medicaid may cover some of the costs of a medical alert system. Some insurance companies may offer discounts, too. There also may be discounts available to AARP members, veterans and members of other organizations.
Medical Guardian offers products that are waterproof and able to be used while showering and swimming. They also offer a Family Guardian plan where family and friends can monitor an individual’s activity level through the day. Some customers reported issues with customer service and getting a refund.
LifeFone doesn’t charge for activation or equipment and offers a 30-day money back guarantee. With some plans, spouses are protected for free. Customers report an easy-to-use system and a customer service team that’s responsive and helpful.
MobileHelp offers at-home help as well as wearable help with an average response time of 17 seconds from trained professionals. They also offer automatic fall protection. Users say they have experienced fast help and agents who were friendly and helpful.
LifeStation offers in-home and on-the-go services with features such as automatic e-mail notifications to an emergency contact and automatic fall detection. Some Denver customers reported issues with response and customer service, while others said they received timely care.
MedicalAlert provides service at home, in the shower and away from home for a monthly price. The company’s mobile app allows caregivers to check on their loved ones with location monitoring, communication and notifications.
Active seniors love the customized response plans, automatic fall detection and two-way voice communication available with the GoSafe and HomeSafe devices by Philips Lifeline. With devices built to meet a variety of needs, even medication dispensing, the company makes sure you're covered at all times. Founded in 1974, Philips was the first company to provide medical alert devices to consumers.
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