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Personal Medical Alert Systems

Personal Medical Alert Systems

Timely emergency response to accidents or falls in the home can mean the difference between life and death, even more so when involving an elderly person. Falls are a primary concern with 1 in 3 adults over the age of 65 falling each year, with nearly 30 percent suffering moderate to severe injuries, according to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. When a fall or medical emergency occurs, a personal medical alert system acts as an essential lifeline for help.


As a person ages, the risks increase significantly for emergencies in the home, especially for those with limited mobility or other age-related disabilities. Widowed individuals are at an even higher risk with no one available to call for help when an emergency occurs. As the risks for accidents increase, so does the necessity for placing these individuals in retirement or assisted living facilities. However, a personal medical alert system can help maintain independence and allows an at-risk person to remain in their home simply by offering assistance whenever a fall or injury occurs that prevents a person from being able to reach a phone to call for help. These alert systems allow those at risk to stay in their homes longer, while providing assurance to both the person wearing the device and their family.

The System

Most personal medical alert systems consist of a base unit and a lightweight wearable device, typically something that can be worn around the wrist or neck. When a fall or medical emergency occurs, the wearer simply presses the help button to signal the company that monitors the system. A representative from the company can then offer verbal assistance and comfort while calling in the necessary emergency personnel to assist. Assistance companies are set up to run 24 hours a day, seven days a week, ensuring that help is available at all times. Some systems also have the option to alert a list of family members when an emergency occurs.

Additional Features

Depending on the alert system chosen, the worn device may have additional features to further increase independence. For example, some models offer reminders for appointments or alerts on when to take medications. Potential additional safety features may include periodic check-ins by the company and carbon monoxide detection. Available features vary depending on the monitoring service.


The idea of paying a monthly fee on a fixed income may seem not worth the service. However, in comparison to nursing or assisted living costs, personal alert systems typically end up saving families money. For example, the cost of an assisted living facility can easily reach $3,000 or more a month, depending on the company, location and the amenities of the facility. Basic personal alert system packages start as low as $35 a month. Monthly pricing will vary depending on the service company and the chosen features of the system.

Whether just reaching retirement age or celebrating a 100th birthday, personal medical alert systems provide a peace of mind that if an emergency occurs, help will be on the way. Regardless of whether a person has full or limited mobility, alert systems provide the opportunity to remain independent and in the comfort of home for years to come.

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