Falls leading to injuries and deaths are common among older adults, and those who’ve experienced know that it is essential to get help. Even if injuries don’t occur during falls, seniors may still suffer psychologically. Did you know that more than a quarter of seniors aged 65+ suffer falls every year? Find out more at https://www.cdc.gov/homeandrecreationalsafety/falls/adultfalls.html. How can we reduce this negative impact of falls among seniors? This is where a medical alert system comes in. the purpose of a medical alert system is to enhance the safety of seniors. Most of them come with a button that older adults need to touch to get immediate medical attention when needed. The goal of these devices is to improve the level of independence among seniors by providing them with safety and peace of mind.
How Do These Life-Saving Devices Work?
A medical alert system also called a Personal Emergency Response System (PERS), is a communication technology that allows older adults to remain safely in their homes and engage in physical and social activities. But how do these systems work? Medical alert systems come in two types, including in-home and mobile systems. In-home medical alert systems have two main features; a console and a pendant that comes with a button. There is a base unit that is plugged into the wall that monitors the safety of seniors’ homes. Older adults are supposed to wear the pendant (the safety button) around their necks or their belts. When in danger, one should just press the button, and get the medical support they need. Mobile medical alert systems, on the other hand, only use the pendant (the button), without the base station plugged into the wall. When faced with a medical emergency, older adults simply press the button. The pendant is made to send an alert to the United States call center, which then contacts emergency medical personnel.
Who Should Use the Medical Alert System?
All older adults who live on their own should invest in these life-saving devices. Who needs these devices? Any senior
- Looking to remain independent in their homes for as long as possible.
- Is suffering fear of falling.
- Has hearing problems or reduced eyesight.
- Is suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease or any other dementia-related illness.
- Has had surgery and is undergoing recovery.
- Lives with life-threatening diseases like diabetes.
- Uses prescription medication that has side effects, such as feeling sleepy and dizziness.
- Are looking for more protection to enhance security in their homes.
These are the Best Medical Alert Systems with No Monthly Fee
These medical alert systems are perfect for seniors in need of the devices but would like to stay on a budget:
PushPoint Eco2 Expandable Wireless Doorbell with Battery
Because it comes with batteries installed in them, these devices are a perfect option for older adults who don’t want to spend more money buying additional things, like batteries to make them work. After buying this medical alert system, all one needs to do is push the button, and it will generate enough energy that sends the emergency alarm. One can decide to walk around the pieces or mount them on the wall.
Cost: About $10
CallToU Wireless Caregiver Pager Smart Call System
This medical alert system is one of the best in the market. It comes with 55 customizable ringtones, a full-house system with a 500-foot range, and five-volume levels that range from 0-110. The device is waterproof.
- Cost: About $50
Mace Brand Alert 911
As its name suggests, this is an emergency medical alert system that sends an alarm to 911 whenever there is a need for urgent medical support. After calling the 611, the caller is connected with an emergency responder who handles the rest from there. It comes with adorable features, including batteries, two-way communication to the emergency contact, and includes lanyard connection.
- Cost: about $85
Secure SWCB-1 Wireless Remote Nurse Alert System
This is an in-home medical alert system that seniors can wear either as a pendant, or watch, or can be mounted to a surface. Older adults with these devices can send an alert by simply pushing a button to their caregivers. This system comes with 32 alarm sounds, is waterproof, and has a system range of 500 feet.
- Cost: About $15
Does Medicare Cover Life Alert Systems?
Medical alert systems, which can include watches, necklaces, and bracelets, are critical to seniors’ health. So, does the Medicare program cover these Life Alert devices? Well, it is unfortunate that Medicare does not cover these devices since they are medical devices, and do not meet the description of Durable Medical Equipment. Life alert systems are just like what a senior may need to improve their quality of life, like wheelchair ramps, which enhance mobility but are not part of medical necessities.
However, Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C) may cover these life-saving devices. These plans are provided by private health insurance companies approved by Medicare. These companies must provide the Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) and more services, which may include medical alert systems, also referred to as Personal Emergency Response Systems (PERS). It is important to note that Medicare Advantage Plans are not the same everywhere. They vary from one location to another, so one must check first if the devices are covered by the Part C plans in their areas.
What About Medicaid?
Medicaid is a federal health insurance program helping seniors aged 65+ pay their medical expenses. Older adults eligible for the program assistance may have these devices covered in their plans. Medicaid offers several plans, including waivers. In most cases, the elderly in need of nursing home care may qualify for this kind of support.
How Else Can You Pay for Medical Alert Systems?
Older adults have other payment options they can explore to obtain life-alert systems. One way is taking advantage of discounts offered by different brands that deal with these devices. In most cases, seniors or their loved ones will find several manufacturers sometimes waive shipping fees or provide reasonable discounts, especially to buyers or users who pay for these kinds of services in advance. Older adults can also opt for long-term care insurance to pay for medical alert systems.