A medical alert system is a small, wearable device about the size of a cell phone. It is designed to allow you to contact someone in case of an emergency or if you need assistance. The device helps users to summon help in case of a fall or medical condition such as a heart attack or stroke. This is especially important when you cannot speak for yourself.
Once activated, the system signals someone at the monitoring center who will then contact you. If there is no answer from your side, they will immediately dispatch help. They will do this by either contacting a family member or friend. The call center can also use 911 services, or emergency personnel, depending on the type of medical alert system purchased.
The device has two main parts:
1. A base unit. This component plugs into your telephone jack and connects to your telephone line for use indoors.
2. A wearable transmitter. This device is something you can wear around your neck or on your wrist. This is what the patient uses to trigger the call for help during an emergency.
Who needs a medical alert system?
Anyone with a chronic health condition that places them at risk for emergencies needs this system. Particularly, these systems are necessary for those living alone who have a higher risk of a medical emergency. Most importantly, it is for those who cannot get to their phone quickly enough to call 911 in an emergency.
If you have a medical condition that could cause you to fall or lose consciousness unexpectedly, this system is for you. For instance, an alert system can be a great way to ensure your safety if you have epilepsy.
Many of these types of systems are also for individuals who have limited mobility or difficulty walking. Most people with mobility issues tend not to have medical emergencies very often. However, having peace of mind that people can easily reach you during an emergency is incredibly beneficial.
People living with Parkinson's or Alzheimer's disease are also examples of individuals who could benefit from a medical alert system. In most cases, this system is perfect for medical alerts for the elderly. It provides a sure and perfect way of dealing with their medical issues.
How a medical alert system works
Most medical alert systems utilize an electronic device with a button for carrying or wearing around the neck. In case of a medical emergency or if the wearer feels dizzy, confused, or is having issues walking, the user simply presses the big button on the device to alert help immediately.
The device is connected to a base plugged into an outlet in your home. It is battery-powered sometimes and will signal the central station with your location. A medical alert system then alerts paramedics, family members, or neighbors of the emergency. The device also usually contains a speaker that allows for two-way communication.
Types of medical alert systems
A medical alert system is either hardwired or wireless.
1. A hardwired system. This is the best choice if you need to have a landline in your home. That is because it uses the existing wiring in your house. The system comes with a base station and hand-held Pendant (also referred to as a "Call Button" and "Button") to wear around your neck or wrist.
2. A wireless system. This system uses batteries but does not require the installation of new wiring in your home. A medical alert button connects to a base station via radio waves instead of wires. Therefore, it allows you to move freely throughout your house. This is the most common type of medical alert system.
Monitoring the welfare of people living on their own with one or more chronic conditions that put them at risk for emergencies is tricky. However, a medical alert system is a great solution for this situation. It works best during sudden illness or injury, loss of mobility, or life-threatening incidents.
Some systems include wearable pendant buttons, which allow users to contact help easily while on the go. Our society is aging, with an increasing number of seniors living on their own, which increases the need for these systems among the aging population.