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Pros & Cons of Medical Alert

A medical alert system is designed to give seniors and those with disabilities an outside contact in case of emergency, allowing them to gain or maintain independence without causing undue worry to their loved ones. If you’re considering a medical alert for yourself or a family member, consider all the angles for and against the various brands before making your purchase.


Medical alert systems can be quite costly, both on initial equipment purchase and monthly service fees. In addition, a company may charge fees for installation and activation. According to Medicare, medical alert systems are not covered by Medicare. Seniors are advised to check their personal insurance coverage. In addition, in some states’ county aging programs may cover the cost of a system.

Service and Warranty

Coverage will vary from company to company, and it is important to make a comparison list when shopping for a medical alert service. Some companies may offer more coverage of defective or broken equipment as well as money-back guarantees; length of coverage and services covered are other important items to consider. It’s a good idea to check with the Better Business Bureau to see whether a particular company has had any previous complaints before you sign the contract.


The range of a medical alert system varies by company. Typically the system will work within the confines of the home but may be limited when the patient is outside. This can give a false sense of security, making it important that the company check out all range parameters when installing and activating the unit.

Proper Usage

It is imperative that the patient comprehend the instructions for wearing a medical alert, as they may take the alert off for convenience when bathing or exercising, which are two of the highest incidences of home injuries. In addition, they must be aware of the system in place in order to avoid both out-of-range activities and false alarms to the host company.


Medical alert systems give the patient independence, without having him feel like a burden to those committed to his well being. In addition, a system can ease fears of falling or other types of injuries, giving the senior more freedom and access to indoor activities.

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