Finding the right home medical alert system for you or your elderly family member takes some time and research to make certain that you choose the best system for your needs. In doing this, there are some things that you will want to know before you make a decision:

  • Learn about the Response Center

If the system you are considering uses a response center, be certain to learn how it operates. Some providers offer response 24/7, but others do not. Since medical emergencies can happen at any time and with little warning, make sure the home medical alert system you choose is prepared to assist it’s customers at any time, day, night, weekend, or holiday.

You will also want to find out some other things like the average response time, type of training the staff receives, as well as the process and how often the center tests the medical alert system. Learn also if the provider has it’s own response center, as opposed to a company that outsources to other response centers in order to keep costs down.

Lastly, make sure the response center is UL (Underwriters Laboratories) listed, who provide the high standards that all response centers are to meet. A response center that is not listed with UL means that you should find another provider for your home medical alert system.

  • Hidden Costs  and Terms in the Contract

Some medical alert systems will require you to pay an upfront fee when you sign up, and depending on the refund policy, you may or may not be able to receive it all back if you need to cancel. You will also want to see if there are any cancellation fees. You also want to learn if you are required to pa for a separate phone line in order to use the phone after the system is installed.

Also find out if repair and replacement services are included, or if there is an addition cost for this. Always test the system at the beginning go make sure there are no defects and that it works from all parts of the home. In addition, find out if there is a warranty, what it is, and how to receive a replacement or repairs if there is a problem. Finally, make sure that you can cancel at any time.

  • The “Hard Sell”

As the aging population increases, so does the variety and number of home medical alert systems. While there are many excellent systems, there unfortunately also some companies that take advantage of seniors and their families. One red flag to watch for is the hard-sell tactic where the salesperson is pushy, aggressive, and may insist on only doing home sales visits. (Not all in-home-sales are, but it is something to watch for.) An unwillingness to answer many questions, or provide much in the way of company information is something else to beware of. Look for openness, disclosure, and professional courtesy from those providing information and sales as an indicator of future helpful and caring service.

Not all home medical alert systems are created equal, and neither are the companies that service them. Taking the time for due diligence before buying will make it more likely that the system you do get will provide you and your family with the peace of mind that you need.

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