The world today seems to be all about connection and access — there are more ways than ever to learn the latest news, go shopping, and reach out to people near and far. Although there are times when this ‘right-now’ attitude can seem excessive, when an emergency arises, the same technologies may be lifesaving. And medical providers are sitting up and taking notice, offering increasingly sophisticated personal emergency response systems that deliver whole new levels of independence, mobility, and peace of mind.
As with any product, a wider range of choices equals a more complex decision. If you’re interested in the assurance of a personal emergency response system, understanding the factors below can help you pick your perfect fit.
How much you can or want to spend may be a decisive factor in the system you choose. Some companies try to get the customer’s attention by naming a single low price per month, but this isn’t always the whole story. When comparing service providers, consider the following to get a full picture of pricing policies and avoid unpleasant surprises.
- Ask about any additional fees for equipment, shipping, and/or installation.
- Learn whether the quoted price is fixed, or allowed to increase.
- Investigate the details of the plan, especially the contract length (if any) and how to cancel service.
- Make sure that the service plan you want covers the specific equipment or features you’re expecting.
- See if you can take advantage of a free trial period before committing.
Although all systems have similar basic goals, the way in which they achieve them is not necessarily the same. The technology that each system depends on may determine what systems are better suited to your home setup and lifestyle.
- Don’t have a land line? Some systems operate exclusively through a telephone line (not cellular-enabled), meaning you’d need to set up the additional phone service and factor in the extra expense that goes with it.
- Spend hours in the garden or garage? Total area covered differs between systems, depending on the equipment offered or on your wireless home network. Make sure that your chosen system has the flexibility to extend outside the house to your favorite leisure activities as well.
- Need coverage on the go? If you want the security of full protection almost anywhere you roam, consider a system that operates on a mobile network, using cell phone technology, or one equipped with GPS satellite accuracy.
Peace of mind starts with emergency preparedness, but it ends with knowing that your particular system has you covered in the ways you need. Ask yourself questions about everyday use as well as potential scenarios, and look for a system that responds in the way you would want.
- ‘How am I supposed to wear this?’ Learn whether the device is worn on a pendant, a belt clip, a lanyard, or something else. If it doesn’t feel natural and comfortable, you might not wear it, and then the system can’t do its job.
- ‘What happens after I push the button?’ Actual emergencies can be times of panic and uncertainty. If you want the reassurance of two-way spoken communication, make sure the system you choose offers this immediate connection, rather than simply sending out an automated alert.
- ‘What if I have a fall?’ Some systems offer a fall detection feature, which automatically sends an alert in case the wearer is immobilized or unconscious after falling. If you’re anxious about potential falls, insisting on a system with this feature can help relieve these fears.
- ‘Will I talk to an expert?’ Depending on your health history or current care, you may want the certainty that a nurse or other clinician is within reach. Ask the service provider about the training and credentials of the people who respond to the alerts.
- ‘Can I get help if I have an issue, but it’s not life-threatening?’ Any number of problems can demand immediate attention without being considered an emergency. Some systems, like Residential Home Health’s exclusive Residential Nurse Alert service, offer broad Anytime-Anywhere-Anything support, whereas many others are limited to emergencies only.
There is no single best personal emergency response system, but there is likely a best choice for you and your needs. By identifying your must-have features and asking questions, you’ll be better able to compare systems and choose the one that fits right in step with your everyday life.
Residential Nurse Alert is an exclusive mobile alert system that can be used for any reason, day or night:
- Emergency situations
- Questions regarding hospital discharge instructions or medications
- Help with scheduling physician appointments
- Assistance with transportation
- Questions for your primary care physician
- Health concerns or any other reason
Click on the overview below and discover how the convenient, comprehensible security of Residential Nurse Alert stacks up against top competitors.
For Residential Home Health patients, Residential Nurse Alert provides Anytime-Anywhere-Anything access to their care team. Non-patients can also use the service to connect with Residential’s clinical team. In 2014, more than 300 probable hospital admissions were avoided with this system.