Medical alert systems provide protection for elderly adults living independently who can get help simply by pushing a button. Additional features offer GPS tracking and automatic fall detection. Our partners at ConsumerAffairs researched the best medical alert systems in Cleveland to guide you through the latest in-home technology for seniors.
Small, battery-powered mobile receivers with a help button are worn around the neck or wrist. These systems benefit those with impairments or disabilities that hinder mobility or cognition, particularly when living alone. Mobile devices allow users to easily get help if injured or facing another emergency.
When it comes to aging, Cleveland has a slightly lower elderly population compared to the state and nation.
Over 65 years old
While systems traditionally connected to landline phones, today’s mobile devices can also use cellular networks and GPS location-tracking technology. Nevertheless, many systems require a base unit in the home and the range may be limited.
Monitored systems connect to 24-hour call centers that can dispatch emergency responders. They also may integrate with home security, smoke detectors and even give medication reminders. Unmonitored systems are programmed to call friends, family, caregivers or 911 without going through a call center first.
Pricing, insurance and installation
Medical alert systems in Cleveland typically do not require commitments or contracts. Generally, buyers may cancel service within a 30-day trial without penalty, except for shipping or restocking fees.
Some companies offer price lock protection from rate increases. Those with ongoing monthly monitoring fees do not charge equipment fees. Some provide coverage for spouses simply by paying a fee for the extra device. Since those who fall may become unconscious, automatic fall detectors are available for an additional $10 to $20 monthly.
Medicare does not cover medical alert systems, yet some Medicare Advantage programs do. Long-term care insurance may offer reimbursement. Ohio Medicaid does not generally provide coverage; however, Medicaid programs such as the PASSPORT waiver do cover emergency response systems. Many companies provide discounts for AARP or USAA members.
Most systems are simple enough for self-installation, yet some offer professional installation. The primary maintenance concern is battery life. Most companies guarantee batteries for at least two years and have basic warranty periods to repair or replace any damaged or defective equipment.
Based in Pennsylvania, Medical Guardian markets their innovative mobile devices, including Freedom Guardian “smartwatch” medical alert device worn on the wrist. Several reviews mention that sales staff were patient when answering questions and that system installation took only 10 minutes.
MobileHelp promotes their commitment to maintaining the latest in mobile technology. They have an integrated nationwide network with wireless voice, data and GPS capability. Reviews from Ohio say that the self-installation process is quite simple and that customer support is excellent and helpful.
LifeStation is based in New Jersey and has been in business since 1977. Reviews suggest that their GPS necklace-type mobile device works very well. A couple of reviewers claimed to have problems with credit card billing and felt that customer service placed them on hold for too long.
LifeFone has been in business since 1976 with their own U.S.-based call center monitoring facilities. Their systems can be used with landlines, cellular networks and GPS. Reviews explain that customers may wear a lanyard (necklace) device during the day and a bracelet-type device when sleeping.
Medical Alert is a division of Connect America, based in Pennsylvania. They promote their new 365 Access App that is intended for caregivers. Online reviews say how they liked the option of using their receiver positioned on the wrist instead of wearing it around the neck.
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