Monthly Archives: September 2014

How To Choose The Right Medical Alert System

Choosing The Best Medical Alert System – Lifestyle Needs Versus Technology Features

With new and improved technologies and a wider selection of devices to choose from, selecting the best medical alert system for you or a loved one has never been more challenging or confusing.  We needed to say that right up front!  So having made this bold statement, this blog will help you find the right medical alarm system that conforms to the senior user’s specific lifestyle needs and budgetary concerns.

Too many consumers, particularly family member caregivers under the age of 50, are often swayed by flashy marketing campaigns that promise seniors a medical alert device able to perform a myriad of applications to address any type of emergency event or circumstance.  From live monitoring, alert and dispatch assistance, to auto detect and alert capability, and even to online access of medical information and resources- all possible at the touch of a remote button you can wear.

While this may be true in many modern-day devices, choosing or finding the ideal medical alert system for you or a loved one does not necessarily depend upon combining several or all of these contemporary features into one device.  We aren’t saying “buyer beware”, just strive to make an informed choice by pairing the primary needs of the user to the most effective technology solutions being offered.

Modern Day Technology Comes To the Medical Alarm Industry

Don’t worry.  The good news is ground-breaking communication technologies that have been available for the past decade in other related industries (i.e. automotive, transportation, communications, military, medicine, etc.) are finally coming to the medical alarm system industry- and fast.  Key examples include GPS location tracking, mobile internet, cellular networks, fall detection monitoring and the like.  What does this all mean?  Well, more good news.  Our industry is rolling out newer technologies for more broad-based applications while resulting in better product performance and service.  All being delivered across multiple platforms through traditional home-based and modern-day portable devices.

More Choices Than Ever Before- Good or Bad?

More and better choices is a good thing, right?  Yet, more selection yields to more information needed of the products and services in which to derive an informed decision.  We can only advise that you stay focused and keep things simple and to shop for a system that serves your specific lifestyle needs and budget.  In other words, don’t choose a system that is “take me anywhere I go” when you spend 80% of your time in and around the home.  Consider the following key points in selecting the proper emergency medical system:

User Lifestyle Is The Key Factor

1.  Home-based User:  The traditional “land line system” is perfect for those users who employ a land line phone line in the house.  The system equipment comprises of a panic help button (worn as a necklace or bracelet) and a monitoring base station console that connects to the land line phone jack or cable line modem and also includes a 2-way voice activated speaker system.

If there is no land line phone line (many households now just use cell phone service), you can add a third device to this system called a “cell dialer” that transmits the emergency medical alarm signal via a nearby cell phone tower to the providers’ national emergency monitoring center.  The land line system will cost around $22.00 to $30.00 per month which should include the system equipment and 24/7 emergency monitoring and dispatch services through a single (national) provider like First Response  Add $15.00 per month for the cell dialer box component.  There should be no allowance for an Activation Fee or Termination Fee, so be sure to ask your prospective provider company about this.

2.  Home-based and travel (near and/or far):  Many independent seniors who lead a home-based lifestyle, yet travel distances for regular medical appointments and other daily activities require a device that can be easily transported wherever they may be.  GPS location tracking devices designed specifically for the medical alarm industry are now recognized as a viable, reliable and cost-effective solution to monitor and dispatch emergency medical assistance wherever a senior user may be.

Unlike the land line system that is comprised of 2 devices (transmitter and receiver), the GPS system is an “all-in-one” device where the user can transmit and communicate with a live emergency medical operator all within the same wearable device.  For example, GPS MobileCare system by First Response can be rented for $49.95 per month with a one-time $50.00 Activation Fee only.

Other Key Factors for Consideration

Consider these additional factors critical to your selection:

  • Equipment/devices: easy-to press; functionality; comfort; waterproof versus water-resistant; back-up battery power; trouble and battery power indicators; charging capability; wearable button options; extended range signal of button; voice-activated speaker; false alarm clear capability.
  • Emergency Monitoring Services: 24/7/365 online availability; live certified response and dispatch operators; bi-lingual operators option; “silent” testing of system.
  • Pricing: wide selection of rental price plan options; purchase option for long-term use; no hidden fees; no long term commitment agreements.
  • Provider Company: business history; nationwide provider certification; 24/7 live customer service; client reviews; web site and phone/email accessibility.

For more detailed information on the features and benefits of the emergency medical alarm systems outlined in this article, please refer to the blog section of our First Response System website.







Go Anywhere with GPS MobileCare by First Response

GPS MobileCare by First Response System

First Response Offers Seniors the Latest in Portable GPS Alert Device Technology

GPS MobileCare by First Response System combines a patented FALL DETECTION technology with a special AUTO ALERT application built into a single first alert device.  Best of all, the device is completely portable as you can take it anywhere you go.  Seniors and health care professionals alike recognize First Response as a leading provider of mobile GPS Emergency Medical Alert Systems and home-based emergency response systems for active, independent seniors nationwide.

”VRI MobileCare with GPS Medical Alert is a discrete and reliable emergency medical support system that goes everywhere, all the time.”  Advocates for the Independent (2014) Report

The freedom to go ANYWHERE, ANYTIME with confidence and peace-of-mind.

GPS MobileCare by First Response brings safety and peace-of-mind to everyday senior living.  Designed to break through the confines of traditional home-bound emergency medical alert systems, GPS MobileCare is the complete “all-in-one device” for reliable emergency medical alarm and monitoring for seniors.  Use it anywhere and at anytime 24/7.

GPS MobileCare is a discrete, wearable device that provides seniors with a highly sophisticated fall detection application built directly into the device.  The fall detection application features an Auto Alert capability that sends an alarm to our First Response national emergency monitoring center.  The system also features 24/7  emergency medical monitoring and dispatch services with live certified EMS/EMT operators, GPS user tracking & locating, and two-way automated hands-free communication from virtually anywhere via nationwide cellular (tower) networks.

The device, worn as an emergency necklace for seniors (also comes with an optional clip-on accessory), connects directly to our First Response national emergency monitoring center.  Our live, certified EMS/EMT operators provide immediate assistance whenever and wherever needed.

GPS MobileCare by First Response System is your very own help alert button device and emergency medical alarm system.   Our “All In One Device” dispatches local 911 emergency responders to the user’s location whenever a sudden medical emergency, event or accident occurs- anywhere at anytime, day or night!

An “All In One Device” with the latest Product Technology Features.

  • GPS location technology allows user to remain safe even outside the home, anywhere.
  • Nationwide signal coverage; GPS tracker locates user to within 100 feet of user position.
  • Touch button technology on device transmits emergency panic alarm automatically.
  • 2-way voice activated speaker provides clear, reliable 2-way live communication.
  • Patented Fall Detection Technology features a multi-sensor application to detect falls and sends alerts automatically to live EMS operators for fast response.
  • Water resistant device (worn as a belt clip or necklace) can be worn in the shower.
  • 36-hour standby battery with 30-minute active live call reserve; charger docking station.
  • Small, lightweight device with durable casing for easy access, function and appeal.

Affordable Rental Price Plan Options with a Full Warranty Included.

For more information and affordable rental price plan options, please contact:                         Scott Hazlewood/ SVP Client Services at (866) 686-9344 Toll-Free direct or (866) 930-1130.

4 Key Reasons Seniors Need A Medical Alert System Now

Better Senior Health Requires Better Medical Services and Products

For most older adults, the growing emphasis on maintaining an independent, mobile and secure lifestyle is a primary goal as seniors “age in place”.  As elder adults are living more independently than ever before, the need for effective and affordable healthcare services, medical equipment and family member caregiver support has never been more urgent.  As a result, personal medical alert systems are being recognized by consumers and medical professionals alike, as an affordable and effective personal monitoring technology that allows seniors to stay in their home while providing a first alert response during an unexpected medical emergency.

The Senior Community Is Healthy & Growing

According the the United States Census Bureau, the senior adult population (age 65+) will double in size over the next 25 years.  This upward trend started in 2013 and will continue to expand and gain momentum through 2038.  Concurrently, older adults are living longer, are more active and as a result, are leading more independent lives than at any time in our country’s history.  Modern medicine, better and more effective healthcare, and adopting more healthy lifestyles (i.e. diet, exercise, mental health) are key drivers to why seniors are living and saying independent.

4 Key Reasons For Using An Emergency Medical Alert System

Reason #1: Senior Lifestyle. 

  • Individuals that live independently and/or alone (i.e. during the daytime or 24-hours daily) either in a primary residence, a family residence or independent living community, require emergency medical monitoring as they go about their daily activities.
  • Persons who require assistance with standard tasks such as meal preparation, bathing, dressing, making phone calls and light domestic chores or projects.

Reason #2: Senior Medical Conditions.

  • Older adults who intake 2 or more daily medications and/or prescriptions.
  • Persons who experience dizziness when navigating a chair, sofa and/or bed.
  • Individuals who have been hospitalized or admitted to an emergency room or clinic during the past 12 to 24 months.
  • Seniors who have recently recovered from a surgery and/or are returning from short-term rehabilitation or are in the process of physical therapy.
  • Persons who suffer from a chronic or debilitating ailment (i.e. vertigo, diabetes, stroke, heart disease, arthritis)
  • Elder adults who are partially or fully hearing and/or visually impaired.

Reason #3: Senior Mobility.

  • Persons who have experienced their first fall or critical fall (requiring medical treatment).
  • Seniors who experience recurring or repeated falls or are anxious about falling again.
  • Individuals who have problems negotiating steps and furnishings; standing up and down.
  • Older adults who employ canes, walkers and other medical mobility devices for better balance and travel.

Reason #4: Senior Anxiety and Stress.

  • Seniors who are experience regular feelings of anxiety about falling when alone.
  • Older adults who feel they are incapable of reaching the phone or contacting a neighbor in the event they fall and can’t get up or experience a sudden injury or medical emergency.
  • Individuals who may be experiencing forgetfulness; memory loss or early-stage form of dementia.

The ‘4 Key Reasons’ detailed above are considered drivers or qualifiers in order to identify and gauge the risk level of senior adults to the need of employing an emergency alarm system that can monitor users and dispatch emergency medical assistance right to their location.   There are several types of systems, for home and for travel, that can be specifically tailored to a senior’s lifestyle and medical needs.


How to Choose The Right Medical Alert System Provider

The Right Provider Company Is Just As Important As The Right System 

Independent living seniors, family member caregivers and health care professionals alike, are all basically familiar with emergency medical alert systems and the medical alert necklace that summons emergency assistance when a sudden or unexpected accident or medical event occurs. Finding the right system that offers the best in affordability, product technology and monitoring services for you or a loved one can be a confusing and sometimes overwhelming process.  Yet, choosing the right system provider is just as critical as finding the right system technology and devices.  Put differently, the best system in place is only as good as the provider company that supports it….the following key points is what you need to consider.

System Equipment Selection

The provider company should offer consumers a complete selection and varietal range of systems to suit the specific needs of any standard user (i.e. independent senior, medical ailment, disabled, at-risk employee, etc.).  For older adult users, land line and cell dialer systems for in and around the home are reliable and effective.  For individuals who require portability and mobile protection outside the home, GPS and cellular network mobile care systems are most suitable.  Accessories that augment a system such as wearable buttons, hallway buttons, lock boxes, and home safety lighting products are also highly recommended.

Purchase and Rental Price Plan Options

Rental plans for these systems is the most advisable and affordable payment method.  Purchase of a particular systems might be an advisable option if the user intends to employ the system for an extended period of time- say five to seven years or more.  Rental price plans should include a Monthly, Quarterly and Annual payment plan option.  The more you pay for an installment (i.e. Quarterly or Annual), the cheaper the monthly rate should be.  In other words, different monthly rates for different rental price plans.  These rates should combine the equipment and emergency monitoring service fees all into one (monthly) rate commensurate with the rental plan selected.

Hidden Fees and Charges

When possible, try to stay away from provider companies that charge “one-time” service and handling fees such as an Activation Fee, Programming Fee, Cancellation or Termination Fee and the like.  These “one-time” individual charges can range from $50.00 to $250.00.  To note, an Activation Fee (under $100.00) can be necessary for providers when offering more advanced technologies and applications like a GPS mobile-based system.

24/7 Emergency Monitoring Service

The emergency monitoring center should provide nationwide coverage and reliable response/dispatch services on a 24-hour, seven-day-per-week basis.  Emergency Center responders should only be live operators, not voice mail or via phone line response are industry certified in emergency medical services (EMS) response and dispatch.  Spanish-speaking operators should also be provided to users, if needed.

Customer Service and Support

The provider company should offer responsive customer service and support to users and their family member caregivers on a 24 hour, seven-day-a-week basis.  Contact with customer service should be easily accessible through a toll-free number, e-mail and a web site link. In the event call volume prohibits a live response over the phone, leave a message and that non-emergency call should be returned within 1 to 2 hours.

Customer Reviews and Satisfaction Performance Rating

With online shopping at record levels, customer reviews are being sought by potential buyers as independent, non-biased “truth barometers” on a company’s products and services.  Take the time to visit the company provider web site and other independent, reputable sources for reviews on particular companies and their ratings for customer satisfaction and performance.

Company Profile and History

Choose a company that is a nationwide provider of medical alarm systems and emergency monitoring services.  Local providers usually do not have the infrastructure, monitoring capability and financial viability to professionally service these industry clients.

Other criteria include a reputable, quality-based provider company that has a successful business history of at least 5 to 7 years in the medical alarm industry, a Better Business Bureau rating of “A-” or better in the state the company is headquartered, and one that specializes in emergency medical alarm (i.e. does not bundle this specialized service with residential home security and the like) and related services. A content-rich, informative and easy to navigate web site is also a tell-tale sign that the provider company is a highly professional and dedicated member of the medical alarm industry.