Which medical alert pendant would be the best for her aunt?

A sharp-eyed Telecare Aware reader spotted I’d missed this excellent item from the New York Times ‘New Old Age’ section of its health blog just before Christmas. In it, the author asks her readers about their experiences of pendant ‘medical alert’ alarms. Don’t miss the comments if you want insights into the views of users and their families about pendant alarms in general and their views on what’s good and bad on the US scene. A Call for Help by Jane Gross.

7 thoughts on “Which medical alert pendant would be the best for her aunt?

  1. Best/Worst Medical Alert Companies
    I used to be in the business for years so I have plenty of knowledge.
    There are great companies and terrible companies in this business, just like everything else.

    Companies to AVOID: AlertUSA (Also known as Companion or PASS) of NY,NY. They have over 120 BBB complaints mainly for poor billing practices.
    Another one to avoid is Rescue Alert: No medical alarm company should have a 3 year contract requirement. That’s ridiculous.

    Here are some questions to ask: 1. Do you have your own call center or is it a 3rd party? Many companies have “their” name on the boxes, but it’s really another company performing the 24 hour service. Now that’s not totally bad, as some of the monitoring centers are VERY good.
    2. Does the medical alert system check in every day, and is that monitored? A good system should perform a self-test at LEAST once a week, if not every day. And the monitoring company should be checking to make sure the systems that don’t check in properly (I.E. telephone line unhooked, machine is malfunctioning etc) should be doing follow-up calls to inquire what the problem is.

    There is absolutely NO need to have a salesman/woman come to your home to install these machines. Many companies offer them via them mail which is perfectly fine. They are easier to hook up than an answering machine. So never pay for it.

    The current leader in the industry is Philips Lifeline. But do you feel safe in a company that’s monitoring nearly 800,000 customers at once? There simply isn’t people available to answer that many possible calls at once. Look for a smaller company is my recommendation.

    The IMD2 machines are great, IF they are live monitored.

  2. Rescue Alert

    You said a company to avoid would be Rescue Alert because they require a three year contract?

    They have never required any type of contract at all. They have a thirty day risk free trial and even if you cancel after the thirty days they just pro-rate your pre-paid rental fees. They were an extremely pleasant company to deal with and had the fastest response time in the industry (their equipment was the best, as were their employees.)

    I know this because I tried out three companies at the same time (all had a thirty day trial) Alert One, Lifeline, and Rescue Alert.
    • Lifeline was over priced and they seemed to always be in a hurry
    • Alert One could never hear me if I was more than 15 feet away from my alert box, but
    • Rescue Alert could hear me through out my entire home over the box and they were priced extremely nicely.

    So, perhaps before you tell consumers to avoid a certain company for a specific reason you should make sure that your info is correct. They don’t require any type of contract at all.

    Like I said before. You’re probably thinking of Life Alert. They have a 36 month contract. I think?

    [Moderator comment: Thanks, Michael, for bringing this to readers’ attention. Perhaps the person who made the Rescue Alert comment would like to come back on that. If you haven’t already, you may also like to post your comparison of the three companies on the original NY Times item.]

  3. Re: Rescue Alert


    You are correct and I made a error as I was referring to LIFE Alert in regards to a 3 year contract, not Rescue Alert. My apologizes for any confusion.

  4. Life Alert

    We elected Rescue Alert for my mother who is 98. Life Alert turned out to be pushy, high pressure salesmen keep calling even after we told them not to and the price was higher with contract requirements. Rescue Alert has is doing a wonderful job, they test the unit regularly and their staff is pleasant and question are handled promptly.


    Sarasota FL

  5. Health Monitoring system
    A new system that had just recieved FDA clearance is AFrame Digital. They are more if a health monitoring system and do so much more than the pendant systems. Studies show that 90% of seniors will not push the alert button even if they fall. And what happens if they are unable to push a button? AFrame can alert family members or caregivers when the device is not being worn and it looks like a a sports watch so it is more fashionable than clinical. It has fall detection and well as an emergency call button. More and more development on the system is being added and will include a heart rate monitor built into the watch band and GPS for those that may be elopement risks. You can follow them at http://www.AframeDigital.com. This system is a pro-active approach to monitoring a seniors health, allowing people to stay independent longer.

  6. FTC criteria for a Medical Alert System

    Here is guidance and questions you should ask any provider of medical alert systems which comes from the FTC Federal Trade Commission web site. Pretty much confims what has been written here – dont get locked into long term contracts, understand the return policy, regular tests on the equipment, etc. FTC Medical Alert Guidelines [On the Medical Home Alert website]

  7. Just5 cell phone employs spammers
    To the people Just5 employs to post comment spam promoting the product – don’t bother, we won’t post them. Smile

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