How to Choose Home Monitoring Systems for the Elderly


Consider Philips Lifeline
As senior loved ones get older, they may require more assistance and care.
One way to find peace of mind while still allowing a lot of independence is to use a home monitoring system, or emergency alert system.

With millions of falls occurring each year, and over a third of them occurring at home, an emergency alert system or home monitoring system for the elderly is needed, but how do you choose from the many devices available on the market today? The following are a few considerations when choosing a home monitoring system for your elderly loved one.

1. Price- Consider the cost. It is going to be a lot less than assisted living, but that does not mean it is free. Look for companies that offer a fixed price. Most seniors are on a fixed income, and price increases can be a challenge to meet. The price should include up-front costs, monthly monitoring fees, and equipment fees.

2. Contracts- A contract can be a warning sign. Look for a home monitoring system that can be canceled at any time should the senior choose. This gives seniors peace of mind that if they do not like it, or if it feels intrusive, they can cancel it.

3. Ease of use- Does the senior know how to use the system? Is it intuitive? What does it require to be functional? How hard are the batteries to change? Does the senior have to remember a password or phrase? How large is the emergency button? Basically look at the system itself, and determine if it is easy enough to use that your senior loved one will not only be able to learn to use it initially, but remember how in an emergency situation.

4. Experience- Part of home monitoring is having a service in place to take the emergency call, and “monitor” the senior. This means that the reliability of the company is as important as the technology. How long have they been in business? Are there BBB complaints? What are customers saying? Are the operators trained to help in emergency situations? Every second counts, so a qualified team, a fast response, and a reliable service should be a high priority when choosing a home monitoring system.

5. Portability- While 1/3 of falls occur in the home, this means 2/3 do not. Is the monitoring system portable? Can the senior take it with them when they travel? What if the senior likes to go somewhere warmer in the winter? Can they set their service up there without incurring extra costs?

6. Waterproof- Most accidents happen in the bathroom, as floors are slick. This means that in order for a system to be effective it needs to be wearable in the shower and bathroom.

7. Testing and repair- Last, but not least, does the company regularly check, test, and repair the system to insure that it is in working order when it is actually needed? Regularly scheduled checks and maintenance are important.

Choosing the right medical alert and home monitoring system is crucial to peace of mind for seniors and their family and friends. Consider Philips Lifeline

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About The CareGiver Partnership. The CareGiver Partnership helps caregivers and their loved ones with answers to their caregiving questions, including information about home health care products and supplies, from our Wisconsin-based team of Product Specialists who are all current or former caregivers. The company’s Web site provides the largest online library of resources on subjects most important to caregivers — from arthritis to assisted living, and Parkinson’s to prostate cancer — as well as access to more than 3,000 home care products for incontinence, skin care, mobility, home safety and daily living aids. The CareGiver Partnership was founded in 2004 by Lynn Wilson of Neenah, Wisc. Visithttp://www.caregiverpartnership.com to learn more or call 1-800-985-1353.

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