A Guide To Medical Alert Systems For Seniors
Caution: Be wary of high-pressure sales tactics. The highly competitive market for medical alert systems has unfortunately led to some unscrupulous behavior.
1. Do You have any advance pre-payment requirements (12 – 24 months).
Certain medical alert providers advertise that no long-term contract is required, yet will require a 12 month minimum service period. Before signing anything, always ask what length of time you will be obligated to.
2. What is your monthly service agreement amount?
Cheap or discount pricing should not be your only criteria for a medical alert system. Quality medical alert providers cannot offer you adequate medical alert service below market rates. On the other end, don’t pay $50 a month simply because a company has a recognizable name or a particular person endorses their service. (Oftentimes, these endorsers are paid with revenue generated from sales).
3. What is your cancellation policy?
None of us know the future and are able to tell when you may no longer need your medical alert service. Find out what your contractual requirements are and if there are any early cancellation fees for canceling early.
4. Is your monitoring center UL listed?
The UL stands for “Underwriters Laboratory”. A “Listed central station(monitoring center)” is an alarm monitoring facility that has demonstrated the ability to provide Standards-complying service. For monitoring stations, UL requirements cover building structure, receiving and monitoring equipment, and staffing issues in addition to installation and ongoing service. To be able to provide Standards-complying service, the building, equipment and staffing requirements have to be met at all times.
5. What’s the average response time from the moment the button is pushed until a care specialist comes on the line?
Most companies track response times, usually measured in seconds, and make this information readily available. If a company hedges about this or doesn’t have the data, look elsewhere.
6. How is the response center personnel trained?
There’s no state or federal regulated medical alert system training or required certification in place, so companies train their personnel in a variety of ways. Don’t be afraid to ask for details.
7. Will there be 24/7 customer support?
You will want to make sure that no matter what time of the day or night you call that you will be able to talk with a live person. Some monitoring stations are located out of the country and use operators with strong accents. Make sure you know where the monitoring station is located and that their operators speak good english.
If you follow these tips when choosing a medical alert system, you stand a much better chance of being happier with your decision and the life of a loved one will be in better hands.
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