Technology: Medical Alert Systems And How They Work

Technology: Medical Alert Systems And How They Work

Posted on August 20, 2014 by ElderCare Resources in Blog, Caregiver Education, Caregiving, Independent Living, Medical Supplies, Senior Safety

By: Lifefone

Whether you or a family member is dealing with a medical situation such as diabetes, a heart condition, seizures or another condition, a home medical alert system could be the answer to the question of, “What if something happens when you’re alone?” These devices have long been known for, and used by, the elderly, but a medical alert system provides peace of mind for the caregiver and for the individual who wears the medical alert pendant.

Related: Seniors And Elderly: 10 Tips For Healthy Aging

What is a medical alert system and how does it work?

A medical alert system is a device that, in three easy steps, connects the user to emergency medical personnel, all at the push of a button. Once the button is pushed on the personal medical alert pendant or wristband, a signal is sent to the medical alert system in the home which then transmits it to a trained care agent who will then begin a conversation with you to determine the level of help you need and will immediately summon that assistance. Medical alert systems are a literal lifeline to the world outside of the home of the user.

When you decide to purchase a medical alert system the provider will work with you to complete a medical form which will be used in the event of an emergency. The form includes any medical conditions, medications taken, emergency medical contact information and contact information for family members.

As soon as the button on the pendant is pushed the care agents move into swift action, never for a moment leaving the patient alone as contact can be made through the medical alert system home base.

Related: Seniors & Elderly: Keep Your Vitality

Where can a medical alert system be used?

Using a medical alert system is designed to be used around an individuals’ home.  However, these devices can also be worn and used by those living in a nursing home, retirement community or senior center.

If the user goes on vacation, the device can easily be taken along. A call to the provider to alert them of a new location, whether for an extended period of time or a week’s vacation, lets them update their medical contact information so that the correct emergency medical personnel would be dispatched if necessary.

Whether you’re in a private residence or other living environment, a medical alert system can be a literal lifesaver.

Related: Seniors & Elderly: Continue Living In Your Home

I have a cell phone, why do I need a medical alert system?

Cell phones are ideal for keeping in touch with friends and family on a regular basis. In a crisis situation though you, or your loved one, simply may not have the presence of mind to be able to remember family phone numbers. If you don’t have pockets you also may not have the cell phone close at hand if a medical emergency or trip or fall accident occurs. A medical alert pendant is lightweight, can be worn 24 hours a day (even in the shower or tub) and that means that no matter when or where a medical emergency happens, help will never be more than a push of a button away.

Consider too, if you live in an apartment building or a retirement community complex and dial 9-1-1 for assistance, your phone will pinpoint a general location but emergency responders will have no way of knowing which floor or wing of the building you’re in. This is especially crucial in the event you can’t speak once you’ve dialed 9-1-1. Statistics also show that many individuals, if they’re injured are more likely to call a family member or friend rather than 9-1-1 and that can delay access to care.

With a medical alert system, the care agents can immediately direct emergency medical personnel to your exact location assuring you receive assistance immediately.

Another item to consider is that if there is a weather event such as a hurricane or snow storm or something that knocks out electricity a cell phone will lose eventually lose its signal. A medical alert system operates on a battery back-up and this means you will have access to assistance no matter what the weather for up to 60 hours.

Related: 3 Steps To Age In Place: Solutions for Elderly To Live At Home

About Lifefone

LifeFone has been protecting seniors with medical alert systems since 1976.  Recognized by the National Council on the Aging, the National Stroke Association, Web MD, and the National Institute of Senior Citizens, LifeFone provides peace of mind and helps seniors age in place.  For more information on how LifeFone can help and to learn more about medical alert service, visit  or call 1-888-687-0451.