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Medical Alarms - What you need to know

Medical Alarms are fairly simple to understand. You usually have to carry a little pendant around with you while you go about your day in your home.When a emergency happens, you simply push the button on the pendant. What happens next varies from model to model and service to service. Most of the time, that button press will trigger a remote device in your home to call either an emergency operator, or someone you pre-determined the system to call, like a neighbor or relative.

Some Medical Alarm systems allow you to talk to the person on the other end of the phone line - either through a walkie-talkie-like speaker in the pendant, or through a very loud speakphone in the remote device. Other systems will just play a pre-recorded message to the person on the other end telling them to come help you.

There are pros and cons to each of these systems. The safest systems are the ones that have a monitoring service that answers your emergency. They can determine if your Medical Alarm signal is an emergency or not and immediately call not only the police, fire, or ambulence, but any other relative or neighbor you pre-registered with them. The drawback, of course is the extra $30 per month for the monitoring service.

What to Look for in a Medical Alarm:

If you are about to buy a medical alarm plan, here are some questions to ask:

- Who will answer my call, where are they located and is the call center open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year?

- Are they trained to handle emergency situations?

- What happens if the emergency team gets to my door and it's locked? How will they get in? Who will you call?

- Can I pre-define my response plan? Will the operator know what to do if I can't speak? Will the operator know who to call first, second, third?

There are two main Melical Alarm competitors I like the best - Medical Alert and LifeStation. Both use the exact same hardware for their service, which is a very good system. Medical Alert has been around for a while, however, Lifestation is a real up and comer in this industry, and they are a few dollars less per month if you pay for the full year in advance.

As another option, if you want to stay in touch with a loved one during an emergency, you may want to look at the safety-rich features of the Jitterbug Cell Phone too. For just a little more money each month, you get a 24 hour emergency call center PLUS a cell phone, so she can call you when she needs you.

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