Medical Alarm Myths & Facts

Medical alarms offer protection and peace of mind for elderly and disabled people who either live or spend time alone. These systems are monitored by third-party companies can call for help when emergencies strike. For some people, medical alerts may be their only opportunity to get the help they need. A few of the top medical alarm systems on the market today are made by Bay Alarm Medical, Greatcall Splash and ADT, although the market is filled with options for shoppers with different budgets. Buying a medical alarm is an important decision that shouldn't be taken lightly; in the event it's ever needed, you want to make sure it's easy to use and is met with the correct response. Read on to learn some of the most common myths and facts you may encounter when shopping for medical alarms.

8 Active Myths | Suggest a Myth
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MYTH: Medical alarms can only detect falls.

Fall detection technology is impressive, but medical alarms can also detect smoke and dangerous carbon monoxide levels. Always compare medical alarm systems to see which hazards are automatically detected.

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MYTH: Medical alarms can be helpful for people with dementia.

People who suffer from dementia are often at risk from wandering away and into potentially unsafe situations. Many medical alert systems can be helpful for people with dementia by signaling for help when patients have strayed too far from their base units.

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MYTH: Medical alarm companies charge penalties for accidental calls.

There's no need to worry about racking up expensive penalty fees over false alarms. Reputable home alarm companies don't charge penalties. The last thing these companies want is for seniors and disabled people to be afraid of using their equipment.

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FACT: Medical alarms can detect when you fall.

The newest medical alarm systems are equipped with fall detection technology that can tell when a person has been in free fall, even if only for an instant. When wearing a medical alert device, falling triggers the medical alarm. This allows the medical alarm company to call for help if the person is rendered unresponsive.

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FACT: Medical alerts automatically call 9-1-1.

While you can set your medical alert to call 9-1-1, most medical alerts will contact your medical alarm company first. Oftentimes, your alarm company can help decide whether a 9-1-1 call is appropriate. You can also set buttons on your medical alarm devices to contact neighbors, friends and family members.

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FACT: Medical alarms are useless when the power goes out.

Medical alarm units are usually equipped with backup batteries so they'll continue to function even when the power goes out. This feature is hugely important, considering the increased risk of injury when the electricity fails and the lights turn off.

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FACT: Medical alarms have ranges of hundreds of feet.

One caveat -- some medical alarms have shorter ranges. That said, most have ranges anywhere from 400 to 1,000 feet. That means your system's base unit can stay tethered to your medical alert wearable even if you're outside or in a remote room of your house.

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MYTH: Medical alarm companies require lengthy contracts.

You don't need to sign a long-term contract in order to get medical alarm protection. Most companies offer month-to-month plans that don't even require activation fees. These monthly plans also let you cancel at any time without penalty.