December 23, 2015

Personal Emergency Response Devices

This is a service, which I may have missed in the past, but as I continue to age, I admit I am looking more into these products – personal emergency products. Products exist that are interesting and some that have been in existence for years, but do little. Some cover decent distances and others only short distances. Some have hidden fees, long contracts, and are expensive. Others have the equipment and only have a monthly fee. There are always some costs that aren't explained and these can turn you off to the equipment.

I understand why people are drawn to personal emergency devices, but many are not willing to wear it. Many forget or don’t want to have something around their neck or on their wrist. A personal emergency device also has to activate when an emergency occurs, either by automatically detecting a fall or problem, or because the user triggers it. Currently, most devices do not have this ability and only work if you are within operating range and the wearer pushes the button.

I am investigating only one device currently, but I have a couple others to investigate is I become serious. The equipment cost is $0.00 and the activation fee is $0.00. Monthly monitoring costs $29.95 per month or cellular monthly monitoring is $34.95 per month. This is from Medical Alert and is the basic cost.

There no long term commitment required, but – surprise - for liability purposes, they do require a Monitoring Agreement to be signed. A non-refundable deposit is required prior to a Medical Alert system being shipped. This deposit is the equivalent of three months monitoring. At the end of those 3 months, the Medical Alert service can be canceled with no penalty with 30 days notice (or you are required to have the service for 4 months). This is one of the more reasonable conditions.

I do not advise letting them have open access to your credit cards or auto draws to a checking or savings account. Unless a specific date was requested, credit card payments are processed on the 1st of the month and checking and savings account payments are processed on the 5th of the month. Invoices are mailed the first week of the month.

The cost of the unit if it’s lost or damaged is this schedule:
The PERS replacement cost is $350.
The Mobile Alert replacement cost is $350.
The Alert 911 replacement cost is $150.

The company has a Better Business Bureau rating of A+ as of 12/22/15 and has the Good Housekeeping seal of approval.

Some companies have long-term contracts and others have high activation fees and you pay for the equipment before it is shipped.

The one thing I have not found out is how close you have to be to the station for you to have access for a household monitor (PERS)(personal emergency response system). This is a weakness of several of the companies. Also before you sign anything, make sure you read the fine print, get all the facts, and addresses if you need to break the contract. For a couple of companies, you will pay dearly if you don't.

For research, type life alert or medical alert in your search engine.

No comments: