System Types

Are you concerned about falling or other emergencies when you’re alone? Medical alert systems—where the press of a wearable call button puts you in touch with a dispatcher who can summon emergency help or contact a friend or family member may offer some reassurance.

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“Such devices are suitable for anyone who is at risk of falling or having a medical emergency”
(Leah Bellman, M.S., an occupational therapist and stroke rehabilitation specialist at Hebrew SeniorLife in Dedham, Mass).

However, there are many such devices out there. Which should you choose? We help you sort out the wide variety of choices and save a considerable amount of money.

Caveat: we recommend you should not rely on a smartphone or technology you already have because:

  • “It’s unlikely that you have your smartphone with you all the time.” Mindy Renfro, Ph.D., D.P.T., an associate professor in the school of physical therapy at Touro University Nevada in Henderson (Consumer Reports: How to Choose a Medical Alert System, 2018).
  • “If you don’t have an emergency response system on your body that is going to stay on your body, you’re at risk,” she says.
  • It’s easy to get up from a chair and leave it there.