Is a Medical Alert Worth It?

Sarah M - Senior Editor
Apr 28, 2015

At some point in your life, you’ve probably seen the famous commercials for Life Alert with the slogan, “Help! I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” While it’s true they can be useful in that exact situation, many consumers underestimate the utility and security that comes with owning a medical alert system. If you find yourself on the fence about whether a medical alert system is right for you or someone in your immediate family, consider the many benefits.

Risk of Falling

Accidents happen every day. But while a fall for a younger person usually has no lasting effect, for an older individual it could mean serious, even life-threatening injury. There’s no guarantee that in the event of a fall a person will be within reach, or physically capable of reaching a telephone to call for help. Medical alert systems remove that risk, because a responder button can be on your person at all times in the event of a fall. These usually come in the form of a necklace or a bracelet that you wear on your wrist like a watch.

Stroke and Heart Conditions

Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the United States. The chance of having a stroke approximately doubles for each decade of life after age 55, particularly for women. When a stroke or cardiac arrest occurs, time is of the essence. Treatment needs to be administered as fast as possible to minimize the damage, which means that minutes can potentially separate life and death. With a medical alert system, you can be assured that help will arrive as fast as possible in the event that you or a loved one become one of the more than 800,000 people who suffer from a stroke each year in the US.

Emergency Situations

Medical alert systems can also be useful during non-medical emergencies, such as house fires or break-ins. In the event of a fire, it’s entirely possible that an individual’s access to a telephone can be obstructed. This can drastically increase the time it takes for help to arrive, putting your possessions, your home, and your life at risk. Or even worse, you could be trapped in a room by the fire with no means at all of calling for help. A medical alert system ensures that you always have the ability to call for help, no matter the situation. Some companies even offer technology that monitors the home for smoke or carbon dioxide, and automatically alerts the call center, who can then contact emergency responders.

As you can see, medical alert systems are not only good for seniors, but for anyone with a health concern, in particular those who live independently. Not every company is right for every consumer, which means it’s important to do your research before committing to any particular product. But when you find the right fit for yourself or your loved ones, you can rest easy knowing that help is just the push of a button away.