Medical Alert Necklaces

Colin Grubb
Apr 17, 2014

Before purchasing a medical alert system it is important that you don’t only study the contract but educate yourself about the different equipment available. And when it comes to choosing medical alert systems, medical alert necklaces and medical bracelets are the most popular options especially for seniors. 

Medical alert system equipment basically come with the same configuration. Medical alert necklaces or medical alert bracelets are connected to a base unit. The base unit in turn is used to connect to a monitoring center or 911 services. Any system is only as strong as its weakest link and choosing the right equipment ensures that connection will always be available in any emergency.  

One of the earliest and simplest medical alert systems were personal emergency phones. This was a wireless phone programmed with an auto dial feature. It allowed seniors to automatically dial pre-installed numbers.

Advantages of Medical Alert Necklaces and Bracelets

Easy to Wear - Medical alert necklaces are small and lightweight. They are waterproof and can be worn during a bath or shower. They feature a button that can be easily pressed during emergencies.

Uses specialized equipment -One of the problems with personal emergency systems that utilize phone connections is that in an emergency that involves fainting or a fall seniors may not be physically able to reach the phone. A phone system is cheaper compared to medical alert necklaces, but why purchase one when you could simply call 911 in the first place?

Ease to Use - Carrying a phone around the house at all times is too cumbersome. It is also likely that a senior might forget to bring the phone with them. And during a fall, seniors might experience disorientation making it more difficult to reach the phone. A medical alert necklace or bracelet is worn at all times and much easier to access.

Promotes independence - Although the base unit is the actual equipment that connects you to emergency services, medical alert necklaces and medical alert bracelets allow seniors to move more freely without sacrificing their health. This is certainly a more practical solution and it is simply activated by pushing a button. Some systems feature GPS or smartphone functionality allowing seniors to be covered anywhere they go.

Comfort and style - Aside from the functionality that medical alert necklaces or medical alert bracelets provide, there are other factors that users often look for when choosing which equipment to use. Of course there is the aesthetic aspect, and also what the senior finds more comfortable to use. Medical alert necklaces for example are more popular with women while men prefer medical alert bracelets. And with both medical alert necklaces and bracelets providing similar functionalities, the decision becomes a matter of personal choice.   

How does it Work?

a. Equipment (medical alert necklace, pendant, bracelet and base unit)

Medical alert systems are composed of a transmitter and a receiver (base unit) located in the house. The range of each device can cover the average area of the home allowing the senior to move freely inside the house.

b. Signal transmission

Medical alert necklaces and medical alert bracelets basically provide the same function. They transmit a signal to the base unit by pushing a button or automatically when they detect a fall. Some also offer a speaker function where you can communicate with emergency personnel or family.

c. Monitoring Center

Once the button is pressed a signal is sent from your necklace to the base unit. Some medical alert necklaces also contain a fall-detector. The base unit can be plugged to your phone line or wirelessly connected to the monitoring center. Emergency personnel then receive a call, assess the type of emergency, and dispatch appropriate response.

**There are some medical alert necklaces that have the ability to send a signal directly to the monitoring center without the help of a base unit. Information sent includes your medical history to help responding medical teams.

d. Emergency Team Dispatch

Once the nature of your emergency has been ascertained, the monitoring center gets in contact with the appropriate emergency response team and gives them your location and all necessary information.


For more information, check our list of Top Medical Alert Systems