Health & Wellness

Medical Alert Systems - Which one?!

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  • Sep 22nd, 2021 8:51 pm
[OP]
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Aug 11, 2011
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Medical Alert Systems - Which one?!

Hey guys, looking at getting an alert button thingy for Dad. Looks like there are a bunch of Canadian companies that do this.
Anyone have any experience with buying one and using it? They all sorta seem to do the same thing. I'd like the avoid some of the big dogs like Telus/Bell cause... why not!

This comparsion list here has a company called Gravity as the top choice. Anyone use them and can recommend?

TIA
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MikeTO2 wrote: Hey guys, looking at getting an alert button thingy for Dad. Looks like there are a bunch of Canadian companies that do this.
Anyone have any experience with buying one and using it? They all sorta seem to do the same thing. I'd like the avoid some of the big dogs like Telus/Bell cause... why not!

This comparsion list here has a company called Gravity as the top choice. Anyone use them and can recommend?

TIA
I didn't use any of the providers you listed, but did look quite extensively. We decided to go with a self monitoring medical monitoring system for my dad. The one we choose is Live Life Alarms. It runs on the same premise as the other ones, but you do the monitoring first. Most of these systems run like a alarm monitoring system. When there is an alert, the call goes to the monitoring service which then will speak with the person and then determine if 911 needs to be called, in which they conference them through with the person. In my dad's case, even when there is an emergency he ALWAYS calls us first, on the one occasion the paramedics arrived, they called us too because he doesn't speak english well. The system we choose allows you to pre-program 5 numbers (the 5th is 911 in our case) and call us first. In case the first person doesn't answer or it goes to voice mail, it goes to the next number until some presses the answer button, then we choose 911.

The live life alarm device is essentially a cell phone that has been put into a two button walk talkie format that can be worn on your wrist or neck. It has a yearly sim card that we pay $45+tax (which was less than a month for most services), but you have to buy the device which is about $500+ upfront. The system has a fall detector and gps located and runs like a handsfree walkie talkie cell phone. My dad can press the alarm button if he didn't fall but needs help and it will start the dialing sequence and also sends a text message to all the numbers immediately, so we are all aware something has happened. The alarm allows my dad to call the number with a press of a button in a non emergency mode, in case something wrong with his cell phone. we can also call into the device and listen to make sure everything is okay and talk to him. He was getting lost a couple times when he was driving, and I could actually use the gps text locator to find him. It told me his direction and speed, so I know if he is moving around or just lying there. The onus is on us to get him help if there is something wrong, usually we would use another phone to call 911 if we needed to and start driving over there. This works because we all live in the same city, so it might be different if you lived elsewhere.

We just renewed for our forth year and have been pretty happy about it. Here's the thread I responded too for more information.

Medical device monitoring and Live Life Alarms
On a 'smart' device that isn't always so smart. So please forgive the autocorrects and typos. If it bothers you, then don't read my posts, but don't waste my time correcting me. If you can get past the typos, then my posts generally have some value.
[OP]
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Thank you for that detailed response!

So it sounds like the main difference between the 2 types of system (monitored and self monitored) is that there is a call center working 24/7 for the monitored type, and for the self monitored its the family 'working' 24/7 :D ?
And your buying the system outright vs 'renting' it month to month. Almost like when buying a new phone outright vs paying a higher plan.
I Wasn't expecting to pay $500 upfront for a system, but i guess it does make sense if you plan on using it long term and are close by to do check ups.
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MikeTO2 wrote: Thank you for that detailed response!

So it sounds like the main difference between the 2 types of system (monitored and self monitored) is that there is a call center working 24/7 for the monitored type, and for the self monitored its the family 'working' 24/7 :D ?
And your buying the system outright vs 'renting' it month to month. Almost like when buying a new phone outright vs paying a higher plan.
I Wasn't expecting to pay $500 upfront for a system, but i guess it does make sense if you plan on using it long term and are close by to do check ups.
You are buying the system outright for $500 (might be more now). but then it’s the cost of the SIM card each year $45. Most of the other sYstems I saw started at about $50 a month into $100k some also had a start up cost of up to $200 So if you keep your system for at less year, you are well ahead. Cost was the least important factor, but it is one.

You also need to look at do you want a system that is tied to their home hone or one that monitors everywhere? The ones that monitored everywhere, were more expensive and there were limitations. This system helps us find my dad when he was out (pre Covid), when he got lost, and just to make sure he is okay without being invasive. We even used it as a cell phone when he went out of town free.

I looked at the other systems with them monitoring, I found out some of them talk to the person then try to get ahold of someone else, then call 911., so you are kind of on call anyways. It can’t be 7/24 but my dad isn’t really up past 10pm and wakes after I do, so no big deal. It works well if you are around to help with check ups or are able to call 911 if there are any issues, but if you are ipanother coty, then a full monitoring system might be better.
On a 'smart' device that isn't always so smart. So please forgive the autocorrects and typos. If it bothers you, then don't read my posts, but don't waste my time correcting me. If you can get past the typos, then my posts generally have some value.
[OP]
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Knowing my luck and Dads (by association) I don't think i've ever had a cell phone without a cracked screen :D - and can totally see if I buy this outright, it breaking down after warranty is up. You mentioned you already got it replaced once - for free I'm assuming?

But then on the other hand it would really be nice not to pay those monthly fees heh. I think I might do a test first, since Galaxy it seems there is no commitment, and just the monthly fee it would be a good test to see if Dad will even like the thing. (let's hope!) Can always do a swap afterwards.

Thanks for all the help! Much appreciated.
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Update - so far so good. Went with a Galaxy system that has fall detection. Tested it out, everything checks out. Fall detection wasn't too sensitive, I got a couple of bumps testing it myself :D Feel pretty confident going forward with it.
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Nov 8, 2012
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Hello and thanks for your update. I'm researching these systems for my elderly mother. Still happy with Galaxy? I'm comparing it to the Telus living well ($30/month) vs Galaxy at $40/month?
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humblepie wrote: Hello and thanks for your update. I'm researching these systems for my elderly mother. Still happy with Galaxy? I'm comparing it to the Telus living well ($30/month) vs Galaxy at $40/month?
Yup! No complaints from dad so all good. I looked at Telus too but just didn't get a good vibe from the sales rep at the time. Galaxy felt more personal. I believe if you get the annual plan with Galaxy they will give you 2 free months as well. Good luck

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