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Guardian Alert 911 Elderly Medical Alert
Elderly Medical Alert - Guardian Alert 911
When I first wanted to find an elderly medical alert device I had no idea where to turn. Just searching the term elderly medical alert produced a slew of results and even more companies selling these medical alert devices. I had no way of knowing which one was the best, or more importantly, which one I needed for my loved one's specific situation.
The reason I wanted a medical alert device in the first place was because I was looking for a way to help transition my grandmother from an active, independent life, to one where we could keep a bit of a more watchful eye on her without being too intrusive.
When beginning the process of family decision making with and elder care professional, we were encouraged to seek out all the possibilities allowing my grandmother to maintain her lifestyle without having to go to an assisted living facility.
We had just assumed that when you get a little too old to completely live safely on your own that it was time for a change. But, today's elderly medical alert technology allows people to continue living life on their own terms for a lot longer, and it is up to us as caregivers to make sure we understand how to serve our loved one's best interest. However, these things that are advertised on television are big business so it is important to learn about each product.
Guardian Alert 911Elderly Medical Alert
When I found the Guardian Alert 911 elderly medical alert it was advertised as an as seen on tv product, but I learned something very important. There are two options when it comes to these devices regarding medical emergency responses. First, you can buy a senior medical alert system which is monitored and one that is not. Monitored simply means that the device is hooked up to a monitoring service where there all live operators to answer distress calls and act as a middleman to emergency services.
A non-monitored system like Guardian alert 911 connects directly to a 911 dispatcher when the medical alert device is activated. The Guardian Alert 911system connects through your telephone land line. So in essence, you would be calling 911 from the pendant you where around your neck or on your wrist. The Guardian alert has a range of up to 600 feet. So the idea here is that you can call 911 without being next to your phone.
If someone slips on the patio, falls in the shower, or trips on a step they can press the button on the Guardian Alert 911 and call for help. But, it is not a medical alert device you can use when out shopping or traveling. To the best of my knowledge, none of the home-based units can do this.
A monitored elderly medical alert device will have a monthly or yearly subscription fee to pay for the live monitoring. A device like the Guardian Alert does not. You only pay for the medical alert system itself and then there are no more fees. This is a good option when price is a consideration. I'm not sure there is any benefit to having a live monitoring system if you are within the home because once you press the button on your medical alert device will dial 911. If someone can point out the benefit of calling a middleman to call 911 for you, I'd like to hear about it in the comment section. I may be missing something very important.
Guardian Alert 911
So I decided to look into the elderly medical alert system without monitoring. More specifically, the Guardian Alert 911. To me it seemed sensible and the price was right. It was advertised at $149 with free shipping. It wasn't anything fancy but it sounded like it was all we would need.
Features & Benefits
- No monthly fees, no long-term contracts
- Two-way system allows you to talk directly to 911 operator
- Runs up to one year on a single AAA battery
- Splash resistant – take it to the shower with you!
- Feel secure in knowing that the system works by simply pressing the test button anytime
- Includes a lanyard and a belt clip
- Recommended by doctors, healthcare providers and experts across North America
Guardian Alert 911 or Freedom Alert?
When reading about the Guardian Alert, I came upon their other product called the Freedom Alert. It was more expensive but I couldn't for the life of me figure out the difference. I went over the specs, features and benefits of each and only found 1 major difference. The Freedom Alert 911 is programmable. You can store a few emergency numbers, including 911, so you can call your contacts in an emergency.
Let's say you don't think you need 911. You can call any or all of your other contacts to help you with whatever you need. Or, after you call 911, you can inform your other emergency contacts about the incident without having to move. You can stay put until help arrives.
There may be other differences between the Guardian Alert 911 and Freedom Alert but they didn't reveal themselves to me so if any reader figures it out, please leave a comment below because I'm stumped.
Elderly Medical Alert and Technology
One thing I learned that I wanted to point out about this Elderly Medical Alert is that we need to understand the technology we are using in our homes. The Guardian Alert uses a land phone line and although most of us still use them, many of us have converted to internet phones or VOIP.
The important thing to note when setting up this elderly medical alert or any other senior medical alert system which calls 911 is the 911 center tracks you. If you contact 911 through a land line, they can easily track the address the call is originating from and send help. If you are unable to speak and have activated the medical alert, the 911 dispatchers can send help even if you don't speak.
In the case of VOIP, you are tracked by your IP address which is normally tracked back to a general location. There is no guarantee that your IP address will correspond with the exact physical address the call is originated from.
The Solution if you are using an internet phone or VOIP is to find out how your local 911 Emergency Services center tracks you. If you contact them, they will be able to tell you if your connection is easily traced by them and if not, what to do about it.
So all in all, the Guardian Alert seems to be a good enough product. Do not be discouraged just because you saw it on an infomercial like it was a grill glove or something. Do your research and decide for yourself.