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How Do Medical Alert Systems Work?


Medical alert systems are a great way to keep your elderly loved one safe without having to compromise their independence. There are a few different types of med alert systems, but the main idea behind every system and style is basically the same. Here’s how these systems work as well as additional features you should think about if you’re in the market for one.


A medical alert system only includes a couple basic components which makes it easy to use. The system has a console, or base station, that’s plugged into the wall and connected to the telephone. Some systems have cellular capabilities so that they don’t have to be plugged into a landline. The other main component is the unit containing the button that calls for help. This is usually either a pendant or a bracelet. It may also be equipped with a clip to attach the device to a belt or pocket.

How It Works

Medical alert systems are designed to be simple so that help can be summoned immediately during an emergency. When help is needed, the button on the pendant or bracelet simply needs to be pushed. This transmits to the base station which sends a call to the call center. The operator responds right away and determines what level of assistance is needed using a 2-way speaker.

Sending Assistance

The operator can help determine what type of assistance is required. In some cases, certain contacts you’ve selected will be notified. More serious cases may require the help of emergency personnel.

Transmitter Range

One concern people have is that the range of the transmitter will be unable to reach the console if help is needed somewhere outside the home. Fortunately, there are systems available that can reach up to 1,000 feet so help will be available either in the house or yard. There are also GPS-enabled systems that can pinpoint exact locations if an emergency occurs out of transmitter range.

Additional Features

In addition to being water resistant and easy to use, many systems have additional features to think about. As mentioned, GPS systems are extremely helpful for individuals who leave the home often. There are also features to detect temperature and motion to monitor activity level. Reminder messages for medications and vital monitoring features are also available.