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MedicalAlert.com offers a practical but fairly run of the mill medical alert service. Its monthly fees include pendant and wrist watch communication devices (with an extra button for free when we were checking out the site), including a lifetime warranty. It also offers a mobile option so that you can get medical assistance if you're outside of the home, allowing a greater sense of freedom and mobility.
Let's consider the two systems that are available first. The “at home” medical alert home emergency system includes a base unit with Braille characters for users who read Braille. This is a small but important addition that sets Medical Alert apart from some of its competitors, and it shows they really understand their customers. It includes a speaker phone so you can communicate with the support team without needing to pick up the handset and hold it, which is great if you're feeling weak or need to sit down somewhere away from the device. This system also comes with a pendant and a watch-style communication device so that you can get in touch with the central control station wherever you are in the home. The other option is a mobile alert system, which costs more but allows you to communicate any emergency without the need for a land line. It also uses GPS technology so that you can be located anywhere, even if you are unable to tell the staff where you are.
We were particularly impressed by the mobile alert system, even though it's not exclusive to Medical Alert. The site shows you photos of the equipment, which is practical but far from attractive. The wrist band is somewhat bulky and the mobile alert device is a fairly large white piece of plastic. Okay looks aren't everything but you might not want it to be completely obvious that you're carrying around a medical alert device when you leave the house.
The website provides a suitable amount of information on the products and services available, including a promotional video if you prefer to watch a short film rather than read. This could be particularly handy for anyone who has trouble reading text on a monitor. Whilst the site should be praised for including an FAQ and blog, we felt that the company could improve on providing new communication methods because you can only contact them via a phone call or by post. This is quite outdated.
MedicalAlert.com provides a stable but fairly standard service. That said, its mobile options aren't offered by all medical alert companies, and these offer freedom to individuals who might otherwise be worried about leaving the house. The mobile service is more expensive but if you feel it can enhance someone's life by allowing them the confidence to leave the home then it may well be worth it.
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