Pros and Cons of Adult Medical Alert Systems for Florida Seniors


Medical alert systems can require senior adults to wear a pendant, necklace or bracelet with an emergency call button.

When pressed, the device emits a signal and help is soon on the way. The emergency technologies have helped untold seniors, and may be a perfect solution for you and your loved ones who need a bit more peace of mind as they age. 

This National Medical Alert Awareness Month, we want to share a few key considerations with you. Let us share several advantages and disadvantages to keep in mind as you choose what you need to best protect you now and in the future. 

Medical Alert System Pros

1. Around-the-clock service. Seniors can activate their emergency alert devices 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, assuming the device is in working order. This not only allows for around-the-clock emergency medical assistance, but can provide critical home safety care in the event of a break-in or elder abuse scenario.

2. Range of options. Alert systems can automatically dial 911, or call an emergency medical technician who can talk through a potential crisis with the senior via their two-way wearable alert device or home-based speaker phone unit.

3. Flexibility and mobility. Medical alert devices are typically water resistant and can be worn in a shower, bath or therapy pool. Mobile devices allow for a near unlimited range of connectivity by linking to cellular networks, similar to smart phones.

4. Peace of mind. Seniors and their family members can rest assured knowing an emergency safety net is in place. 

Medical Alert System Cons

1. Human error. Seniors must be willing to wear their alert devices at all times for the technologies to provide a reliable safety net. Some seniors may feel embarrassed or inadequate in their ability to care for themselves, while others might find their alert device uncomfortable. It is best to resolve these issues and prevent avoidable health risks.

2 False alarms. Inadvertently pressing the emergency device alert button can cause a false alarm. This often occurs when fall sensors wrongly detect a fall-like motion from a senior user, or when seniors with dementia press the call button without purpose.

3 Range limitations. Home-based alert systems, as opposed to mobile systems, require a senior’s wearable device to connect directly to a plug-in central unit. Similar to home internet WiFi, leaving the house would put the device out of range. 

4 Cost and repairs. Medical alert systems typically cost between $30 and $90 per month, and the cost is mostly shouldered by the senior user as Medicare and most insurance policies do not cover alert systems.

We know this article may have raised more questions than answers. If you have any questions about which medical alert system is best for you or your aging loved one, don’t hesitate to contact our firm.