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Ideas for Simple/Cheap Medical Alert System
Old 10-15-2010, 01:53 PM   #1
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Ideas for Simple/Cheap Medical Alert System

DW wants to provide a medical alert system for diabetic brother in another state. Made me buy this thing at Amazon that looks like an answering machine w/ a large EMERGENCY button and a wrist strap accessory. Clever, I thought....you push the button on the wrist strap and it dials 911 by itself.

The device was delivered yesterday.......incredibly quickly. To my surprise,
in the box is a 4 pages of very fine print.........a $30/mo subscription agreement for their services which was not mentioned in Amazon. So this thing doesn't call 911..........it calls the Central office and people there call
911 , or perhaps their computer does..... so a $100 bargain turns into a lifetime annuity. Probably due to my ignorance and unrealistic expectations.

My question: does anyone make what I originally envisioned? Might be a problem if 911 was called and nobody could respond to questions from 911?
What would happen then.......do they just assume no problem or do they send somebody over ....if so who? police? fire? paramedics? Maybe that's the problem?
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Old 10-15-2010, 01:58 PM   #2
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Call your local hospital and see if they offer something. We just went through this with my MIL, and though there is a monthly fee, it is only around $10. Worth the peace of mind.
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Old 10-15-2010, 02:02 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by kaneohe View Post
Might be a problem if 911 was called and nobody could respond to questions from 911?
What would happen then.......do they just assume no problem or do they send somebody over ....if so who? police? fire? paramedics? Maybe that's the problem?
In my city, if a 911 call is placed and there is no response from the caller or there is a 'hang up', they send out a police officer.

I suggest you call the police department in his area and ask them.
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Old 10-15-2010, 02:22 PM   #4
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Many of the single, older, people in my family have Life Alert. You wear a necklace with a button on it. If you need help you press the button. The Life Alert operator will ask you what's wrong. If you're able to tell them then they will do as you ask. They can call an ambulance, police, or someone on your list(usually family or friend that lives close by). If you're unable to respond then they automatically send an ambulance and call the 1st person on your list. My grandma used it when she fell and broke her hip. She would've been laying on the ground for hours if she hadn't had it.
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Old 10-15-2010, 02:29 PM   #5
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Medical Alert | Reviews | Home Safety | Independent Living | Fall Prevention

Discusses different systems and provides reviews.
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Old 10-15-2010, 03:09 PM   #6
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A tracfone with 911 speed-dial may be the cheapest option. You'd have to be able to hold down the "1" button, for example, but aside from that...
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Old 10-15-2010, 03:12 PM   #7
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Here is an auto dialer for $50 from X10. No monthly fee.

Personal Assistance Voice Dialer, PA5800
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Old 10-15-2010, 04:12 PM   #8
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A tracfone with 911 speed-dial may be the cheapest option. You'd have to be able to hold down the "1" button, for example, but aside from that...
I probably am not understanding something but this was my first thought. If you are responsive enough to push a button, you should be able to speed dial... and doesn't everyone have a cell phone on their person... at all times?
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Old 10-15-2010, 04:23 PM   #9
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I probably am not understanding something but this was my first thought. If you are responsive enough to push a button, you should be able to speed dial... and doesn't everyone have a cell phone on their person... at all times?
This is what my sisters did for my Dad a few years back when he got himself a mobility scooter so he could drive himself to the shops, the park etc. They programmed numbers 1 & 2 to call them, and the rest of the buttons to call 911 and trained him on how to speed dial should he get into trouble.
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Old 10-15-2010, 04:40 PM   #10
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I probably am not understanding something but this was my first thought. If you are responsive enough to push a button, you should be able to speed dial... and doesn't everyone have a cell phone on their person... at all times?

AHHHHH........ no.....

We got a cell for my mom, but she forgets to take it with her when she goes... sometimes forgets to charge it... can not get her to change...
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Old 10-15-2010, 04:49 PM   #11
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AHHHHH........ no.....

We got a cell for my mom, but she forgets to take it with her when she goes... sometimes forgets to charge it... can not get her to change...
I agree, it very much depends on the person involved and OP will know the abilities of his BIL.

My dad was a technical dunce, but MIL and FIL were using the PC and internet in their 80's.

With my dad they eventually got him trained to wear his emergency call button when around the house, and to unplug the cell phone to carry when leaving the house, then plug it back into the charger when he got in. (he never used it as a cell phone per say).
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Old 10-15-2010, 08:35 PM   #12
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Ah, the wonders of the internet. Tell your worries to the world and the world gives you the answer! Thanks all for the replies. They are greatly appreciated and keep them coming. Some additional info.....legal blindness
will probably make the cellphone idea impractical and I'd be concerned about access too......the- always- on- the- body- idea.....tho I suppose that applies to wearing any kind of switch/pushbutton device too.

Special thanks to Martha for the what-I-always-wanted-to-know site (so much stuff so just skimmed so far) and travelover for the no-monthly-fee device
(seems just like I dreamed......so no patent for me). I'll have to study it again for a second look.

Thank you all again.
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Old 10-15-2010, 08:39 PM   #13
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By the way, the device we got is monitored (not made) by Aegis Security.
So far I've been underwhelmed by the lack of contact info in the box (possibly
I just missed seeing it). After I called Amazon and got their tel no., I've been underwhelmed by the response.......two calls.......answering service.....no call back. Anyone have any dealings w/ them?
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Old 10-15-2010, 10:57 PM   #14
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Kanoheo:

2nd the motion from "bizlady'

Check local hospital. Used Stanford Hospital for Mother in law.

Rent the unit. small fee. cheaper than buying. Patient wears unit. Chain on neck. push the buttom

Calls people on a list you sent up. ie. next door neighbor, relative, etc. 1st.

Will get you the termite info. still busy.
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Old 10-16-2010, 12:54 PM   #15
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We had an elderly neighbor next door. His wife had died and he was living alone. We hadn't spoken to him in many years because he was a drunk and a foul-mouthed bully. But he had friends and since he was old and alone his friends got him a cordless phone that he was supposed to carry with him around the house.

I know about this because when he fell in his house and couldn't get up he crawled to the door and laid in the doorway for almost an hour yelling for help. When we finally heard noise and realized what it was I ran over there and found him. He had that cordless phone and told me he had been trying to call 911 but it wouldn't work. I think he didn't understand how to operate the phone, maybe he had to hit send/talk or something.

I called 911 and he was taken to the hospital and later a nursing home and he died within a week. A medical alert system that connected directly to someone who could help him may have made a difference.
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