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Comparing Medical Alert Systems to Assisted Living Arrangements and Nursing Homes


December 22, 2014

Age and medical issues can make independent living a challenge for many people, especially those more prone to diseases and injuries caused due to accidents. The sheer range of health problems we face as we age makes it necessary for us to have immediate support and help, especially in the case of emergencies. Assisted living and nursing homes are one alternative, but many of us don't need that kind of round-the-clock care, and want to keep our independence. That's how the concept of medical alert alarms came about, which many feel is a far better option than nursing homes or assisted living.

Understanding Medical Alert Systems
Medical alert systems are technologically advanced electronic devices, typically presented in the form of a pendant or a wristwatch that you wear, as well as a connected console with an emergency button. Some of these systems can be personalized in such a way that alarms and alerts can be created depending on an individual's health requirements. For instance, a person could create an alarm for his or her daily medication, as well as for regular checkups. Similarly, the button on the console or on the pendant/wristwatch can be pressed in times of emergency to immediately connect the wearer with a customer service representative who can determine their medical requirements and make sure that help will arrives at their doorstep. Additionally, this medical alarm service can be used to notify next of kin immediately during times of need. What makes the system even more special is the fact that such services can be used 24/7, making the medical alert system a true companion for life.

Comparing Medical Alert Systems with Assisted Living or Nursing Homes
Taking care of people with extreme physical or psychological needs can be quite difficult in certain cases. Under such circumstances, nursing homes or assisted living are usually the preferred choices for various reasons. But despite the advantages of using these kinds of services, it is important to realize that they have disadvantages, too, which could prove to be the underlying reason why they don't work for everyone:
  • Independence: One of the primary factors to be considered when choosing care services is the level of independence given to the person in question. Most people prefer to be independent and take care of their own needs, unless they have a medical condition that makes it impossible for them to do so. Given this situation, nursing homes can be extremely restrictive for people, even when they claim to offer a lot of independence. Assisted living, similarly, has its own problems Here, the perfect solution is a medical alert system, which allows the individual to live on his/her own while also ensuring complete safety, especially in times of emergency and need.

  • Continuity and comfort: Another factor most people deem absolutely necessary is the continuity factor. We all prefer living in a place that is known to us and where we are comfortable. This is usually our own home where we may have lived for years. Opting for a nursing home means taking us away from our zone of comfort, which may not really be advantageous. It's not unheard of for people to experience severe psychological trauma in the face of having to move out of their homes.

  • Cost of safety and help: When comparing nursing homes and assisted living with installing a medical alert system, it is obvious that the latter is cheaper than the former. Nursing homes, especially good ones, can cost quite a lot, which is also the case with assisted living facilities. This is largely because the cost of such living is directly proportional to the amount and nature of amenities that the person in question would need to ensure comfortable living. Medical alert alarms, on the other hand, are simple, easy-to-use pieces of electronic equipment that can be rented out from various companies that offer such services. Additionally, the cost of the subscription plans on offer – even the most detailed and complete ones – will be far less than what one would pay for a nursing home or assisted living companion.

  • Immediate response: While nursing homes do have round the clock doctors and medical practitioners on their rosters, it is possible that a resident could lose some time in getting immediate care, especially as these professionals may have several people to attend to. Similarly, with assisted living, there may be situations where there is no one present with the elderly 24/7, which could again delay the process of getting help in times of emergency. Under both these circumstances, a delay could lead to a dangerous situation that could easily be avoided with the help of a medical alert alarms. Here, the simple press of a button will connect the wearer to a representative, who in turn can send immediate medical help. Since the distress call is responded to immediately, precious moments are not lost.

  • Notification to kin made easy: When someone is in a nursing home or living with assistance, notifying his/her relatives in case of any accident or other emergency can be difficult and confusing, not to mention take a bit of time. This is largely due to the fact that the resident has to wait until the authorities find the necessary information and make that phone call. However, medical alert devices can be set up in such a way that in case of any emergency, the next of kin gets notified immediately. Additionally, such devices offer an individual the chance to personalize his/her emergency and other alert systems to suit his/her needs. This will not only ensure immediacy of medical help, but also enable speedy flow of proper information.
While these factors mentioned above are definitely good reasons for adopting medical alert alarms, the most important factor remains that they are extremely safe and user-friendly. Irrespective of whether the wearer is tech-savvy or not, they can get immediate help with the simple press of a button and even get their queries answered should the need arise. If only everything else in life was so simple.


Personal Response Corporation is America's trusted provider of medical alert systems with over 20 years experience. With three products to choose from in medical alerts, Personal Response can meet the different needs and lifestyles of its customers, allowing them to live independent lives and rest easy knowing they'll be helped in a timely and fully prepared manner in the case of a medical emergency.

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Our Medical Alert Systems are available in the following states across America: