Mobile safety products
Dear Savvy Senior,
Do you know of any medical alert SOS buttons for seniors that work away from the home? I would like to get one for my 80-year-old mother, but would like to find one that’s not limited to the house.
There are actually a number of medical alert products on the market today that give seniors the flexibility to call for help both inside and outside the home.
For years, medical alert devices (also known as “personal emergency response systems” or PERS) have been popular home safety products for elderly seniors that live alone. These systems come with a wearable SOS pendent button and a base station that connects to the home phone line.
At the press of a button, your loved one could call and talk to a trained operator through the system’s base station receiver, which works like a powerful speakerphone. The operator will find out what’s wrong, and will notify family members, a neighbor, friend, or emergency services as needed.
But these devices are limited because they only work in and around the house. If you’re away from home and need help, you’re out of luck. But today, there are numerous mobile products that work anywhere. Here are some top options.
Consider the Philips Lifeline GoSafe system. It provides a necklace pendent button, which works like a two-way communication device, allowing your mom to speak and listen directly through the pedant.
If your mom were to fall or need help at home, she could press the button and the home-base communicator system would be activated to make the call to the response center, who would then dispatch help as needed. But if she fell or needed help away from home, the system’s AT&T wireless network would kick in and place the call.
This system also has six sophisticated locating technologies so the response center would know your mom’s exact location, even where GPS signals are weak. And it has fall detection sensors built into the pendent that can automatically summon help if a fall is detected and your mom is unable to push the button.
The GoSafe is available at lifelinesys.com (or 855-276-7761) for $149, with monthly services fees that start at $55.
Most Affordable Alert
Another option that’s easier on the budget is the GreatCall Splash, which costs only $50, with a $35 activation fee and monthly service fees that starts at $20.
This pendent-style waterproof device, which fits in the palm of your hand, works like a cell phone with GPS tracking capabilities, and can be worn on a belt, around the neck or attached to a key chain.
To call for help, your mom would push one button, and an operator from the device’s emergency monitoring service would be on the line to assist her, and because of the GPS technology, her general location would be known. Or, for even more peace of mind, there’s the Splash with fall detection capabilities (this option costs $35 per month, and the pendent must be worn around the neck for it to work) that will automatically call for help when a fall is detected.
The Splash can be purchased at GreatCall.com (or 1-800-918-8543), or at Walmart, Sears, Best Buy, and Rite Aid Pharmacy stores.
There are other good companies that offer moderately priced mobile alerts, including Consumer Cellular (consumercellular.com/ally); Bay Alarm Medical (bayalarmmedical.com); MobileHelp (mobilehelp.com); Medical Alert (medicalalert.com) and Life Alert (lifealert.com).
Jim Miller is a contributor to the NBC “Today” show and author of The Savvy Senior. Send your senior questions to: Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit SavvySenior.org.
Your Opinions and Comments
Be the first to comment on this story!
You must be logged in to post a comment.
South Texas Living Archives
Atascosa County Craft Show is Nov. 12 (October 26, 2016)
Baptist church to offer holiday decorating ideas (October 26, 2016)
Boldtville church plans fair, barbecue (October 26, 2016)
Dobie Dichos kicks off Storyfest (October 26, 2016)
Don’t miss tricks or treats at ‘The Dark Side of F Street’ (October 26, 2016)
DRT plans 125th anniversary celebration (October 26, 2016)
Egg cups (October 26, 2016)
Enjoy Hallelujah Night in Kenedy (October 26, 2016)
Enjoy spooky fun at Haunted Harvest Fest (October 26, 2016)
Enjoy ‘unusual’ Halloween Concert in Boerne (October 26, 2016)
Floresville Opry gets set for monthly schedule (October 26, 2016)
How much does a funeral cost? (October 26, 2016)
Kicaster Cemetery fund-raiser is Oct. 29 (October 26, 2016)
Labatt Club enjoys salad demo at October meeting (October 26, 2016)
Letters from Wilson County, Part I (October 26, 2016)
LV Band Boosters Pancake Breakfast (October 26, 2016)
New book celebrates Spurs Nation (October 26, 2016)
Plan for St. Mark Fall Festival (October 26, 2016)
See ‘A Brush With Color’ (October 26, 2016)
Show Barn Country Dance (October 26, 2016)
Three Oaks Senior Dinner is Nov. 2 (October 26, 2016)
Tips to get your teen to eat more fruits and vegetables (October 26, 2016)
Turkey Dinner Nov. 6 at St. Jerome (October 26, 2016)
Ways to support the bereaved at holiday time (October 26, 2016)
What every Spurs fan should know (October 26, 2016)
Zumba for a cause Oct. 29 (October 26, 2016)
A creepy Halloween party appetizer (October 19, 2016)
Applying for Social Security (October 19, 2016)
Chili Cook-off to benefit Wilson County youth (October 19, 2016)
DRT joins Heritage Music Festival (October 19, 2016)
DRT to meet Oct. 24 in Kerrville (October 19, 2016)
Enjoy Harvest Festival in Marion (October 19, 2016)
Enter Pecan Bake Show (October 19, 2016)
Little Golden Books (October 19, 2016)
Make plans for Halloween fun and fall fests (October 19, 2016)
Meeting the needs of the community: St. Vincent de Paul (October 19, 2016)
R&B legend opens Carver season Oct. 29 (October 19, 2016)
Readers share their spooky tales, part two (October 19, 2016)
Road Runners plan Oct. 22 group run (October 19, 2016)
See country legends Oct. 22 (October 19, 2016)
Try your hand at square dancing (October 19, 2016)
Turn yard waste into gardener’s gold (October 19, 2016)
Baptist church to ring in 100 years (October 12, 2016)
Church plans Junk and Treasure Sale (October 12, 2016)
Comal Country Music Show is Oct. 18 (October 12, 2016)
Davy Crockett (October 12, 2016)
Enjoy fried chicken in Poth Oct. 23 (October 12, 2016)
Enjoy this flashy winter resident (October 12, 2016)
Join in the 2016 Rosary Crusade (October 12, 2016)
National Charity League plans celebration (October 12, 2016)
New program increases student knowledge of E-cigarette dangers (October 12, 2016)
Play bunco in La Vernia Oct. 22 (October 12, 2016)
Pondering a poignant letter from the past (October 12, 2016)
Save the date for Oct. 22 March for Life (October 12, 2016)
Should you redeem old savings bonds? (October 12, 2016)
Show Barn Cook-off approaching (October 12, 2016)
Sutherland Springs Old Town Day (October 12, 2016)
The business of aging grows more complex (October 12, 2016)
Try your luck at China Grove Lions Club Casino Night (October 12, 2016)
Atascosa County Craft Show seeks vendors (October 5, 2016)
Beautify your landscape with cacti (October 5, 2016)
Experience Oktoberfest in San Antonio (October 5, 2016)
Gilded peanuts and golden memories — recalling past Floresville Peanut Festivals (October 5, 2016)
Japan Fest set for Oct. 16 (October 5, 2016)
Meal service delivery options for seniors who don’t cook (October 5, 2016)
Oktoberfest comes to Floresville Oct. 15 (October 5, 2016)
Past Pirate champions will never be forgotten (October 5, 2016)
Readers share their ‘spooky’ tales (October 5, 2016)
Sacred Springs PowWow (October 5, 2016)
Shorter teapot (October 5, 2016)
Sinatra tribute comes to Kerrville (October 5, 2016)
Stockdale librarian updates Blue Bonnet Club members (October 5, 2016)
Sunnyside 4-H Bake Sale (October 5, 2016)
Time for turkey in Cestohowa (October 5, 2016)