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As a caring child or grandchild, you may have concerns about whether your senior relatives are doing well on their own. Your apprehension is reasonable since fall-related injuries are common among adults aged 65 and older. Nearly 60% of non-fatal falls happen to people inside their homes. What’s worse, seniors might tip over because of already existing health problems and aggravate their condition.
Other common concerns are break-ins and burglaries, as perpetrators often target seniors’ households. As a response to the risks that haunt your senior relative at home, it’s worth paying attention to home security systems and medical alert devices. This tech will allow you to kill two birds with one stone:
You’ll get a 24/7 monitoring of their health condition and property inviolability.
Your close ones will have additional safety without any bothering or obtrusion from a side.
Run through this article to find out how medical alert systems and personal home safety alarms can ensure risk-free living for seniors. Below, we also share some personal safety solutions to consider.
Home security and medical alert systems are personal safety kits that consist of a base station, multiple gadgets, and sensors. Although they appear quite similar from a glance, they serve different purposes. Depending on your needs, it can be reasonable to install both. Let’s discuss what these gadgets do in more detail.
The primary purpose of these systems for seniors is to enable users to ask for help in health emergencies. They provide fall detection gadgets and wearable personal GPS trackers that notify the monitoring staff when something happens.
The monitoring center agents can dispatch emergency services to the customer’s place or inform the caregiver of the older adult in distress. Sometimes such systems provide a personal safety app for caregivers to allow them to run health monitoring of a patient on their own.
Home safety alarms for the elderly ensure protection from break-ins, vandalism, and other property crimes. Additionally, they help detect environmental disasters like floods and fires.
An alarm security kit includes sensors, motion detectors, and outdoor cameras connected to the central hub. Therefore, if some of those devices detect smoke, glass breaking, or movement in restricted areas, they send an alarm signal to the central hub. The base station then transmits it to a professional monitoring center or notifies users through the mobile app.
Both home security and medical alerts can use a landline or cellular connection. However, most modern types of products are equipped with GSM modules. Users prefer cellular-connected gadgets as you can place them wherever it is more convenient, unlike those needing a phone jack nearby. Wireless home and medical alert kits also use a Wi-Fi connection to sync peripheral equipment with base stations.
Home security monitoring systems generally fall into two categories: DIY-installed (self-monitored) and pro-installed (professionally monitored).
When choosing between them, you should weigh all pros and cons. In short, by opting for DIY installation, you’ll save money on service fees. On the other hand, professional installation is better if you’re less tech-savvy and want to get comprehensive instruction on your new alarm security kit. Besides, you can rely upon service engineers’ assistance if there is some malfunction with the security system.
Here’s the comparative table of pros and cons of professionally monitored and self-monitored systems:
Professionally Monitored Systems
1) Providers can offer you a lease instead of a purchase. In such a case, you only pay a monthly fee. The equipment itself is provided to you free of charge. A leased alarm security kit is typically more comprehensive than the purchased one.
1) You’re free of monthly charges for using the home security equipment and don’t need to pay for installation.
2) Monitoring center provides the surveillance of your household safety
2) Self-monitoring is available through the safety app
3) Equipment set for monitored security plan can include additional integrations with smart home systems (thermostat and smart door locks control, outdoor security cameras)
3) The standard self-monitored home security alarm kit includes:
4) There’s a troubleshooting service for clients.
4) Seller offers replacement and money back guarantee. However, the repair and replacement can be problematic due to the lack of the same or compatible devices.
1) Installation fees
1) Upfront costs for the functionality similar to pro-installation might be higher.
2) You may have to sign a long-term contract. It may not be suitable if you rent the apartment or have relocation plans
2) You need skills to install a DIY kit properly
In summary, professionally monitored home security systems are the right option to improve the indoor and outdoor safety of a family house or large residence. It is reasonable if you lack the time and skill to handle installation independently. On the other hand, you may purchase the kit for DIY installation if your elderly family member lives in a smaller, one-story residence, and there will be no trouble for you to monitor the secured areas remotely via a safety app.
If you’d like to know what home safety systems are available, check out a few options below.
One of the best security system providers, ADT offers flexible customer plans at moderate prices to suit different demands. You can benefit from the variety of integrations for home security and automation available for locked 36-month plans. The base price is $599, and the monthly fee starts from $27.99.
Nonetheless, the absence of DIY systems is a serious drawback of the ADT product line.
Unlike ADT, Blue is one of the prime selections for those who seek affordable self-monitored home security alarms. You can start with the base plan “Build Your Own System,” including monitoring hab & mobile apps for $179.99, and customize it with any preferable sensors according to your budget.
Providers can incorporate your base station into their network if you want to upgrade your home security with professional monitoring. 24/7 Pro Monitoring alerts the homeowner and emergency services about fire, flooding, and carbon monoxide detection.
Ring home security systems are brought by Amazon and support Alexa and Amazon Echo voice control. These are entry-level solutions offered at quite an affordable price of $199. The starter kit includes:
Monitoring hub station
Range extender for amplifying signals
A contact sensor for doors or windows
A keypad to arm/disarm the system
You can extend the Ring home security alarm kit by purchasing doorbell cameras separately. In general, it’s a worthwhile option for those looking for a fully customizable security system.
Frontpoint deservedly sits 2nd place in charts of best home security systems and is one of the best options for DIYers. The company makes DIY installation easy by labeling each package with its’ step number. In addition, there’s a Setup Wizard app to guide customers through installation.
Frontpoint stands out with its LTE cellular connection, extended coverage range, and month-to-month monitoring plans. Although $49.88 for professional supervision looks overpriced compared to competitors, Frontpoint includes numerous helpful features. The company provides environmental monitoring, intrusion detection, access to video recordings at the cloud storage, and home automation.
When purchasing a SimpliSafe security system, customers can go on with a monitoring plan or without it. One of the best things about Simplisafe’s Self-Monitoring plan is the unlimited access to video recordings for up to five cameras. To obtain a lifetime warranty on equipment and get emergency services immediately dispatched in case of alarm activation, you can join Simplisafe Standard and Interactive monitoring plans.
Medical alert systems include a base unit and wearable accessories like pendants or wristbands. Neck pendants are usually used as fall detectors, whereas wristbands are equipped with GPS tags to monitor the personal safety of individuals through analysis of their daily activities. Particular types of on-the-go systems might not have a base station. Instead, the caregiver can install a personal safety app on their mobile device to respond to emergencies.
Like home security, home safety alarms for elderly medical equipment systems can be unmonitored (self-monitored) or have a professional monitoring service. The second type ensures immediate connection with the monitoring center representative 24/7. The staff member will then reach out to the local paramedics or your emergency contacts to send help to your exact location. The alarm signal to the monitoring center can be triggered in several ways:
By automatic fall detection
By manually pressing the wearable alarm button
By sending a signal from a base station.
Providers can expand the functionality of health-monitoring systems with additional equipment like medication reminders, wall-mounted alarm buttons, and environmental sensors.
If you believe medical monitoring is what your elderly needs, here are some popular solutions to check:
Bay Alarm Medical is an unquestionable leader in the low-cost segment of medical alert systems. It costs $30 to buy an at-home system and $20 to get on-the-go wearables. The base station is wired to a landline while peripheral devices transmit their signals through a cellular connection. The signal coverage is 1,000 feet.
15-second monitoring staff response time
20$ monthly fee with price lock
Customizable SOS button charms
Aloe Care Health is well-purposed for patients who want to remain constantly in touch with their caregivers. The smart hub supports voice commands and connects the user with family members, caregivers, or monitoring center staff. Therefore, it can significantly help people having issues with mobility and poor eyesight.
Caregivers can connect with patient’s Smart Hub and text with other caregivers via Aloe Care’s personal safety app
Temperature and air quality monitoring is available in the app
The on-the-go medical alert bracelet provides precise location and fall-detection
The base cost for Smart Hub and a single help button is $150. The monthly fee is $30.
Aloe Care Health has a limited device connection range of 200 feet, so it’s best for smaller apartments.
LifeFone’s pricing for base package functionality extension is exceptionally beneficial compared to other brands. The company has a price lock on monthly fees and offers a 30-day trial period for newly signed-up users. Moreover, LifeFone provides a lifetime warranty for all devices.
Extended device connection range of 1,300 feet (AT&T and Verizon cellular connection technologies)
Fire-detection temperature sensor included in a base at-home kit
30-day durable battery for wearable devices
No initial charges for additional equipment, only monthly fees
The referral program offers a free month for every new customer you bring in
To make an informed decision about purchasing home security and medical alert systems, you must determine the upfront expenses and monthly monitoring plans. A home security DIY kit costs $199 at the minimum and might reach up to $390. A professional monitoring plan’s monthly fee ranges between $20 and $40.
The average cost of purchasing a medical alert system with a monthly-paid monitoring fee and optional features:
One-time installation and activation charges for the at-home medical alert system are about $20-30
Professional medical monitoring subscription fee – $20 to $50 per month
Fall detection option – $10 per month
Extra wearable or wall-mounted SOS button - $35-40 per piece.
To summarize, the initial budget for implementing both types of alarm systems should be at least $700-800, including the starter monitoring plan costs. That’s quite a sizable cost for some customers. So we suggest you contemplate personal safety apps as an affordable alternative.
As a rule, a monthly subscription to self-monitored apps varies between $5-15 per month. However, they can immensely assist caregivers and concerned relatives in observing seniors’ wellbeing.
AllsWell Alert is a personal safety app suitable for monitoring seniors at home and outdoors. They can use it anytime they need help, whether with health issues or security threats.
Just take a minute to set emergency contacts for automatic SOS alert messaging, and you’ll be notified of situations when your aid is needed. The AllsWell Alert App provides:
Manual activation of SOS alarm by pressing a panic button
Automated SOS texting triggered by inactivity monitoring
Battery-saving background GPS tracking
Ability to notify up to 11 emergency contacts at once
With AllsWell Alert installed on their smartphones, your elderly loved ones will instantly request aid from caregivers or anyone nearby, ready to come up immediately. Such a personal security app is much more convenient than home alarm systems. That’s not to mention its cost-effectiveness.