The one that’s going to work when you need it.
Okay, so that’s not a super-helpful answer. But the fact is, there are a lot of good medical alert systems on the market, and the one that’s right for you might not be the right one for your neighbor.
Here are some factors to consider:
Are you on a tight budget? Then you might want to consider a system that doesn’t require a monthly monitoring fee. Here’s how these work: you buy a unit that you plug into your phone line. It’s like a speaker phone. You program it (or have a helpful friend do this for you) so that it will dial the phone numbers of people who care about you. Usually you can program these machines to call up to 4 or 5 friends. Maybe the first call goes to your neighbor. The next goes to your son who lives across the country. Etc. If you have an accident, you just press the button on the transponder you wear, and the machine starts dialing. When someone picks up, the machine automatically announced that this is a distress call from you. Then the speaker phone allows you to communicate with the person you called.
Do you just want an affordable system? If so, choose a vendor with affordable monthly fees. You might want to steer clear of the bargain basement services. After all, if they’re charging just $5 a month for the monitoring service, you might wonder how well they staff their monitoring centers, and whether you’ll be able to get service when you need it. Then again, some of these companies are probably great. You can probably find a good solid company for about $30 a month. It’s important to buy the equipment outright (this will cost about $200) instead of leasing it from the company.
Is money no object? There are quite a few companies that are happy to speak to you if money is no object. They will happily charge you upwards of $50 a month (some as high as $100) for the monitoring service, and $500 for the same base station equipment that others sell for just $200. They’d also be happy to lock you into a 3 year contract that you can’t get out of even if you’re disappointed in the service.
To summarize: there are a lot of options when you’re looking for life alert or medical alert services. It’s important to understand all your options before you sign a contract.