Are Fall Detection Devices Covered By Insurance
While all insurance plans differ when it comes to benefits, most insurance plans do not cover the cost of fall detection devices. However, you might be able to offset the costs by using your flexible medical spending each year. Double check with your specific insurance plan to see what is covered, and what isnt.
As for Medicare and Medicaid, medical alert systems are typically not seen as durable medical equipment and are therefore not covered. There might be some coverage for costs associated with fall detection devices through Medicare Part C, though you need to check with your plan specifically.
Best Medical Alert Systems With Fall Detection For Seniors
Linda earned her Masters degree in Occupational Therapy from Tufts University and has assisted 10,000+ seniors throughout her 25-year career. She specializes in home health care and fall prevention for seniors and has nearly three decades of experience recommending medical alert systems. Her insights have helped inform the reviews and ratings below. Learn More about Linda
SeniorLiving.org is compensated when you click on the provider links listed on this page. This compensation does not impact our ratings or reviews.
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Its expected that the medical alert systems industry is well on its way to making over $26.43 billion in revenue by 2023.1 With the popularity of medical alert systems on the rise, medical alert companies are offering more features and options to keep seniors living safely at home for as long as possible. Fall detection is one of those popular, life-saving features. Since around 25 percent of older adults fall each year,2 selecting a system with fall detection is something wed highly recommend.
Our Top Medical Alert Systems With Fall Detection
Pricing Design And Features
The Classic Guardian requires a $29.95 monthly subscription fee, which gives you 24/7 professional monitoring and the initial hardware package consisting of a landline base unit and a waterproof wearable help pendant . The price is the same whether you pay monthly or quarterly, but if you chose an annual payment of $329.45, you’ll save $29.95, which means you get one month free. Medical Guardian also offers a Home Guardian cellular package that goes for $34.95 per month and gives you the same free-month deal if you pay annually .
Additional pendants and wall-mounted help buttons cost an additional $2.00 per month each, and voice-enabled wall buttons go for an additional $5.00 per month each. You can also add a fall-detection pendant for $10 per month, and for users who want coverage outside of their home there’s an Alert 911 device that’s a bit smaller than a smartphone and uses cellular technology to place a call to the response center from anywhere that cellular service is available.
As with the Bay Alarm system, the Classic Guardian comes with a free lockbox that holds your house keys and hangs on your outer doorknob. The lockbox combination is on file with the Medical Guardian response team and is given to emergency responders so that they can use the keys to enter your home without having to break down the door.
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What To Consider When Shopping For A Fall Detection Device
Fall detection technology is available in many devices, which is wonderful as it provides the user with a selection that meets their budget, preferences, and personal style. However, all the choices of devices can make it difficult to make a decision as well! Here are a few things to keep in mind as you or your loved one research and eventually select a device with fall detection technology.
What Are The Limitations Of Fall Detection Devices
Fall detection devices sense only rapid falls. Sliding off a wheelchair, bed, or couch wont register as a fall. Even if you wear a fall detection device, its still a really good idea to have someone call or visit every day to make sure youre all right and to take proactive measures to prevent falls.
Some medical alert systems use motion sensors or check-in calls as an alternative to fall detection devices. You won’t get help quite as fast, but you won’t be stranded for days either.
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The Medical Guardian Classic Guardian Is An In
3.5 Good3.5 Good
If you or a loved one have health issues and spend most of your time at home, a medical alert system like the Medical Guardian Classic Guardian can literally be a lifesaver. The system uses your existing landline telephone jack, s a snap to install, and its audio quality is outstanding. It delivered solid response times in testing, and its portable help button worked wonderfully throughout the house. But its outdoor range and overall response time couldn’t match that of the Bay Alarm Medical In-Home system, our Editors’ Choice.
Ways To Avoid Falls Away From Home
- Wear sturdy shoes with good traction that fit well.
- Take your time. Youre more likely to trip or stumble if youre in a hurry.
- Be aware of your surroundings. Avoid walking and talking on the phone at the same time, and look out for cracks in sidewalks and other uneven surfaces.
- Take care at curbs. Stop for a second and make sure you have a good sense of a curbs height before stepping up or down.
- Use handrails, a cane, or other mobility support to keep your movement steady and stable.
- Leave your porch light on to make sure you get to the door safely when you get home.
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Why Doesn’t The Fall Detection Device Pendant Go Off When It’s Dropped Or Thrown On The Floor
While it seems like dropping it would be a good way to test the fall detection feature, the parameters captured from a dropped or thrown fall detection device do not resemble those of a person who has fallen, and the classifier can tell the difference. The algorithms are based on data gathered from actual human falls that yield complicated motion activity not attainable in a drop or throw.
Would You Like A System That Can Help In Non
Most medical alert system companies help customers in emergencies, like a fall or a fire, and during non-emergencies when you need to contact a family member or neighbor to come help. However, some brands only cover emergencies, so its a good idea to check to see what the call center accommodates. All of the companies that made our list help with emergencies and non-emergencies.
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Consider The Online Reviews About The Device
The elderly should go online and check the online reviews about the fall detective device they are looking to buy or the brand. Customers are always writing about their experiences with devices after using them and whether they would recommend them to other users. This can help in deciding on which option to go for.
Fall Detection And False Alarms
One concern we hear frequently regarding fall detection is that the pendants can send out false alarms.
To be completely transparent: Yes, this is a genuine issue. No fall detection system is perfect, and from time to time, the sensors may mistake an ordinary movement such as bending forward or getting into bed for a fall and send out an alarm. If it happens, however, you can simply press the button on your base station or pendant to contact the call center and let them know theres no problem.
On the flip side, most systems are set not to send out an alarm if they detect movement after a fall. This is to prevent false signals the system assumes if you can move, then you can press your alarm. Its a good idea to press your help button after a fall to make sure help is coming.
Fall detection systems arent perfect, but we firmly believe they are worth the investment especially for older adults who are particularly at risk of falls, such as people with balance issues, unsteadiness on their feet, or a history of falls.
Its far better to risk the occasional false alarm than be left without a way to get help after a fall. Medical alert companies are well aware of the potential for false alarms, so theyre prepared for them to happen.
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Is It Available Where You Live
Many national companies offer medical alert services, but they may not all be available near you, so call and inquire about service areas. Local companies may be an option, too. In addition to companies that have been in the medical alert business for decades, technology and home security firms are now increasingly offering these services as well.
- Do an online search. Use keywords such as medical alert systems, personal emergency response systems, fall detection devices and urgent response devices along with the name of your city or state to find companies that serve your area. Check for customer reviews and complaints with the Better Business Bureau or your state’s attorney general or consumer protection agency.
- Contact your local Area Agency on Aging. Find your local Area Agency on Aging via the federal government’s Eldercare Locator and ask if it has a list of companies offering medical alert services locally.
- Check with your senior facility. If you or your loved ones live in a senior community, it may offer an in-house or external medical alert system among its services. Beware of facilities that only have pull cords in a few places throughout the room or apartment people don’t always fall or become ill within convenient reach of the cord.
- Get referrals. Ask friends and family members if they can recommend any medical alert systems they have used.
Editor’s note: This article, originally published in April 2017, has been updated with more recent information.
Why Is Fall Detection Important
All medical alert systems have a button for you to press in the event of a fall or other emergency. But if you fall, you may be unable to press the button yourself. Thats why fall detection is so important.
After all, falling is a common experience for older adults, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention .7 Impairments in vision, hearing, and balance can make an older person more vulnerable to falls than others, said Liron Sinvani, MD, director of the hospitalist service at Northwell Health and associate professor of medicine at Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell in the New York City area. Those who have conditions such as osteoarthritis or dizziness or take multiple medications also have a greater risk of falling.
Fall detection devices can prevent negative consequences like dehydration, hypothermia, and pressure sores if someone falls and is lying on the ground for a long time.
Having a medical alert system that can sense a fall and contact emergency personnel will help you quickly get the help you need. Its a popular feature among medical alert customers. In our Reviews Teams survey, automatic fall detection was the most popular special feature our respondents wanted in a medical alert system. To gauge your risk of falling and get tips on how to prevent falls, use NCOAs Falls Free CheckUp tool. And for guidance on how caregivers can discuss falls prevention, use NCOAs Falls Prevention Conversation Guide for Caregivers.
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How Does Autoalert Work
Lifeline with AutoAlert works with multiple sensors embedded in a powerful microprocessor that is always on and always ready. When a person goes about their daily routine, whether its sitting, going up and down the stairs or lying down, AutoAlert is registering their activity and movement. Lifeline with AutoAlert uses patented technology that constantly measures changes in height orientation to a horizontal position and velocity.
When a fall occurs, AutoAlert recognizes the difference between every day movements and a fall.
AutoAlert gives you 30 seconds to cancel an alarm, or you can cancel by starting to stand back up.
If the alarm is not cancelled in 30 seconds, youll be connected to Lifelines Response Center.
You will hear a reassuring voice and know help is on the way.
Over 30% of seniors who fall cant or dont push the button, thats 3 out of every 10 falls far too many.
Having a fall detection pendant may help save a life.
What Does It Take To Have One Of Your Systems Installed In My Mothers Home
Our in-home systems are designed to be plug and play without the need for a professional installer. In order to setup our system, you plug it into the wall, call to test the device, and youre all set.
¹Fall Detection does not detect 100% of falls. If able, users should always push their button when they need help.
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What You Can Expect To Pay
Medical alert device companies all have their own pricing plans and additional costs. However, they all share some cost points that you should consider:
- Extra Fees: Look out for equipment, shipping, activation, and early cancellation charges.
- Cancellation Policy: Watch for companies that charge excessive return shipping or cancellation fees. Many companies dont charge for either, and some even offer prorated refunds for unused prepaid months of service.
- Contracts: Check for long-term contracts, cancellation policies, and refunds.
- Price Locks: A guarantee that the price wont change over time is always a good idea and helps you plan for future expenses.
- Discounts: It never hurts to ask, especially for veterans.
- Insurance: Most insurance companies dont cover medical alert devices. However, in some states, Medicaid may cover the partial or complete cost of the device as a personal emergency response service. Check your specific state laws and policy to see if youre eligible for assistance.
Caring.com is a leading online destination for caregivers seeking information and support as they care for aging parents, spouses, and other loved ones. We offer thousands of original articles, helpful tools, advice from more than 50 leading experts, a community of caregivers, and a comprehensive directory of caregiving services.
Why Is Automatic Fall Detection Important
- Getting up and getting help quickly are crucial to staying healthy and reducing unnecessary costs.
- Maintain independence in your daily routine. Our wearable devices are waterproof, so they can be worn in the bath or shower, where almost 36 percent of home-based fall injuries occur.* Read the study here.
- AutoAlert technology also helps provide family members with peace of mind about their loved ones.
- With our On the Go and HomeSafe with AutoAlert systems, youre never truly alone. And caregivers, were there for your loved ones when you cant be.
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Should You Get An Automatic Fall Detection Device
One can conclude that fall detection has been invaluable in todays society, providing individuals especially older adults with first aid before their situation becomes dire. Note that while this feature in medical alert systems and smartwatches are effective, it is advisable to press the emergency button once a fall occurs in case the accident wasnt detected. If you or your loved ones are prone to falls, then it is highly recommended you add on the fall detection feature when buying a medical alert system.
Can I Get A Fall Detection Bracelet To Wear On My Wrist
For best results, the fall detection button needs to be close to the body, preferably at chest level at the breast plate. Most folks will keep the pendant under their clothing, or tucked into a bra. Fall alert bracelets would set off too many false fall alert alarms due to movement on the wrist and arm.
- HOME System Fall Detection pendants are always worn around the neck as a pendant. The HOME medical alert button with fall detection is shower-safe, and includes a breakaway lanyard.
- HOME & AWAY ULTRA pendant should be worn around the neck with the lanyard. The belt clip is not recommended for use with Fall Detection with the ULTRA.
- HOME & AWAY DUO fall detection pendant should be worn around the neck with the lanyard. The fall detection device pendant can send a fall alert signal up to 300 feet away from the DUO GPS device.
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The Nations Preferred Medical Alert System For Seniors
With industry leading response times, you can feel peace of mind knowing whenever you need help, you are covered 24/7/365.
Trained Certified Response
24/7 access to trained specialists who can provide access to the right assistance at the right time.
We Notify Loved Ones
Not every call is an emergency. Part of our monitoring response service includes alerting your contact list. If you dont need immediate emergent help, a neighbor or family member can be called.
Install our free app and make changes to your account easily from your phone. Allow loved ones to be notified immediately and get notifications about your care.
30-Day Risk Free
Try Medical Alert risk free for your first 30 days. If you are not 100% satisfied, simply return it at no cost to you.
No Long-Term Contracts
Medical Alert offers no hidden fees or long-term contracts. You only pay for your monthly monitoring service
Who Is A Medical Alert System For
Most medical alert systems are designed for older adults, especially those living alone.
More than 30% of people over the age of 65 fall every year, and nearly half of this group experiences recurrent falls. Meanwhile, about 40% of adults at least 85 years old fall annually, and 10% of these falls result in serious injuries ranging from hip fractures to traumatic brain injuries. The costs of a fall increase rapidly when hospitalization is required.
While a medical alert system cannot prevent a fall or subsequent injury, it can help the person access emergency services for much quicker assistance. In addition to a manual emergency button, many systems offer automatic fall detection, sensing when the user falls and notifying emergency services shortly thereafter.
Falls aside, medical alert systems can support safe aging in place with features like medication reminders, activity monitoring that checks in on the user every 12 hours or so and live assistance for when the user experiences any other pressing medical concerns.
Medical alert systems are also an appropriate solution for anyoneregardless of their agewho is at risk of experiencing a medical emergency and wants reassurance that they can easily access help.
Powerful Protection at the Touch of a Button
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