How to Use a Medical Alert System

By Lisa Weinstein

  • Overview

    Many elderly people live far from family members who are unable to check on them daily. This is why a medical alert system is valuable to alert family members or others needed to assist an elderly or disabled person. Investigate what options are available before deciding to purchase a medical alert system.
    • Step 1

      Research if a medical alert system can be purchased for a one-time fee or if monthly payments are required. If payments are required, set up an automatic bill pay method so you won't forget.
    • Step 2

      Find out if the medical alert system makes direct calls to the parties you specify, or if the system contacts a monitoring center first. If it goes through a monitoring center, you could lose response time.


    • Step 3

      Follow set-up instructions for your medical alert system. Program it with the telephone numbers of family members, neighbors, emergency personnel or other people you want contacted in an emergency. Provide these numbers to the call monitoring center if calls are sent there first.
    • Step 4

      Specify when you want to be called if your medical alert system has the option of check-in calls. The cost of the system usually goes up with the amount of check-in calls added.
    • Step 5

      Check if the wireless bracelet, pendant or belt clip you wear has a new battery and test your medical alert system weekly. Always wear your emergency alert button in case you fall and are unable to reach the telephone. Most alert buttons are water-resistant or waterproof and can be worn in the shower.
    • Skill: Moderately Easy

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