The two connection systems available are the landline connection system and the wireless (or cellular) connection system. Unlike the landline connection system, the wireless system can be installed without the use of a phone jack or landline cable.
The wireless connection system works through a cellular carrier to initiate contact with the call center. Typically, these systems are easier to install as most only require an electrical outlet to plug the base station in to work. When you press the alert button on your pendant or wristband, a signal will transmit to the base station. You can also press the emergency (or help) button on the base station itself. The base station will contact the call center using the cellular carrier providing the service.
Depending on the medical alert company you choose, an emergency operator should answer your call in about 30 to 45 seconds. You will be able to speak to the operator using the two-way speakerphone on the base station. If you are too far away from the base for the operator to hear you, emergency services are dispatched automatically. If you have given the medical alert company your preferences, they may call your emergency contacts as well.
Choosing a Wireless Connection System
There are two types of wireless connection systems: 1) the cellular connection using a stationary base that works in your home and the surrounding area, 2) a GPS mobile connection system you can use while traveling, riding your bike, walking, or jogging.
The cellular stationary system is popular with seniors who no longer have a landline phone and rely on their cellular phones for communication. The base stations are easy to install and moving to a new residence is not an issue, as long as you update your address with the medical alert company.
The mobile connection system goes where you go and you can use it while at home or during a walk around the neighborhood. With GPS tracking, emergency services can locate you quickly. Not all medical alert companies carry the mobile GPS tracking devices yet.
What to Expect From a Wireless Base Station
The most common feature you find with the wireless connection systems is the easy-to-install base station. Simply plug the base into an electrical outlet and you are set up. You will probably need to test the system according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Most base stations offered through medical alert companies are the same. The only difference is the logo printed on the equipment, the battery provided by the company, and service through the company. Base stations for wireless communications tend to have to large buttons on top. One button is the emergency alert button and the other is the reset button. A large portion of the top of the base station is the two-way voice communication. The base also displays the date, time, and temperature making it handy to refer to throughout the day.
What to Consider Before Purchasing a Wireless System
Wireless communication systems can be problematic if the local cellular towers experience an outage or are damaged during a storm. If you live in a rural area with limited cell coverage, consider using a landline communication system.