My mother-in-law is only 68 but she had already had two surgeries on her lower back and walks with a cane. When she had to go under the knife for yet another surgery, my wife and I felt better about having her spend her recovery time with us rather than at home, alone. My wife was fearful that she would fall and there would be nobody there to help her and that it might be days before anybody came to check up on her. That may have just been worst-case-scenario thinking but she had fallen off the toilet while she was in the hospital and I have to admit that I felt better about having her stay with us as well.
However, both my wife and I work and had to be away from the home for extended periods of time each day. Faced with a dilemma, I began researching home emergency response systems. Most, I found, have complicated contracts attached to them that bind you to their services for a period of a year or more and, as I wasn't sure exactly how long my mother-in-law would be needing the service, I really didn't like the thought of being slapped with expensive early cancellation fees. Other services didn't even offer a real, live person on the other end of the line.
Instead, they used automated lines much like those you get when you call a busy office or the Department of Motor Vehicles. I couldn't abide that. The whole point of having such a service in the house is to summon help fast in the event of an emergency.
What's worse, some of the services that did offer real people on the other end of the line often used part-time employees who had little training and read scripted instructions. The service I ended up choosing had no lengthy contracts and I could cancel at anytime without fear of being hit with a stiff fine. Plus there was a 30-day money-back satisfaction guarantee - if I didn't like the service I was getting, I was under no obligation and testing it out would cost me nothing! There were multiple payment options available and the coverage was very affordable. The equipment was Underwriters Laboratories listed and came with a lifetime repair or replacement warranty.
In addition, I could order more than one call button so my mother-in-law could carry one with her while we could place several more in the rooms she frequented most. In the end, I bought the service and we tried it in our home. It worked so well that after my mother-in-law recovered from her surgery and moved back into her own home, she continued to use the service and still does today! It took a little research to find a service that offered everything I needed at a price I could afford to pay. In the end, I'm glad I shopped around - it makes it much easier to know that if and when my mother-in-law needs it, emergency help is just a button push away.
My wife is a nurse practitioner and talks to many people who have senior parents living on there own. When asked, she recommends the medical alert systems she got for her mother - LifeStation Alert