Medical Alert Recommendations: "Needs Some Care" Persona
This page contains specific medical alert recommendations for a specific type of person: one that fits a "persona" we call the "Needs Some Care" persona. These recommendations were updated in Q1 2019.
The "Needs Some (part time) Care" Persona. (Persona D)
This person needs help with the activities of daily living like eating or bathing or dressing. But for this persona, the required care is part time. And there are periods in between when no one is watching over this person and things might go wrong.
Medical Alerts for the "Needs Some Care" Persona
The big picture
For this persona, if the person is largely home-bound or rarely goes out without a companion, then a system that works only "at home" is probably fine.
In addition, people in the "Needs Some Care" persona category may well have trouble with the regular charging that is required by mobile alerts.
Many of the "at home" systems have batteries that last for many months, while most of the mobile alerts need charging daily (or at best every few days). So if charging is going to be a challenge, the "at home" systems are better. But the down side, of course, is that they work only in and around the house (usually including the garden).
For this persona, the best product will depend quite a bit on the exact situation with the carer, and the frequency with which the person receives care.
Caregiver visits less than weekly
At one extreme, if a caregiver visits weekly or less frequently, then this person's situation is similar in many ways to the No Go persona.
We would likely recommend a simple "at home" medical alert.
Caregiver comes daily
If the caregiver comes at least daily, then they may well be able to handle things like daily charging of the medical alert. If so, that opens up several new options.
If charging is no longer an issue, then for some people it will be worth considering some of the mobile medical alerts.
The reason in this case is not because they allow you to "go anywhere". But rather because they have additional features that can be particularly relevant for this persona.
For example, the GreatCall Lively Mobile Plus comes with a caregiver app that has a number of features that are useful for this persona (as do some of the competitors). And many of the mobile alert systems have some form of geotracking that can be important in cases where the user has cognitive impairment.
And all of the mobile medical alerts have the operator communicating via the pendant rather than via the base station, which we think is a rather large advantage for this persona.
For people with this persona, we think it makes sense to have an automatic fall detection "feature" in the medical alert. Most modern medical alert systems ("at home" and "mobile") have this as an option, although you often need to ask for it and pay extra.
For people within this persona who have cognitive impairment of various degrees there may be a need for some specialized features. Examples include a way to make sure they don't accidentally take the medical alert off. And perhaps the ability for caregivers to track the person's location when they leave the house.
(Not sure what all the terms above mean? See our Tutorial: The Basics of Medical Alert Systems)
Will You Wear It?
There is a lot of discussion about which medical alert is more "perfect". But in many ways, what matters most, especially for this persona, is whether people will actually wear the product.
It's definitely important to choose a product that the person will wear. But for this persona the issue of whether or not it is "attractive" is often perceived by the person to be of lower importance than for some other personas.
NOTE: We are intentionally limiting this page to "recommendations" without too much about the background or testing. If you want to pick your own features and see which products match them, visit our Selection Tool.
The specific products we recommend are shown in the sidebar, and at the bottom of the page. You can see links to our more detailed reviews of those products, and links that send you to the manufacturers page where you can buy them if you wish.
We find that the specific requirements of a medical alert for this persona vary quite a bit from person to person depending on both the amount of caregiving they receive, and their specific limitations.
If the person is largely home-bound, and cannot handle daily battery charging, and does not get help from a caregiver who could handle the charging, then we recommend one of the "at home" systems, such as we recommend in the "No Go" Persona.
However, if charging can be dealt with by a caregiver, then we think in many cases it will be better to get one of the mobile medical alerts with both "voice through pendant" capability, and additional caregiver features as mentioned above. In that case, consider the mobile medical alerts discussed further in the Slow Go Persona Recommendations.
We include specific products we recommend below and in the sidebar, but the exact one that is right for you will depend on the details of the caregiving situation.
We are actively researching this space at present. If you have some specific requirements (within this persona) and want to discuss them we would be happy to respond. Please use our contact form and be specific about your situation, and what exactly you want to learn.
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Buying these Products
At the bottom of this page are links to our "review" page for each of these products, on which are a lot more details about our evaluation. Below are also links to the company's websites, where you can acquire the products if you wish.
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Beyond this, we have no financial interest in the products discussed here, and this article is not sponsored or supported in any way by any product vendor. See How we Fund our Work.
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