One third of all people over the age of 65 suffer a fall each year, and falls are the leading cause of death from injury among that age group, according to HealthBleep, an education resource for health care agency staff and families.

Everyone wants their loved one to receive timely help when the worst occurs, which is where medical alert systems come in. Griswold Home Care of Montgomery/Delaware/Bucks Counties offers the following four things to consider when purchasing a system:

• Reputation: Some monitoring centers are Underwriters Laboratories (UL)-certified, and choosing one will give you peace of mind that it will be there when and if you need it. Check the Better Business Bureau, and ask acquaintances for recommendations. Chances are someone in your life has had experiences with medical alert systems.

• Reliability: Most base stations have a range of 400 feet so the device can be activated anywhere on one’s property. If you live a very active life, choose a system with a long range to protect against outside falls. Most systems are rechargeable, but make sure the system you choose has a backup battery system in case of a power failure. And look for a third-party monitoring center staffed by trained emergency operators 24/7.

• Ease of Use: Companies now offer motion-sensitive necklaces that can detect a fall automatically and call for help if the user is unable to push the button. Wall-mounted buttons are also available for high-risk areas like kitchens or bathrooms. And GPS capability is useful if you want protection while you’re away from home.

• Cost and Contract: Expect to pay around a dollar a day, or $25 to $30 a month, for a reliable service. Some companies charge extra for shipping, installation or a consult, but many do not. And installation is often easy to do on your own. Contracts are a thing of the past, so don’t sign one.

For more information, visit or call 215-310-5722.

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