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Thread: Cell phone Vs. Life Alert

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    Cell phone Vs. Life Alert

    I have a question about getting a cell phone for an elderly parent who lives alone. I wanted to see what people here think about this. My mom's doctor thinks she should have something like Life Alert which seems to cost $1,000 for the equipment and $30 each month for monitoring. I looked at a thing from a company called Great Call $49 for the equipment, $35 activation and $15 for monthly monitoring. Silly thing, Great Call uses the cellular network, so then why not just get her a cell phone? So then if she carries her cell phone all the time, would anyone see a problem with getting her a cell phone instead for going with a company like Life Alert? Verizon has a strong signal at the house and around the yard is why I'm thinking about it. Would there be any reasons not to use a cell phone instead of a Life Alert button?

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    Pushing a panic button is a lot easier than dialing 911 if you've fallen or are having trouble. My dad had a Life Alert type service, don't remember the name of it, that cost him a lot less up front and only $18 a month. He had a necklace and a bracelet for with panic button.

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    I got my mom a cell phone instead of life alert. The only hard part was teaching her to use the phone. Since then I've felt better knowing she has it. I bought a little soft pouch with clip so she can clip it too her shirt, pants, nightgown, ext....it only added 10$ a month to my bill and we are both happy.

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    I got my grandma TWO prepaid phones instead of life alert. She can still use it for personal calls and it saves us money at the same time. Just make sure you program the proper numbers in speed dial and let them know how to use it. You will also need to make sure they have a way for them to keep it close to them at all times (like neck strap). Pick a cheap, easy, long battery life device and remind them to charge it weekly.
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    I thought I would try a cheap flip from W@lM@rt for $14.95. She can use it and I programmed some numbers into speed dial. I got a pouch for it and she wears it all the time. She totally refuses a Life Alert type system, I think the one we looked at was Connect America. She says it's too expensive and it isn't much good if she goes outside. I need to do something different because the $1 per day on days used thing plus $.10 per minute if talking with someone other than a Verizon Wireless customers is a bit difficult to explain. I'd like to get her on a regular plan so she can use the phone to call some friends.....makes it feel less like an emergency alert device. Doubt if she will ever learn text and web, but she can dial a basic flip.

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    Quote Originally Posted by shoptalk1 View Post
    I thought I would try a cheap flip from W@lM@rt for $14.95. She can use it and I programmed some numbers into speed dial. I got a pouch for it and she wears it all the time. She totally refuses a Life Alert type system, I think the one we looked at was Connect America. She says it's too expensive and it isn't much good if she goes outside. I need to do something different because the $1 per day on days used thing plus $.10 per minute if talking with someone other than a Verizon Wireless customers is a bit difficult to explain. I'd like to get her on a regular plan so she can use the phone to call some friends.....makes it feel less like an emergency alert device. Doubt if she will ever learn text and web, but she can dial a basic flip.
    I'd add her as a family share line on your account so she could call her friends/family. The more she uses it the more comfortable she'll be with it in the event of an emergency. For example, if she doesn't use it on a regular basis she may forget that she has to press send after dialing 911.

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    A cell phone for someone you seriously are considering life alert for would be just horrible, no offense.

    1. A monitoring type service HAS THEIR LOCATION IMMEDIATELY

    2. A cell phone DOESN'T

    The whole point of life alert is if the medical patient has problems, which would consist of not being able to talk.

    Yes cell phone's have GPS's in them, but if you understood how E911 works you would be petrified of even ditching your landline.

    When you dial 911 from a mobile phone, it will hit the tower sector and depending on the cell towers address it will be routed to THAT 911 center which may not even be in the same county as you.

    The call will hit the wireline tandem switch and from their it will *ping* the mobile cell site to provide location information.

    Depending on the PSAP, they are able to receive the following types of 911 mobile calls.

    B911 = Basic 911 service, ONLY the phone number is shown to the dispatcher

    Phase 1 E911 = Only the Cell tower's address + the phone number is shown

    Phase 2 E911 = The caller's BASIC location is show and it can be anywhere from 150meters to 500+ meters away. The handset will rely on tower based triangulation called AFLT and A-GPS which isn't very accurate, especially indoors.

    If the patient is not able to speak, the 911 call center may not be able to find the residence and it could take hours to find the correct address after giving a subpoena to the wireless carrier.

    By that time they are dead. Kinda scary huh?

    The best bet if you don't want life alert is to have a landline because that at least provide's correct, immediate access to the physical address and call routing doesn't change based on network load and other variables like wireless does.

    If you cannot afford monitoring for it which I completely understand and I have given one of these to my loved one's because it uses a landline to call 911, no monitoring fee's.

    https://www.guardianalert-911.com/

    I apologize if this seems harsh but I have been in this field and I know of many many people who have unfortunately lost their lives because they couldn't get the help they needed because of wireless or VOIP phones.

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    My first choice if money would allow it would be life alert and also a prepaid phone and of course a landline too for good measure.
    Running too many phones

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    Quote Originally Posted by LTE Fever View Post
    A cell phone for someone you seriously are considering life alert for would be just horrible, no offense.

    <snip>

    I apologize if this seems harsh but I have been in this field and I know of many many people who have unfortunately lost their lives because they couldn't get the help they needed because of wireless or VOIP phones.
    Since you don't know the OP and the exact situation I'd say your being rather harsh. My mother is in a similar situation and a cell phone has proven to be more beneficial for her.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LTE Fever View Post

    If you cannot afford monitoring for it which I completely understand and I have given one of these to my loved one's because it uses a landline to call 911, no monitoring fee's.

    https://www.guardianalert-911.com/
    That unit does look good. I found my mom on the floor a few months back and she could have used something like that. Ended up calling 911 from the cell phone after she collapsed a second time that same evening.

    We don't have a landline right now but I'm going to get one installed just for emergency purposes and will probably buy that unit.
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    Quote Originally Posted by gvillager View Post
    Since you don't know the OP and the exact situation I'd say your being rather harsh. My mother is in a similar situation and a cell phone has proven to be more beneficial for her.
    The truth hurts when it comes to life or death. Life alert is a MEDICAL alert device. If a real emergency happens there is a good chance they can't speak. How would you feel if someone you loved died over something as silly as a landline.
    Granted I don't know the situation, but what I do know and am giving is sound advice any other professional would.

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    Quote Originally Posted by greentea101 View Post
    That unit does look good. I found my mom on the floor a few months back and she could have used something like that. Ended up calling 911 from the cell phone after she collapsed a second time that same evening.

    We don't have a landline right now but I'm going to get one installed just for emergency purposes and will probably buy that unit.
    Many states will hook up a free or cheap basic line for 911 only or if they receive any gov. Assistance like SS check, they may qualify for a free local landline.


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    Quote Originally Posted by LTE Fever View Post
    The truth hurts when it comes to life or death. Life alert is a MEDICAL alert device. If a real emergency happens there is a good chance they can't speak. How would you feel if someone you loved died over something as silly as a landline.
    Granted I don't know the situation, but what I do know and am giving is sound advice any other professional would.

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    I agree that under many circumstances Life Alert is the ideal thing to have. It's just not the case in all situations.

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    Ahh...the merits of AT&T/Verizon/CenturyLink/FairPoint/Frontier Plain Old Telephone Service.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gvillager View Post
    I agree that under many circumstances Life Alert is the ideal thing to have. It's just not the case in all situations.
    I just find it frightening that people actually think cell phones are good landline replacements for calling 911 when they are not at all. Nobody can predict the stroke or heart attack or even fall that can prevent them from being able to actually communicate their address to 911.

    Just google the topic an you will see why cell phones are bad for someone who is needing something like life alert or trying to be independent.


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