When it comes to home security, you may think there’s only one type of alarm system, but there are actually a couple of different options to keep the people in your home safe.
The first is a home security system, which is meant to deter intruders and break-ins by alerting a professional monitoring center to potential dangers in the home. The other alarm system is a medical alert system, and it’s a crucial component of making sure seniors who are living alone can call for help when or if they need to. This type of system alerts a monitoring center in case of medical emergencies.
Medical Alert Systems vs. Home Security Systems
If you’re unfamiliar with the ins and outs of medical and home security systems, here’s the gist:
Medical alert systems work a bit like a home security system panic button. These systems are most often built around a device that’s worn on the wrist or around the neck, which can be pushed to summon help or can detect the need for emergency responders in some situations.
Let’s take a closer look at what each type of system does and how they work.
Medical Alert Systems
- Worn by the elderly or infirm
- Monitored by professionals to provide fast, adequate responses
- Used to call for medical help
- Can be activated by a button or automatically detect some accidents (falls in particular)
- Cell phone can be used for monitoring
Home Security Systems
- Often professionally monitored but can be self-monitored with systems like Nest or Ring
- Used to prevent damage to your property, detect break-ins and alert you in cases of environmental disaster
- Calls for help can be made by pressing a panic button, which works much like a medical alert system device
- Can be customized to meet your needs
- Monitoring via cell phone is available
Reasons to Get a Home Security System
The crux of the reason to get a home security system is that they’re a good way to secure your family and property. There were 1,172,071 property crimes in the U.S. in 2017 between breaking and entering and vandalism, according to the FBI Uniform Crime Report. Given the statistics, there’s a chance your home and family could fall victim to similar crimes.
Home security systems don’t just protect you from property crimes, though. They can also protect you from environmental dangers or disasters. Many of the security systems on the market offer fire protection, carbon monoxide protection, alerts for severely fluctuating temperatures and even flood warnings. The Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) estimates there are around 51,000 fires each year, with nearly 500 deaths and 1,400 injuries and costs $1.3 billion in property damage. Your home security system could mean the difference between total devastation and minor damages.
Reasons to Get a Medical Alert System
Your risk of having a major medical emergency increases with age, which is one of the main reasons it’s important for the elderly to consider getting a medical alert system. It’s also easier to become isolated as you age and there may not be someone regularly checking on you, or you may not be able to just call someone who’s close by for help. Having access to a medical alert device means there’s always someone on the other end of the line who can help.
Your risk of slipping or falling also increases as you age. The National Institute on Aging reports more than one in three seniors over the age of 65 fall each year, and considering that falls are one of the leading reasons that seniors above the age of 65 visit the emergency room, it’s important to have a way to call for help within arms reach. In fact, falls are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries for older Americans. The faster help can get to you after a fall, the better off you’ll be.
But medical alert systems aren’t just for your peace of mind; having one can also reassure loved ones that you’ve got the support and tools to live independently. In fact, 40 percent of nursing homes cite the fear of falls is one of the main reasons seniors choose to move into a managed care facility. Investing in a medical alert system can delay that move by, on average, six years. That’s an extra six years of independence, which is a pretty good payoff.
Can You Combine Medical Alert and Home Security Systems?
Considering that both home security systems and medical alert systems are both professionally monitored, it could make sense that one could combine them, but the reality is, you really can’t. However, if you’re interested in having both a home security system and medical alert system, ADT offers solutions for both.
ADT Home Security and Medical Alert Systems
ADT is one of the few nation-wide providers that offer both home security and medical alert monitoring.
You may recognize ADT as one of the leading home security companies, and you’d be right. What you may not have known is that ADT offers not only professional home monitoring, but also medical alert systems. They offer this monitoring through ADT Senior Health and Safety, an offshoot of ADT. Learn more about ADT’s medical alert systems and home security solutions below.
ADT Medical Alert System Packages
The ADT Medical Alert Basic Package is a no-frills option designed for people who spend the majority of time inside the home. It’s the most affordable ADT Health package, but it does require a working telephone landline, and it does not have a fall detection option.
Simply connect the in-home communicating system (a two-way speaker that connects you with the monitoring center) to your phone line, and your pendant or wristband will wirelessly connect to it within a radius of 300 feet. As long as you’re within range, you can press the help button on the speaker or wearable to instantly reach an ADT monitoring center. Your choice of pendant or wristband is included; you can purchase additional accessories if necessary. Both options are waterproof and safe to wear while bathing.
- 24/7 professional monitoring
- In-home communicating system with 300-foot range
- Waterproof help button pendant or wristband
The Medical Alert Plus Package has all of the core functionality of the basic package, but with the added benefit of optional fall detection integrated into a pendant. In the event of a fall while you’re wearing the device, an alert will automatically be sent to the response center even if you are unable to push your help button.
The Medical Alert Plus Package also features an extended range of 600 feet between the base communicator and your pendant or wristband. This means you’re still covered while you work in the garden or the garage. This package does not require a landline. Instead, it maintains connectivity through a wireless cellular connection that’s included in your monthly package fee.
- 24/7 professional monitoring
- In-home communicating system with 600-foot range
- Waterproof help button pendant or wristband with fall detection option
Designed for the mobile, independent user, the ADT On-the-Go Package is an all-in-one option for anyone who is active outside of the home. With this package, a wireless pocket-sized device replaces both the in-home communicator and the wearable pendant (though you can add on a pendant or wristband if you wish). The mobile device has two-way communication, so you can contact the ADT monitoring center whenever you need it, wherever you are.
The On-the-Go medical alert system has built-in GPS location tracking, which helps first responders find and assist you as quickly as possible. You can also add on fall detection capabilities for an additional cost.
- 24/7 professional monitoring
- Fully mobile device with two-way communication and GPS location tracking
- Fall detection option
ADT Home Security System Packages
The ADT Traditional Package contains the essentials you need to protect your home. This package monitors your home over a cellular connection, ensuring your home is protected around-the-clock. The upfront cost of equipment is $99.00. This package is a great option if you’re not looking for smart home or video surveillance features.
Package Devices Include:
- 1 digital panel
- 1 alarm
- Window and yard signage
Take your protection to the next level with smart home control features in the ADT Control Package. You’ll get access to everything included in the Traditional Package plus the ADT mobile app and notifications by text and email. With the ADT mobile app, you’ll be able to arm/disarm your security system by phone or tablet. You can also manage select smart home devices remotely. The upfront cost of equipment for this package is $129.00.
Package Devices Include:
- All of the devices in the Traditional Package
- Smartphone support via ADT mobile app
If you want to add on video surveillance for your home, we recommend the ADT Video Package. It comes with everything in the Control Package plus access to a live video feed, video clips of motion-triggered activity and your choice of cameras. If you purchase this package with an indoor camera, the upfront cost is $129.00. If you purchase this package with a video doorbell camera, the upfront cost is $229.00. This package is great if you want to monitor activity in and around your home.
- All of the features in the Control Package
- Option of indoor camera or video doorbell camera
Unfortunately, ADT does not offer bundles that include their home security and medical monitoring.
Do You Need Both?
The short answer is yes. A home security system cannot replace a medical alert device, nor can a medical alert device replace a home security system. In order to make sure your home is secure in case of environmental or intruder emergencies, it’s imperative to invest in a home security system.
If you’re concerned about medical emergencies, a panic button for an alarm won’t suffice because the people on the other end aren’t trained in the same emergency response systems as the people on the other end of a medical device monitoring system.