Emergency Response Systems

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TYPES OF EMERGENCY RESPONSE SYSTEMS:

Devices used for emergency response systems (also often known as “Personal Emergency Response Systems” or “Medical Emergency Response Systems”) can range from cell phones given to seniors for dialing 9-1-1 to monitoring devices worn as a bracelet or necklace to sophisticated automated call-and-response systems designed to come to the aid of a person who may not be able to communicate or give a signal for help. These systems go by various names such as “Carecall”, “Medical Alert” and “Lifeline”.

NOTE: The Division of Statewide Emergency Telecommunications (DSET) is in the process of replacing the Enhanced 9-1-1 system beginning January 2017 and completed by the end of 2017. It will provide an infrastructure to allow text to 9-1-1, the ability to send images/video with a 9-1-1 call, and to call 9-1-1 directly via the Internet when telecommunication service centers make this feature available to the public. 

COST:

Some systems, such as the statewide “Enhanced 9-1-1” system, do not charge a fee while others, such as systems run by private companies, may charge fees for installation and set-up of their communication devices along with monthly monitoring fees. Some programs like Community Based Services and the Connecticut Home Care Program for Elders can help pay the cost of an emergency response system for income eligible older adults or adults with disabilities.

WHAT TO CONSIDER BEFORE PURCHASING OR REGISTERING FOR AN EMERGENCY RESPONSE SYSTEM:

The website of The Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection (www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/whocares/emergency.shtm) has information for consumers considering the purchase of an emergency response system.  In addition, they may want to get recommendations from friends, neighbors, or relatives who use them. They can also check with a local or state consumer protection agency, state Attorney General’s Office, or with a local chapter of the Better Business Bureau to find out if there are any complaints against companies that sell emergency response systems.

TO FIND PROVIDERS IN CONNECTICUT’S COMMUNITY RESOURCES DATABASE:
Search by service name: Personal Emergency Response Systems

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SOURCES:  “Personal Emergency Response Systems”, a fact sheet posted on the website of the Federal Trade Commission
INTERNET PAGE PREPARED BY: 211/pt
CONTENT LAST REVIEWED: May2017