Extending Medical Alert Protection Over the Whole House

Extending Medical Alert Protection Over the Whole House

time icon 4 min read update icon Sept. 17, 2019


One unintended consequence of installing a medical alert system in the home is that some seniors may develop a fear of going beyond the safety cordon offered by a base unit. Luckily, many systems nowadays have a wide range that includes much more than just the home.


Researching and investing in a medical alert system is a great idea for a senior that is concerned about their safety. Unfortunately, some older adults might develop some anxiety over leaving the safety cordon afforded by a home-based unit. Being fearful that one might accidentally wander out of range might negatively impact a senior’s sense of independence, freedom and self-worth. A medical alert device should provide just the opposite, however, in the form of health, happiness and peace of mind.

In order to maintain safety as well as a sense of freedom, some seniors may want to invest in additional equipment that extends the range of their in-home units to all levels of their home, to include basements, yards and garages. Ranch-style homes might also benefit from such boosters and extensions as provided by both medical and security alert companies. A portable medical alert unit is also something to consider.

Medical Alert Protection Extension And Reinforcement Measures

While many security system and medical alert system companies have proprietary pieces of equipment, many operate in a similar fashion. In other words, they simply need a landline, cellular service provider or WiFi network to communicate to a call center representative that a senior may be in distress. Most of these devices have a range of approximately 600 feet but vary greatly when used indoors. Some only operate effectively between 130 and180 feet.

In order to overcome such shortcomings, seniors are advised to first research the dimensions of their home and match those specs with what various security and medical alert companies offer across their range of products. Also, be sure to check into portable devices.


  • Investigate:  What works for one senior might not work for another. This is especially true when looking at seniors who age in place and the various types of homes they own. Two-story and ranch-style homes require either much stronger base units or boosters, which can be placed pockets and carried with a senior when he or she knows they need to go upstairs, down to the basement or out in the yard.
  • Strategically place additional equipment:  For the older adult that might forget to take the added piece of equipment with them, there are voice extenders that can be placed throughout the home and are great for table-top use. One minor note, however, is that each will require an additional landline or access to WiFi networks.  
  • Security:  When a senior is unable to find a turnkey solution for their medical alert system needs, he or she may want to look at in-home security systems, such as those offered by ADT. Not only do these systems offer additional home monitoring, but they can be partnered with medical alert features to guarantee that no matter the emergency, someone will be on the other end of the line to assist.
  • Voice extenders:  Additional equipment in the form of voice extenders means that no matter one’s location, even the faintest call for help will be heard and acted upon by trained call center representatives. One should note, however, that these devices will come with an additional cost.
  • Add-ons:  Many systems can also be extended to cover the entire house, home or yard. These types of systems can include fall detection devices, mobile GPS units, cellular base units, carbon-monoxide monitors, fire detectors, shower-mounted buttons and security lock boxes.

Extending and ensuring safety across an entire estate is no easy matter. There are a lot of considers an older adult must account for when selecting a home-based unit. Some of these considerations include initial investment costs, monthly charges and fees for additional pieces of equipment. Extending coverage is critical, however, if one lives in a ranch-style home or a house with several stories. Basements, garages and yards should also be taken into account so that a senior feel they can reach out for help anywhere and at any time. 

In order to make sure an older adult always feels confident and secure, loved ones may want to recommend investing in additional pieces of equipment such as voice extenders, or pair security alert systems with medical alert systems for a far more inclusive range of coverage 24/7. 

Kate Papenberg - Senior Advisor

Kate is senior researcher with Grandfolk® providing in-depth product and service reviews to empower senior buying decisions.