How Do I Install a Medical Alert System?

How Do I Install a Medical Alert System?

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


Some seniors might be put off by the high-tech nature of many medical alert systems and fear their installation. Implementing this potentially life-saving technology in the home, however, has never been easier!


Installing a medical alert system might sound like a strenuous undertaking. There are a lot of factors to consider, such as unboxing, charging, finding a location, unplugging phones and monthly testing. That said, any tried-and-true provider of medical alert systems will provide step-by-step instructions that walk an older adult or a loved one through the process. If by accident, the directions should become misplaced, they can be found online or via a tutorial on such websites as YouTube. Should a senior need to move, he or she will want to call the provider to make any necessary changes to contact information.

Like traditional, home-based medical alert systems, new mobile pendants and devices will also require a thorough understanding prior to their use. These devices will also need to be unboxed and charged. That said, it is important to maintain a charge by way of a base unit for all high-tech buttons, phones, pendants, USBs and apps. This is especially important when preparing to travel or partake in a road trip, as charge times can take up to three hours or longer if the electricity is unreliable or at a different voltage. 

Medical Alert System Installation

Whether an older adult is installing a medical alert system through a landline phone or preparing to use a new wristwatch or mobile pendant, they should set aside some time to ensure they do so properly. The time spent installing the system could be the difference between the base unit and transponder working as advertised in the event of an emergency or having to look for a secondary means of communication should the device fail to contact the designated care circle or call center representatives.


  • Select a system:  Seniors should shop for a medical alert system that they are most likely to use. When shopping around for a system, see if the company will install the device for the senior, and provide detailed instructions on maintenance and operation.  
  • Unpacking:  Older adults should take care to set aside the installation instructions when unpacking the items, as well as ensuring all the pieces of equipment are present.
  • Charging:  As previously mentioned, both in-home and mobile systems will require an initial charge. Once charged, older adults should follow the instructions to make sure that all the lights that signify adequate operation are lit and functioning. In the event they are not, the senior should cease installation and call the 24/7 helpline for guidance so as not to install a faulty piece of equipment and potentially jeopardize their safety.
  • Location:  Both base unit and mobile devices will require a centralized location for charging. The former will also require a location close to a phone jack so that when the transponder is suppressed, the base unit will activate and be able to dial the designated clinicians or emergency first responders. One final note is to ensure that the electrical outlet is not controlled by a light switch, but is rather connected to a steady electrical source both day and night.
  • Checks:  Once set-up is complete, seniors will want to test the device and ensure that they have enough backup pieces, parts and equipment should something be misplaced, lost or stolen.

Installing a medical alert device is one of the easiest means of ensuring an older adult’s safety does not go unchecked. Setting up an in-home unit is much simpler than installing cable television, WiFi or a security system. That said, seniors might still be put off by the daunting-seeming task of installation. Selecting a reliable and trustworthy medical alert provider is key in this instance, as such an entity will ensure 24/7 access to care as well as provide help in the event an older adult has questions. 

Medical alert device installation simply requires a little time, patience and energy. If a senior is having trouble, they can enlist family members of friends for help. Also, some companies may install the system for you, so be sure to check around. 

Kate Papenberg - Senior Advisor

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