Medical Alerts with Emergency Contacts for Seniors

Medical Alerts with Emergency Contacts for Seniors

time icon 5 min read update icon Sept. 30, 2019


Medical alerts allow seniors to create digital medical and health profiles that can be easily accessed during an emergency. When the senior presses the alert button on their device during an emergency, the medical alert operators will have the ability to see the senior’s blood type, allergies, medical contacts and more. This information is vital to helping the senior receive the care and medical treatment they may need. The time in which a senior can be helped during an emergency can have a significant effect on the outcome of a medical emergency.

In some instances, when the medical alert button is pressed, emergency personnel may be far away and may not be able to make it to the location in a timely manner. A delay in medical response could increase the chance of permanent damage during medical emergencies such as heart attacks and strokes.Having emergency contacts listed on a medical profile can help seniors to receive medical help or assistance quickly, potentially reducing the chances of a dire outcome.


When the emergency button is pressed on a medical alert device, the dispatcher can retrievethe senior’s information immediately. They will know where the seniorlives, they will have access to the user’s instructions for home entry, and they will have a list of emergency contacts.If the emergency plan details the operator to contact the emergency contacts before emergency personnel, the operator will do so. It is beneficial for seniors to have their emergency contacts on file should they become unresponsive. Without this information, it may take longer for the senior to receive the help they need.

Advantages of Emergency Contacts
  • Save time: If there is an emergency event, it may not be feasible for seniors to wait an extended period of time for first responders to make contact. When these events happen, the severity of the medical emergency can become more severe with each passing moment. Oftentimes during an emergency, the medical alert operator can contact the senior’s emergency contacts, who are usually family members or neighbors. These people may be able to arrive before emergency medical personnel. Having an emergency contact can save moments and lives.
  • Efficient: At the time of an emergency, the medical alert operator can relay information to the emergency contact, such as the medications that the senior takes or any relevant medical conditions. The medical alert company can also instruct the emergency contact on how to access the residence.
Disadvantages of Emergency Contacts
  • Unavailability: Emergencies can happen at any time. Unfortunately, medical alert operators are sometimes unable to reach the listed emergency contacts during an emergency.Usually, seniors can add more than one emergency contact. In the case that the primary emergency contact is unavailable, the operator will attempt to reach another emergency contact on the list.
  • Not current: Sometimes seniors are unaware when emergency contacts update their phone numbers. During an emergency, medical alert operators are sometimes made aware that the phone number on file has been changed or is no longer in service.
Enhancement Options for Emergency Contacts
  • Fall detection: Some medical alert companies offer technology that can detect when a senior falls. When alerted of a possible fall, the company will often contact an emergency contact before contacting professional medical personnel.
  • Text and email: During an emergency, medical alert operators are not limited to calling the emergency contacts. Some companies offer the option of contacting emergency contacts by text and email to let the contact know that the senior is in trouble.
  • Custom engraved: In addition to listing emergency contact information on file with the medical alert company, vital contact and medical information can also be custom engraved on medical alert jewelry or an identification tag, so that first responder may take immediate action with treatment.
Cost Considerations for Emergency Contacts

Creating an emergency contact list is usually included at no additional cost by medical alert companies. Seniors can usually choose to add more than one emergency contact in the event the primary contact person cannot be reached. Additionally, emergency contacts may also be reached by email and text at no additional charge. The ability to send emails and texts is convenient in the event that contact cannot be made by a phone call. Seniors should add as many contacts as possible to increase the likelihood of reaching someone during an emergency.

Additional Considerations for Emergency Contacts

Medical alerts allow seniors to create a health profile that includes emergency contacts, health insurance information, existing medications, allergies and more. While a medical alert device can be a great tool to use during emergencies, adding an emergency contact list to a profile can increase the benefits available to the senior.In the event that a senior falls or experiences another type of medical emergency, medical alert operators can contact a list of dependable caregivers or family members who may be able to assist the senior immediately, oftentimes quicker than professional medical personnel.

T. Mashae Pearson - Senior Advisor

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