Vacationing Abroad With a Medical Alert System

Vacationing Abroad With a Medical Alert System

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


Medical alerts systems enable seniors to remain active in retirement by allowing them to travel with no restrictions. Whether visiting family or taking a vacation, seniors can rest assured that they can always call for help with the press of their medical alert button.


Living an active lifestyle during the golden years is becoming more and more common. Many seniors are now opting to take trips for extended periods of time instead of meeting with their friends at the local recreation center. Previously, there would be worry as to whether seniors would have a safety net when traveling, but thanks to the latest advancements in medical alert technology, seniors are able to travel confidently with their medical alert systems. This gives them the opportunity to maximize their retirement. A medical alert system ensures that seniors can stay protected regardless of where they may travel.

Traveling with a Medical Alert System

1. Limited to The United States

Even though medical alert technology has advanced throughout the years, the devices cannot operate in foreign countries. This is in partly due to medical alert companies not having the ability to dispatch emergency personnel to seniors abroad. Even so, language barriers could also delay or hinder the process of a senior receiving the help they need. Although not being able to operate in foreign countries limits a senior’s traveling options, there is an expectation that changes could possibly be implemented in the future.

2. Mobility

Although standard medical alert systems are portable, they still require a power outlet and a phone line to operate. It is usually not recommended that these home systems be transported during trips, since all movement is required to be reported to the customer support center. Fortunately, there are other advanced medical alert units on the market which enable the senior to travel freely. Independent mobile units use wireless technology to establish mobile connections nationwide. They are small, simple to use, and come with chargers. They can easily fit into a bag or suitcase with no problem.

3. GPS Capability

GPS tracking capability is an additional benefit of a mobile medical alert system. This is a feature that most standard home units do not have. The GPS technology allows the monitoring center to accurately determine the senior’s exact location. Such a tool can be invaluable when emergency personnel needs guidance in locating a senior in distress. Loved ones can also check on the senior by tracking their location via the internet. GPS ensures that whether a senior is at home or traveling, they will be protected.

4. Waterproof

When a senior is vacationing, they should have no worries as to whether their medical alert pendant gets wet. Waterproof pendants enable the senior to wear their device at all times, including in the bathtub, shower and pool. The device will also be safe outdoors in rainy and snowy conditions. Seniors who live active lives should opt for medical alert systems labeled “waterproof,” not just “water-resistant”. Water-resistant devices are not guaranteed to function properly in a bath, shower or pool. A waterproof medical alert button is guaranteed to operate even if it is submerged in water.

5. Medication and Pill Reminder

Not all medical alert systems have the medication and pill reminder feature; however, it may prove to be invaluable for some. In the most general and cost-effective option, the medical alert system can be programmed to alert seniors when it is time to take their medications. This can be an extremely beneficial feature when traveling. Due to the varying time zones, a senior could easily forget to take necessary medication. Although not required, there are also automatic pill dispensers on the market which can be incorporated into the setup. If the automatic pill dispenser is not used, the senior will still be required to know what medications to take, including the proper dosage.


Many medical alert systems are compact, lightweight, and easy to transport when traveling. These discreet devices can empower seniors to venture freely with the knowledge that medical help is only a button-press away should an emergency occur.  Unfortunately, there are no US-based companies that offer medical alert services abroad, however, that restriction may change in the future. It is anticipated that US-based companies will eventually establish partnerships with foreign medical alert companies, and together they will work to offer a reliable monitoring option for American tourists traveling abroad.

T. Mashae Pearson - Senior Advisor

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