Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Interview with

There are many medical alert companies out there, each one with their respective pros and cons. Consumer reporting website Medical Alert Comparison researches and compares the major medical alert companies on the market, providing fair and unbiased opinions on their website. We recently interviewed the team at Medical Alert Comparison to get a little more insight into their process to provide consumer reports on medical alert systems.

medical alert reviews

  • How are your ratings determined?

A host of factors go into Medical Alert Comparison ratings. In addition to our own testing of the systems, we do look into how pricing and features stack up against other companies.  We also include feedback from our users when available, consumer interest, conversion rate, company history, website design & ease of use into our rankings.

  • What are the top questions consumers ask when looking for a medical alert system?

The first and most important question consumers ask is "how much will this system cost me?"  They also ask about features, most notably automatic fall detection and GPS systems that they can take with them.  We receive a lot of questions from users asking if medicare will cover the costs their medical alert system as well if their parents will actually use the medical alert system.

  • How important are reviews for consumers?

Reviews are very important when it comes to medical alert systems. All systems look the same on the surface, but there are differences. Reviews point out those differences, which could be difficult for people to determine.

  • What are the top 3 requirements for consumers? (i.e. price, warranty, etc)
Price, features, ease of installation.

  • What is a feature many consumers overlook?
Many consumers overlook who exactly is monitoring their system.  Some companies have their own monitoring facilities, while others contract the service out to a monitoring center, sometimes even out of the country. does the hard work for consumers. Instead of checking each company website and/or calling them, we do all that and more, including physically putting systems through rigorous testing.

  • Medical Care Alert is one of your top listed companies – how did they achieve this?
We were very impressed with the alert pendant, which allows the user to communicate with the monitor directly through the pendant. This is the first system we have tested that has this useful and potentially life-saving feature.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Top 10 Sites to Learn About Long Term Care

Finding suitable long-term insurance care and information about that care can be a confusing proposition.  

Not only are there rules and regulations associated with insurance, but Medicaid covers only so much.   These sites have dedicated themselves to making it easier for people to find legal, financial, and other information about long-term care insurance and the effects it can have on a family.
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California Health Advocates have a dual purpose of advocacy and policy.  Their site contains valuable information regarding Medicare, Long Term Care, and other insurance issues.  Their site was developed on a foundation of education and their site is chock-full of helpful material for both doctors and potential beneficiaries. Great resource, even for folks living outside of California.

Care Conversations focuses on providing people with the information that they need to empower people to work through their own care planning process.  The three goals of Care Conversations are: Inspire people to get the facts and start a care conversation, help people get the information they need to have conversations about the care they want, and empower people to form their own opinions and select the plan of care that’ right for them.

This is a ‘nuts and bolts’ site where you can compare long term care insurance options side by side.  It represents several companies, including John Hancock, Pacific Life, Mass Mutual, and Genworth.   The site walks users through the process of learning about long term care insurance and provides a glossary to explain any terms which aren’t clear.

This easy-to-read site is provided by the US Government to help those in need of long-term care find the resources that they need. It also provides a lot of information about accessing local long term care resources to better inform any decisions. It’s a great place to begin your education about long-term care.

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Elder Law Answers touts itself as the web’s most trusted long-term care and planning resource.  There are hundreds of articles within their database. It’s also great for people who have legal questions about elder care. Elder care attorneys use it as resource for content which they can use on their own websites. .

Life Happens is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping Americans take personal financial responsibility through the ownership of life insurance and related products, including disability and long-term care insurance.  As part of their mission, they have several articles related to the various types of life insurance and how they associate with the stages of life.

If you’ve never been to About Money, you’re in for a treat. This is a crowd-sourced site offering lots of great information about long term care, retirement, money, and more.  While there are no specific suggestions or recommendations about long-term care providers, there is a lot of general information that can help people make an informed decision.

LTC Connects is a collaborative effort between the major insurance carriers which offer long term care insurance. All the contributors to this site work in the LTC field. You can get a quotes from multiple vendors, read their blog, or sift through their expansive resource center.

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IronShield is a Canadian financial planning company committed to make your financial goals into a reality.  They have a large selection of long-term financial planning articles which are suited for everyone, not just Canadians.  

This site is devoted to policy papers and sociological scientific studies related to the aging process and long-term care.  A quote from the Washington Post reads, “For more than 20 years, Health Affairs has been a must-read for anyone with a serious interest in medicine, health care, and health care policy.”

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Interview with Eastern Michigan Better Business Bureau

The BBB Seal has symbolized trust for over a century.

The rising number of scams makes it even more crucial to ally yourself with reputable organizations like the Better Business Bureau, an organization dedicated to pinpointing reputable businesses around the area.  We caught up with Lisa of the Eastern Michigan Better Business Bureau to ask her some questions about the BBB’s success, avoiding scams, and the Senior Scene program.

Why is it important to be listed with the BBB?

Due to the deception consumers often face in the marketplace, many are hesitant to conduct business with a new company and it’s up to the company to show that they are a reputable business. Consumers want to work with someone they can trust and that’s why millions of people each year visit the BBB website before making their buying decisions.
Consumers prefer to work with BBB Accredited Businesses because they can trust that the company has met and agreed to uphold BBB’s high standards for ethical business practices. In a competitive marketplace, BBB Accreditation assures consumers that they are choosing a business with a proven track record for being honest, reliable and responsive. Since consumers often compare multiple companies, being accredited also gives you a competitive edge. In addition, BBB provides a variety of benefits including discounted advertising, our ‘Request a Quote’ program, discounts on office supplies and more.
Better Business Bureau plays a pivotal role in the health of our marketplace. Thanks to the support of our Accredited Businesses we’re able to: provide a forum where businesses and customers can resolve their differences amicably; monitor advertising in Eastern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula and challenge questionable claims by advertisers; offer free Business Reviews on companies (both accredited and non-accredited); and provide the public with timely fraud alerts and updates regarding unethical business practices. Our presence helps minimize the need for more restrictive government regulations.
Finally, through the generous support of our BBB Accredited Businesses, the BBB Educational Foundation supports a variety of programs for consumers of all ages, from middle and high school students to senior citizens, programs for veterans groups, auto workers, retirees, families of active-duty military personnel and members of the business community.
What are 4 tips for seniors to remember to avoid scams?
For all scams, there are four steps seniors can use to fight back:
  • Ignore: Use caller ID to screen calls. Ignore strange numbers. Do not answer your door if you do not know the person
  • Resist: Never be pressured into giving someone money or personal info or signing any contracts – especially on the first contact. No legitimate organization works that way.
  • Verify – look into any claims that might concern you. Find a legitimate source to look up the company and do your due diligence to determine if the person is who they say they are. When in doubt, call BBB at 248.223.9400 for assistance.
  • Notify – Share your stories about scammers with others. The sooner you ask for help, the quicker the damage can be mitigated. Also, when you warn others, it protects them from falling for the same scams.
What are 3 tips for verifying a company's legitimacy?
1.       Look up the company on BBB’s website
or call BBB at 248.223.9400 to determine if we have a record on the company and if we have contact information for the company – while there, look at their ratings and complaints
2.       If business that should have a license through the State of Michigan, such as a contractor, medical professional or therapist, verify their license at
3.       Use a search engine to look up the company to see if there are any review sites that show concerns about the company’s legitimacy.
How can consumers help better the BBB?
Consumers can help BBB by coming to us first, before they sign contracts or buy merchandise – checking out a company, their rating and their complaints can save the consumer time and money and will lead to less complaints. They can also help by letting us know of bad businesses and scams so we can warn others. Finally, millions of consumers rely on us to find trusted businesses – consumers can help us and our Accredited Businesses by letting the businesses know they found them on BBB and by writing a review on the company’s Business Review page after services are rendered.
What's the secret behind the BBB's success?

For more than 100 years, BBB has helped people make smarter decisions we continue to evolve to meet fast changing marketplace needs. Over these 100 years, BBB has built a stellar reputation for trust that consumers recognize immediately and that businesses leverage to show they can be trusted. We are national non-profit organization, but we are locally based in more than 112 communities in Northern American. Locally we have “boots on the ground” in Michigan and our focus is on helping our community – we help consumers and businesses find each other and work together, we help to protect consumers from bad businesses and fraud, and we help businesses showcase their trustworthiness.
How did Medical Care Alert become a sponsor of the BBB Senior Scene program?
When BBB started the BBB Senior Scene program, we reached out to some of our Accredited Businesses who have excellent reputations for providing products and services for seniors. Medical Care Alert (with an A+ rating from the BBB) was one that we identified and the company immediately jumped in to offer its support for a brand new, untested program. Through their help, along with our other sponsors, in the past year, we have reached more than 2,000 seniors with in-person scam prevention training and have provide written information to countless numbers of seniors in our area. Medical Care Alert is now in their second year of support of the program.

As a Michigan Based Medical Alert Company, Medical Care Alert is proud of our sponsorship and participation with the Better Business Bureau of Eastern Michigan, and we look forward to continuing to serve the community. Please contact us to learn more about how a med alert system for seniors can help them maintain their independence and age gracefully at home.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

5 Strategies to Minimize Arthritis in the Elderly

As we grow older, our bodies and minds begin to run down.  

We’re more susceptible to cognitive dysfunctions, and we also face the prospects of physical maladies.  If we are to look at the statistics, there are over 350 million people in the world with arthritis, with nearly 40 million of those living in the US.  
Arthritis is a serious condition that affects multiple systems in the body. Think of the term arthritis as a tree which has over 100 branches, each of them affecting different parts or systems of the body.  Some of the more common forms of arthritis include osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, and gout.
Arthritis tends to be more common with those who are obese than those who are normal or underweight. There are ways, however, to minimize the symptoms of arthritis.
Practice a Healthy Diet
If you happen to have a diet that encourages weight gain, there are more appropriate ways of eating.  Diets with lots of fresh fruits, vegetables, and proteins are usually much better than high-calorie fried foods, sweetened colas and sodas, and sugary sweets.  
Move Around More
One of the best ways to confront arthritis, according to the CDC, is to look at it head on.  Walk around, bicycle around the block, take a few laps around the pool, or simply stay active.  With activity, you are taking the initiative to help out your arthritis and minimize the pain.
Look For Outside Solutions
While an elderly parent might not trust doctors, doctors are still the source for the best information in how to fight arthritis.  They can help out with a treatment plan and a movement plan that will help out in the long term.
Get Surgery
Arthritic hands on a keyboard can cause discomfort.In the most painful cases of arthritis, surgery can be used to alleviate the pain.  Your elderly loved one’s doctor might have other therapeutic alternatives to cope with the arthritis  Speak with them first.
There are many ways to counteract arthritis, and many websites out there which offer coping tips and assistance in understanding the severe nature of this condition.  One of the places where you can start is at the CDC.  They have in-depth resources which may be of assistance in coping with the arthritis.
One of the biggest issues with having arthritis in the legs or the knees is the increased propensity for falling.  Stepping up and down stairs, onto curbs, and more can present an incredibly painful experience – one which might need the use of a medical alert device.
With that fear of falling and the fear of pain, your elderly loved one might find themselves inside the house a little bit more, staying out of the way and simply not being social.  This provides a huge reason to get a personal emergency response system, as it can summon help in an instant.
The fight against arthritis, however, does not have to be a losing fight.  There are several stories about people who conquered their arthritis by walking around.  The body has an amazing way of healing itself.