Comprehensive Planning. Lifelong Solutions.

Medical Alert Systems

July 24, 2012

Medical alert systems are known to benefit the elderly, but they can also benefit anyone who lives alone. Before you decide on a particular device, the following things should be considered.

1) What type of monitoring center does your system have? Does it have its own personnel or does the emergency call go straight to 911? The systems with operators are more expensive, but they offer the advantage that some screening of calls will occur. Not all situations require medical intervention. Perhaps a family member or friend need only be notified.

2) If you decide on a system with a monitoring center, make sure the center is UL-listed. Underwriters Laboratories reviews equipment in addition to staffing issues. Also, make sure that they are certified by an outside agency such as the Central Station Alarm Association (CSAA). Stations with Five Diamond ratings from CSAA are available There are many to choose from, and they are listed by state.

3) What is the cancellation policy? Is a long-term commitment contract required?

4) Consider the layout of the person’s residence where the medical alert system will be used. Different devices have different ranges of effectiveness.

5) Finally, how reliable is the equipment? Make sure it is UL certified for safety. Also, the best services offer free repair or replacement, if necessary. Also, make sure the battery system has a warning function, so that if battery power is low, it can be replaced before it completely malfunctions.

6) While most medical alert systems rely on a bracelet, necklace, or belt clip, another type of alert system was described in the December 2011 AARP Bulletin. It uses a GPS tracking system in specially-designed shoes. Manufactured by GTX Corporation, and selling for about $300, the shoes have the GPS system located in the heel and look like standard walking shoes. The system allows the target person to have a prescribed perimeter of movement called a ‘geo-fence.’ If the target ventures beyond the “fence,” a Google maps message appears on a computer or phone to notify caregivers. This type of system might be useful for people with Alzheimer’s or dementia, for example.

In conclusion, medical alert systems can be an important adjunct in the care of anyone with special needs, no matter the age of the individual. They cannot eliminate the need for personal supervision, but they can certainly assist families when 24-hour monitoring is not possible.

(Information for this article was taken from the December 2011 AARP Bulletin,, and

The attorneys at Hook Law Center assist clients with their estate, financial, insurance, long-term care, and veterans’ benefits planning needs.

Ask KitKat

Hook Law Center: Kit Kat, why do dogs drool and why do some dogs drool more than others?

KitKat: Well, certain breeds of dogs just naturally drool more than others. Newfoundlands, bloodhounds, and bassett hounds, for example, have lots of skin around their mouths and chins. Therefore, saliva accumulates more quickly than in other breeds. As for why dogs drool generally, it is because they salivate when food is present, when they are excited, or when they are anxious. The shape of their moth just lends itself to it dripping out. But saliva can serve as a warning. If it doesn’t smell right, it may be a sign of infection, in which case, the dog should be checked by a veterinarian.

Hook Law Center: Kit Kat, Why do cats chase string?

KitKat: Cats chase string because it is a substitute for hunting prey. The moving string is a moving target, just like in hunting a mouse or vole. The physical activity is good for the cat. It provides exercise and alleviates boredom. But supervise this activity carefully. Cats should not ingest string. A laser pointer with a rotating light  might serve as a substitute.

(Taken from “The Secret Life of Pets,” Parade Magazine, July 8, 2012)

So, if you have any pet or animal questions you’d like to ask Kit Kat, please feel free to contact him at .

Upcoming Seminars

Hook Law Center is presenting a Veterans Aid & Attendance Seminar at Kings Grant House on August 20, 2012 at 2:00 p.m.  Click Here for more information and to see all of Hook Law Center’s upcoming seminars.

Distribution of This Newsletter
Hook Law Center encourages you to share this newsletter with anyone who is interested in issues pertaining to the elderly, the disabled and their advocates. The information in this newsletter may be copied and distributed, without charge and without permission, but with appropriate citation to Hook Law Center, P.C. If you are interested in a free subscription to theHook Law Center News, then please telephone us at 757-399-7506, e-mail us or fax us at 757-397-1267.

This newsletter is not intended as a substitute for legal counsel. While every precaution has been taken to make this newsletter accurate, we assume no responsibility for errors, omissions, or damages resulting from the use of the information in this newsletter.

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