Family Monitoring vs Professional Monitoring
Guardian Safety Pendants are primarily for emergency communication.
When assistance is needed, help is available. The two types of monitoring are:
Family / Friends Monitoring
The vast majority of Mobile Alert users choose to be monitored by family and/or friends. This could be from a neighbour or a granddaughter across town. When such support is available, this is the recommended option.
Other than SIM credit, there is no additional cost with this form of monitoring.
Situations where professional monitoring is the preferred option may include:
• When work commitments forbid (or make impractical) taking personal calls;
• Potential emergency contacts may not own a mobile phone;
• Circumstances warrant the fastest possible response of someone to speak to;
• Health history and conditions are immediately available to the person answering;
• Pre-arranged protocols are known and followed whether the caller is able to talk or not.
Points to consider
Emergency contact Protocols
Consenting to be an Emergency Contact does NOT mean you must be available to help 24/7. Nor does it mean if you get a call for help, you have to go and literally attend to the needs of the person who called.
Depending on what’s happened, if a call comes, you are not far away and you’re physically capable of providing assistance, the most practical option may be to drop by and help someone to their feet who has fallen.
On the other hand, if it’s your uncle who lives on the other side of the country that needs help, the best thing to do is to listen and provide help as you’re able to. That could mean calling 000 to explain the situation which you may be in a better position to do than your uncle who is possibly experiencing a crisis.
While the User of a safety pendant might have a maximum of 5 or 8 emergency Contacts, that does not mean that a Contact should let somebody else deal with the problem. When a Contact receives a call from the safety pendant, that call should never be declined or ignored. Even if the Contact knows there are others that will get a call in sequential order, the onus is on the Contact in a position to answer to do so.
In a real emergency, seconds are critical. Your focus should be on how best to help.
Calls that are not emergencies
Periodic testing every one to three months is highly recommended. It’s better if Contacts know in advance that a test is to occur, although it would be useful to know that the system works as it should even if the Contacts were not given forewarning.
There may be occasions when the alert is triggered by accident, from an unintentional button press, possibly from the automatic fall detection, or for some unknown reason. Understandably, this is likely to be embarrassing to the device holder. Many Users already feel like they’re burdening the lifestyle of their family or friends just because of the responsibility they carry as an Emergency Contact.
Everyone is familiar with the story of the little boy who cried, “Wolf!” It would naturally concern Users who may have had a couple accidental “false alarms” that their Contacts may not take any alerts seriously.
The reality is that a significant percentage of alerts are accidental. These false alarms are not frequent, and they don’t happen to everybody, but they do happen for a myriad of reasons. Sometimes the reasons are inexplicable.
Wise Contacts patiently and calmly reassure the one with the alert device that they are glad their family member or friend is OK and they can be counted on when needed. Emergency Contacts should consider it an honour to be trusted by one who feels vulnerable and has asked for a listening ear when help may be needed. Remember that if help was never necessary, that’s good news.
Why Choose Professional Monitoring?
Other than the small cost of sim card credit, family / friends monitoring is free. So why would anyone want to pay for professional monitoring? Reasons may include:
- The User has no Contacts to call upon
- All potential Contacts are unavailable too often to be relied upon.
- The User does not want to impose upon family, neighbours or friends.
- The User is assured they will get to speak with someone in about a minute.
- The User knows a professional rep is available 24/7 to speak to.
Safety Pendant users – The cost for this third party service is $31/month or $345/year. This includes both the SIM fees as well as the professional monitoring. Excess usage may incur additional fees.
What About 000?
Triple Zero is unnecessary if the Safety Pendant user is professionally monitoring. For family / friends monitored units, it’s generally better when Contacts known to the User call 000 on behalf of the User. Contacts are often in a better position to explain to 000 what help is needed, where the User is, can describe the User, and may be privy to medical information or a KeySafe combination that would be valuable for 000 to be aware of.
If the User is unable to speak to the 000 operator, generally, no action is taken. If the 000 service is used, it should only be the last number called. All other Contacts must have the opportunity to answer the call before the 000 operator is called.