Is a smartwatch a decent option for Medical Care Alerts for Seniors?

biggles

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I have a friend, 86 years old and living on their own with not much contact from direct family. Have known her about 15 years. Apple Watch 4 and 5 have fall detection. Galaxy Watch Active 2 also has the sensor, although this feature has not been activated yet (probably due to pending regulatory approval).

This friend does not have a smartphone. So I assume she would need the LTE version of one of these smartwatches.

Is this a decent option? I know there are other options but they have monthly service fees. This option would not be as good. But better than nothing like things are now.
 

CHANG3D

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I strongly suggest that you stick with a medical alert company than going through an Apple Watch LTE without an iPhone.

first, the watch is not made to be an medical alert alternative.

second, the watch could be set up with call 911 directly. How you set it up without an iPhone or iPad is unknown to me. Medical Alert companies have call centers, and they could call family and friends first before going 911. And they could talk to the 911 operators with information on the client. For example, if your friend fallen and hit her head and can’t talk to 911 herself, the operator could talk to 911 for her and describe that a senior citizen with so and so problems has fallen and is unresponsive. Heck, they may even address the paramedics on how to unlock the doors.

there is a various number of other reasons why an Apple Watch is not a good alternative to a medical alert plan. Life Alert is expensive, but there are other companies with cheaper plans that’s also ranked better than Life Alert. Check Consumer Reports etc.
 
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T4rd

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Agree with Chang3d, plus she'll have the added responsibility of charging the watch every night or two and if she's not already accustomed to doing this routine with a phone or other devices, she could be wearing a dead watch half the time and negating the purpose of it altogether.

I'd rather have a dedicated device for her use case that will last weeks or months on a battery and doesn't need to be charged a lot. Though I'm not sure such a device exists without at least requiring a subscription for a service that monitors them and informs the police or medical responders for them.
 

Vermillion

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Another vote for don't use a smartwatch for something like that. As smart as these watches are they're not designed specifically to be a medical alert device so don't use it as one.
 

Aurelius

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I have a friend, 86 years old and living on their own with not much contact from direct family. Have known her about 15 years. Apple Watch 4 and 5 have fall detection. Galaxy Watch Active 2 also has the sensor, although this feature has not been activated yet (probably due to pending regulatory approval).

This friend does not have a smartphone. So I assume she would need the LTE version of one of these smartwatches.

Is this a decent option? I know there are other options but they have monthly service fees. This option would not be as good. But better than nothing like things are now.
To elaborate on what others have said: smartwatches are more for reasonably tech-aware people who might enjoy fall detection and similar health features as a partial safety net. But you currently need a smartphone to set up a smartwatch with these kinds of features, plus a cellular data plan if it's going to be useful for more than calling emergency services. And yes, they'll have to charge every day if they want to be sure there's power in the case of an emergency.

It'd be smarter to get one of those dedicated medical alert wristbands and deal with the subscription fee, as much as I like my Apple Watch.
 
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