My 82-year-old mother is recently widowed and I want to get her a medical alert system. There are so many companies out there, how do I choose?

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You are right that there are many. The main thing is you don't want to sign a contract for a specified amount of time. Should you not need it, you don't want keep paying for a full year.

I would call a local hospital and/or an in-home care agency for suggestions as to what companies they prefer. These alarms are great - I used them for three of my elders.
I don't know what state you are in but, you can call Comfort Keepers in your area they should be able to assist with a medic alert system or recommend a service.

I researched this at great length a couple of years ago for my mother well into her 80's. I chose Philips Life Line for my mom. She's in CT (I don't know if prices vary in different parts of the country) and pays $39.10 a month for the service. She didn't have to sign a contract or pay for installation. They test the equipment monthly and if you choose you can have them call your mother every day to check on her (we chose not to do that as my mother is not housebound and I talk to her every day anyway). We have been happy with them.
Thanks to you all for your wisdom - (she lives in AZ so I will look into Comfort Keepers)
I will try and keep you posted on what we decide.

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