I tried to order a Phillips Lifeline system but the service was so bad that after a week of waiting and they couldn't find the order I cancelled. I had used Phillips with Mom but now I need one for myself (casted foot for 3 months). Right now I'm using the old CPIB (cell phone in bra) system, but feel that a pendant might be better. What have you successfully used?

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We use Guardian Alarm; it's a Michigan company which is better known for home security systems but has a medical branch as well. I selected Guardian after doing quite a bit of research, calling a number of companies, comparing responses and representations. I did research Phillips and found complaints; after reading them and sorting between the valid and invalid ones, it was eliminated.

We've been more than pleased with Guardian and I would recommend it (no, I don't hold stock in Guardian). Dad wears his pendant on his belt, and sometimes it activates when he bends over. Guardian calls immediately to ascertain his status. They call if he drops the pendant. They called me once when they couldn't get in touch with him because he had bent over in church and the pendant activated an alarm in their monitoring station. Response is immediate.

One of the aspects I found annoying when doing the research were the companies that just wanted contact information so they could send brochures, etc. I explained I wanted information based on my questions, as I had a long list of issues to address. The people who answered the phones said they could only send out information. None of them got any further consideration.

Two others were eliminated because it took 2 days to return my calls for information.

If you do get a pendant or other type of system, get a lock box to go with it in case you do need assistance. Don't buy the type with the lock that fits over the door knob - my father is very mechanically oriented, studied it and determined the lock could be sawed off, allowing access to the box.

Get the box that needs to be screwed into the studs on the outside of the house.
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