So, you have done the thinking, talked to the family and decided that a Medical Alarm is a good idea to maintain your choices and options in life. You have heard that in most cases the alarms are funded fully or partly by the Government through the Disability Allowance. You may even have spoken to an approved supplier but than turns out you don’t qualify. There are 3 main reasons that people may not qualify.
- Too much income, roughly you can earn up to $9500.00 if you are single or $13,500 jointly if you are married before tax on top of your super.
- Doctor won’t sign, Doctor is the independent third party who signs the forms to say they believe it is a good idea. You may disagree with them if they turn you down but if they won’t change their mind you won’t qualify. (In my experience most Doctors are reasonable and will only not sign if there are good reasons)
- You already have the maximum payable on the Disability Allowance (about $63.00 per week per person)
What are my Options
Well you could do nothing but that doesn’t make the problem go away. There are several ways that you can protect yourself and help ensure you maintain your independence that don’t have to cost a lot. If you have an existing home alarm you can probably get a medical pendant added to that. You will need to get the alarm monitored and advise the monitoring company of your circumstances, but it can work quite well. The pendant should be a one-off cost of about $200.00 – $300.00 to supply and install and the monitoring of the alarm about $34.00 a month.
Another option recently introduced by ADT and available through me is an ECU (Emergency Contact Unit). It is essentially the same as their Medical Alarm service but with a couple of changes which help them to lower the cost.
- A two-year contract (unless you turn your toes up on us or go into care)
- Servicing charges are applicable (usually pretty minor if at all)
- Ambulance call out costs are not covered
- Two free Security Guard callouts per year (If security issue rather than medical)
- No free lockbox provided.
However, priced at only $30.00 per month (including lease of equipment and installation) is an affordable solution to giving you and your family peace of mind.
So, Can I Just do Nothing
Of course, you can, may not be a good idea but it’s a free world. But if you choose to do nothing also accept that you are opening yourself up to some risks
- Loss of independence if something happens and you can’t get that help straight away your life can change dramatically
- Financial risk, if the reason you don’t qualify for an alarm is financial you may not qualify for a Rest Home subsidy and that could end up costing you an awful lot more that the $30.00 a month for an alarm
- Loss of “peace of mind” for you and your family. My mum had a Medical Alarm, never used it but it gave peace of mind to her, Dad and us.