This system from CallToU contains two pagers and three receivers, ideal for larger homes and homes with multiple caregivers. The receivers have adjustable volume levels from 0 to 110 decibels, and users can select from 55 distinct ringtones. That last feature is an especially nice touch—when a certain ringtone gets too annoying, you can always swap it out with something more tolerable.
The pagers are water resistant and come with neck straps and double-sided stickers. The pairing process is simple, and the system can be expanded with additional pagers and receivers as needed. Overall, this is a flexible, powerful pager system at a great price.
Daytech’s personal call system is similar in features to the aforementioned CallToU system, with 55 selectable ringtones, an 800-foot range, and a maximum volume of 110 decibels. This kit contains three receivers and three pagers, which might be advantageous for some buyers. The receivers also have a nightlight function, triggered by holding the middle button for five seconds.
One minor issue is the included lanyard, which attaches over the pager’s battery compartment. Wearing the lanyard pulls on the battery covering and occasionally causes the battery to pop out, preventing the button from working. This can be fixed easily with a bit of duct tape, and it’s a mild inconvenience; overall, the system is well designed with high-quality components.
This system from JOYSAE contains three transmitters and three receivers, and users can expand the system with up to 20 receivers (we’re not sure why that would be necessary, but hey, additional flexibility is always helpful). One of the included pager buttons is designated as a “panic button” and has a thin, doorbell-like design, but works the same as the other buttons. Choose from 52 ringtones, which can be customized for each receiver.
JOYSAE receivers are slightly larger and bulkier than some of the other receivers we’ve researched, which can create an issue if you’ve got limited outlet space. However, the receiver is certainly loud enough to grab the user’s attention, as the max volume of 110 decibels is on par with most of the other caregiver pager systems on this list.
Medical Guardian’s call button system is intended for use in emergencies as the pager contacts a 24/7 monitoring service center. Live operators determine whether emergency services are warranted, though users can also choose to be put in contact with their caregivers. It operates through a pre-existing landline, which could be unideal for those who have switched to mobile only. Additionally, the Medical Alert service carries a monthly service charge, but that could be a small price to pay for some to ensure peace of mind for older adults who live on their own
The waterproof call button can be worn as a pendant or around the wrist, and has a 1,300-foot range from the base station. A built-in battery backup ensures there will still be service in case of a power outage.
This pager system includes a wristwatch pager/receiver, which vibrates or gives an audible signal when either of the two call buttons are pressed. It’s a novel alternative to a loud intercom-like receiver, and potentially advantageous for some users, but the wristwatch isn’t exactly intuitive, and it requires recharging every few days to operate effectively. The call buttons are well-made, water resistant, and easy to use. The system has a working distance of up to 500 feet, and the silent alarm function is certainly a major consideration for households with young children.
While this system is primarily marketed as a wireless doorbell, doorbells basically have the same functionality as caregiver pagers—and given the low price tag, lifetime warranty, and 1000-foot range, this is a capable option for giving older adults some freedom and security.
The default audio cue is a door chime, but you can choose from 52 sounds (including some musical options). The call button comes with a lanyard, and while it doesn’t glow in the dark, it lights up when pressed. The system has a simple setup process and offers four volume levels. We’d have preferred more volume options, but given the budget-friendly price, it’s hard to complain.
Caregiver pagers can provide older adults with security and freedom, and in an emergency, these simple tools can literally save lives. Here are a few key considerations to keep in mind when choosing a paging system.
Some pager systems connect with 24/7 monitoring services, which can call in emergency personnel if the user needs them. These systems typically carry additional monthly charges, but they can be a worthwhile investment for older adults who live alone or who have high fall risks.
Systems that don’t have built-in monitoring services are often more appropriate (and much less expensive) options for individuals living with family members. With these systems, when the user presses a button, a receiver lights up and makes a noise; the caregiver knows that the user needs assistance. They essentially work like doorbells—and, in fact, some are also marketed as doorbells.
Even so, while local systems aren’t as technically complex as monitored systems, they’re effective solutions for improving communication between caregivers and older adults.
Consider practical features that might add functionality to your pager system. Many options have water-resistant components, which can be important if the user needs assistance while bathing.
Water resistance is typically rated with an Ingress Protection (IP) code; at minimum, a water-resistant system should be IPX5 rated, which indicates that the device can withstand a steady stream of water from any direction. Higher ratings indicate more water resistance. An IPX7 device can be immersed in up to 1 meter of liquid, while an IPX8 device can be immersed beyond 1 meter.
In addition to water resistance, consider whether the pager buttons have lights that could help older adults find them in dark rooms. Look at battery types, outlet requirements, and anything else that could affect the system’s functionality. We’d also recommend reading about return policies, particularly if you’re investing in a monitored system.
This might seem somewhat obvious, but if you’re purchasing a caregiver pager for a family member or friend, talk to them first.
Some older adults may feel insulted when receiving a pager as a gift—even if the giver has good intentions—so explain to them why the system will be helpful (if they’re currently yelling between rooms to get your attention every few minutes, this shouldn’t be a difficult conversation).
Discuss features, functionality, and style to choose a pager that works for everyone involved. A caregiver pager can provide peace of mind, but a bit of planning will help you get the most from the system without any unnecessary awkwardness.