12 Oct

Considering a Medical Alarm?

Medical alarms have two parts – a base unit connected to the network – and a pendant that can be worn as a wrist band or necklace.

How does a medical alarm work?

To activate the alarm, simply press a button on the pendant, which then triggers the base unit to contact the monitoring service. The maximum range between the pendant and base unit can be either within your home ie house and garden, or can extend beyond your home if you are active and leave home often.

When you activate your medical alarm, your medical alarm provider will then try to contact you. If you do not answer, depending on the medical alarm supplier, it will send an ambulance to your home, or contact a family member or neighbour from a list that you have already provided.

Will the government help pay for my medical alarm?

The government pays for the weekly cost of your medical alarm service if you have:

  • ongoing or age-related health problems
  • a disability caused by your health or an injury

If you want to buy an alarm, you will need to pay for it yourself.

The help you get from the government will depend on your personal circumstances, for example, your income and assets.

Medical alarm suppliers

One of the biggest and most well known suppliers of medical alarms is St John, but there are other options available to consider. It will depend on your circumstances as to what is the best fit for you, or your loved one.

Many people get their alarm from a supplier accredited by the Ministry of Social Development (MSD). This means the supplier:

  • offers agreed standards of service
  • has an approved complaints process, and
  • provides the alarm at a reasonable cost — usually $13 to $15 per week

When you sign up, the supplier must give you a contract that gives details of their services and their complaints process.

SuperGold Card offers

If you are not eligible for government help, and you are 65 years or older your SuperGold Card may assist in you receiving discounts from selected medical alarm suppliers in some parts of the country.

Key considerations

It’s not always about price, as you need to choose a reliable company that will be able to provide the service that suits you best.

It can be a good idea to ensure that your alarm company is Work and Income New Zealand approved. You may not be eligible for government funding now – but you might be in the future.

Ask around to see what company your friends or others recommend and have found good to deal with.

ZOOM Pharmacy’s ‘world class’ customer service

ZOOM Pharmacy is proudly Kiwi. As well as getting a medical alarm, you can also get your meds delivered direct, and repeats organised for you. ZOOM’s ‘world class’ customer service and care is second to none.

Get FREE prescriptions and delivery to your door

When you get your medication from ZOOM Pharmacy, we deliver directly to your door anywhere in NZ. Simply send ZOOM your prescription. You can do this through your patient portal, or tell your medical centre to send it, or take a photo and securely upload your prescription, or freepost / courier it yourself. A pharmacist will then get in touch and take it from there.

Plus if you are on 4 or more funded prescription medicines, you get FREE prescritions, packing and delivery.