Wireless Intercom for the Elderly or Disabled



If you are looking for a wireless intercom to use with an elderly or disabled person there are several solutions you can look at.  Which one is right for you depends on your situation. There are at least three communication types we get requests for and they are:
  1. In-home communication
  2. Between nearby home communication
  3. Cross-country, cross-city communication

We will cover the intercoms we have that often fit these communication types.

 

1. In-Home Communication: WireFree Wireless Intercom System

An intercom solution for use when the elderly person is in the same house is the WireFree Wireless Intercom system.

The WireFree wireless intercom system consists of three products. There is a portable table-top intercom, a doorbell intercom, and an outdoor intercom that typically mounts by your front door so visitors can announce their arrival.

While the system works well for caregiver communication system, one issue some elderly and disabled people have with the WireFree Portable intercoms is that there are several buttons that can be accidentally pressed, especially when used on the bed stand in the dark. One of these buttons is a Channel button which if pressed will change the channel so you can no longer reach a caregiver.

One way to solve that problem is to use the WireFree Outdoor Intercom even though you plan to use it indoors.

One of the nice things about the WireFree Outdoor Intercom for this application is that there is only one large button so the only thing you can do is press it to call a caregiver.

This unit is totally wireless and portable. The battery life is one year or more so you won't have to worry about changing batteries frequently.

Another positive about the WireFree Outdoor Intercom is that it's waterproof. You can put one in the bathtub or shower for emergencies. Plus, you don't have to worry about spilling liquids on it on your night stand either. If you spill a drink on it, just wipe it off and it's good to go.

If you need a little extra volume, there is a switch inside you can flip to make it louder. If you want the microphone to be a little more sensitive for faint voices, there's a switch for that too.

Since the WireFree Outdoor Intercom is meant for wall mount, there is one easy modification we recommend so it can be used for table top mount. Just go to your local hardware store and ask for the self-adhesive vinyl bumpers that are typically used for keeping your cabinet doors quiet when closing them. Then just stick five of them on the bottom of the WireFree Outdoor Intercom and now you can set it anywhere without having it slide around.

While not ideal, some people want to carry the WireFree Outdoor Intercom with them using a neck strap.

By making another slight modification which consists of adding a plastic tie wrap through the wall-mounting holes as shown in the pictures, a neck strap or lanyard can be added which enables the WireFree Outdoor Intercom to go with you anywhere.

While the outdoor intercom is not the smallest unit (6" x 3.5" x 2), it only weighs about nine ounces with batteries installed. It's not exactly a James Bond sort of device, but it is functional and it has a maximum range of up to 1000 feet.

You'll lose a couple of features that the WireFree portable units have such as the Monitor mode, channel selection, or volume control. But you'll appreciate how easy this WireFree Outdoor Intercom is to use.

In fact, if you don't need the features of the Portable units, you can use as many of these outdoor intercoms together as you like without having any Portable units in your system.

Another product that will work for this application is our WireFree Wireless Doorbell and Intercom.  This unit can be used for caregiving to the elderly or disabled, as long as the person under care can press a button once. The good thing about this unit is the doorbell tone provides a good signal for the caregiver. The downside is that the caregiver can't initiate a call to the unit, but the caregiver is usually healthy enough to walk to the person being cared for. Another advantage over the outdoor intercom described above is that this one allows handsfree communication for the elderly or disabled once the button is pressed the first time.

 

2. Between Nearby Home Communication: MURS Multi-Mile Wireless Intercoms

The MURS Multi-Mile Wireless Intercom system is a long range wireless intercom that can be used for communication at distances of miles instead of feet like other wireless intercoms. You can even add external antennas to increase the range. In the Multi-Mile product line, there is a fixed base station intercom and a handheld two way radio that allows for mobility.

If the elderly or disabled person and the caregiver live in nearby houses, these intercoms can be used for quick communication between them. To use them simply press the "PTT" button to talk and let go to listen.

You can use as many of these devices together as you want in any combination you want.

While you may see a Monitor button on the base intercom, this feature does not work like a baby monitor and cannot be used to continuously monitor an area around the intercom. The FCC does not allow continuous transmit in the MURS frequencies.  This feature is only used to monitor for conversations on the channels before you transmit.

 

3. Cross-Country, Cross-City Communication: Elderly/Disabled Emergency Alert Intercom

The Elderly/Disabled Emergency Alert Intercom, or Emergency Alert for short, is a system that enables the elderly or disabled person to call you over phone lines via a a small pendant intercom around their neck, on their belt, or attached to a wheelchair. It gives its user 2-way speaker phone communication to family, friends, or neighbors, at any time from anywhere in or around their home. The caregiver can be on a cell phone or landline phone anywhere in the world.

Up to four contact numbers can be programmed in the unit and if all four are unreachable, then the call can go to 911.

No monthly fees are required with this device so it can save you a lot of money over monitored services that many elderly people use.

The range is said to be up to 600 feet, but this range will very depending on several factors such as building construction.

Optional accessories include additional pendants as well as a wall mount wireless water resistant device that provides two way communication. You can mount this device next to a bed-side table or even next to the shower in the bathroom.

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