It’s common for seniors to worry about falling or suffering an injury or illness while they are alone at home. Some seniors are concerned about being a burden to caregivers and may wait to call for help about important things until it’s too late. Many companies offer medical alert systems to help seniors feel more confident, giving them peace of mind that emergency assistance is always just a button press away.
VRI stands for Valued Relationships, Inc. The company is U.S.-based and has been supplying medical alert devices since 1989. Its systems include emergency response and automatic fall detection, assisting seniors in getting the help they need, when they need it. In this review, we look at the features of VRI’s medical alert devices, the quality of its service and its billing options, giving seniors an idea of whether this company is the right choice for their medical alert system requirements.
VRI's Device Options
VRI offers two devices, an in-home unit that can be used with or without a landline and an on-the-go unit with built-in GPS and fall detection available for $5 a month extra. Users of the in-home unit can purchase fall detection for an additional $10 per month. The in-home base unit has a range of 600 feet.
In addition to these units, VRI offers a medication management service with a 28-slot locked medicine dispenser that releases medication at preset intervals, ensuring seniors are always on top of their medication regimen. It also provides a medical vital monitoring solution aimed at health professionals, allowing them to monitor a patient’s vital signs remotely. This could be useful for those who are living with asthma, COPD or diabetes.
The in-home, on-the-go and medication management devices are available for consumers to purchase directly. The vitals monitoring service must be joined via a participating health insurance provider.
VRI’s plans start at $29.95 per month for the in-home landline system or $39.95 for the cellular version of the product. The on-the-go device starts at $39.95 per month. Medication management is available from $29.95 per month. The company doesn’t charge shipping or activation fees.
One nice thing about the systems is that there are no fixed contracts. Users who sign up for a year in advance receive a discount on the monthly fee. If a unit is lost, stolen or damaged, the subscriber is sent a replacement at no extra charge.
Extra Services Offered by VRI
VRI’s offering is quite simplistic. Other than the medication monitoring, the company doesn’t provide a lot of extra services. VRI doesn’t have activity monitoring, a caregiver support app or monitored smoke and CO alarms. It also has a fairly limited range of wearables. This may be off-putting to some consumers, but the price of the service is fairly reasonable considering the features and the lack of long-term contracts.
Customer Reviews of VRI
What Customers Like
Customers speak highly of the company’s monitoring center, which is TMA Five Diamond certified. The lack of a long-term contract is also appreciated, as is the fact the company doesn’t have contract or cancellation fees. The pricing structure is simple and transparent, and many families like this, especially if they only keep the device for a few months or a year before the senior opts to move into an assisted living facility. The medication dispenser is an interesting innovation that many seniors find useful, although the price of the system means it’s out of reach of many who would like to use it.
What Customers Don’t Like
Some customers find the limited range of wearables frustrating and would prefer to use a medical alert system with more features. The lack of a caregiver app, smartwatch wearables and voice-activated buttons is hard to accept now that these features are much more common in the consumer marketplace. VRI medical isn’t the most expensive provider, but its fees aren’t the lowest either. Some providers who are competitive with VRI in terms of fees offer more features that tech-loving seniors may find useful.
Who Should Consider VRI
VRI is a good choice for a senior looking for an affordable medical alert system that offers TMA Five Diamond certified support. For many consumers, the 5-Diamond certification is a sign of quality and reliability that brings them peace of mind. VRI’s fees are affordable, if not the lowest on the market, and this, combined with the quality of their monitoring centers, could seal the deal for many people. The availability of fall detection is a plus, and the medication dispenser is another notable offering.
Those who are on a tight budget may be able to find better deals elsewhere if they’re willing to accept other monitoring center management. Meanwhile, those who want jewelry-style pendants, smartwatches or smartphone apps may find what they’re looking for with another provider, albeit for a higher monthly fee. VRI sits squarely in the mid-range of the medical alert marketplace.