Wearable panic buttons can be beneficial for people who need to call for help in a hurry. These wearable bits of smart jewelry can summon help from police, medical and fire rescue crews with the touch of a button. All sorts of people could benefit from having this quick response. If you have a loved one with dementia or mental illness, or if someone you care for is vulnerable to getting lost, falling or dealing with an emergency in the home, a wearable panic button could be a lifesaver.
We’ve gone over some features to look for when choosing a wearable panic button for yourself or someone you love. We considered some of the most popular models today and evaluated them for service, reliability, cost and other factors. Our findings are based on information from the manufacturer’s descriptions of their products and reviews from reliable third parties who’ve examined these devices for themselves. Everything we discovered is organized below into a simple, easy-to-understand description of the five best wearable panic buttons you can find.
What’s a Wearable Panic Button?
Wearable panic buttons are pieces of technology that can transmit an emergency signal if the wearer ever needs help. Often designed to look like conventional jewelry or accessories, they contain a circuit board and wireless system that lets them connect with an emergency network through a response center or directly over the phone to 911 or a trusted family member or friend. Many also have GPS built into them, so it’s easy for responders to track the wearer’s location and get to the person in trouble.
How it Works
While there’s some variation in the features and design of these devices, most wearable panic buttons have a few things in common. Almost all of them have a location tracker and wireless connectivity. Most have a sturdy casing that can stand up to some external shock or light amounts of water exposure, and many of them have programmable memories to let the wearer store a few trusted phone numbers to call for help if they need it.
Wearable panic buttons are helpful for all kinds of emergencies. If you get lost, fall or have a medical emergency, the panic button can immediately call for rescue. If you’re home alone and a fire starts in the kitchen, or someone breaks a window to get in, or anything happens that makes you feel unsafe, hitting the button on your bracelet or pendant connects you with the help you need in seconds.
When you activate the panic button, what it does next depends on the model you own and the level of service you choose. Some panic buttons auto-dial the first phone number programmed into them. This can be 911, or it could be a relative, friend or neighbor’s number to summon help. Some models automatically text all the numbers in your directory to ask for help. Others open a voice call to either a 911 response center or the company’s call center, where an operator can activate the appropriate emergency response for your issue and reassure you over the intercom that help is on the way.
Who Should Wear a Panic Button?
Panic buttons can be helpful accessories for all kinds of people. Given that roughly one in seven American seniors has some form of dementia, wearable panic buttons can help find and safely return older adults who’ve wandered, gotten lost or slipped and fallen at home. Beyond seniors, roughly one in three homeless people in the United States have some diagnosable mental illness, making it challenging to find the help they need in an emergency. People whose condition causes them to wander away from home and family can be easily found if they have a wearable panic button with integral GPS, which can quickly resolve a potentially hazardous situation.
Kids can wear panic buttons too. If your child spends significant amounts of time alone at home, setting them up with a panic button can give you peace of mind in the hours between the end of school and when you get home from work. It’s also great for older kids who go out on their own or might spend a night alone while you’re away. Anybody who might have an emergency they can’t manage on their own could probably be made safer with a simple, convenient wearable panic button.
What Makes a Good Wearable Panic Button?
Wearable panic buttons come with different features, and what you get will depend mainly on who will be wearing them and what they’re likely to need. Here are a few common features to look for in the wearable panic button you settle on:
Because emergencies happen unpredictably, the panic button should always be worn. If it’s not comfortable, however, people eventually stop wearing it. Look for a button that slides comfortably over the wrist like a bracelet or the neck like a pendant. You can pick one with a clip to attach to clothing, but it should also have a chain or band.
This one is obvious. If it isn’t 100% reliable because of limited battery life or lack of waterproofing, it’s not helpful in a pinch. Look for buttons with a sealed case and some degree of shock and water resistance.
Panic buttons get used in emergencies when people are potentially panicking, hence their name. During a crisis is no time for a senior to be learning a complex interface for the first time, so a simple single-button design is best. Just press the button and call for help. Simplicity also makes it less likely the person wearing the button will accidentally trigger a false positive by touching the wrong part of the device.
Some panic buttons call directly out to the local emergency dispatch center, while others connect with the company’s own response office. Some call pre-programmed numbers for family and friends, while others send texts asking for help at the wearer’s GPS location. Pick your button for what it does when it’s tripped and how you want your emergency handled.
The Top 5 Wearable Panic Buttons You Can Buy
|Product Name||Method of Wear||Services Summoned||Notes|
|Ripple Wearable Monitoring Device||Keychain, charm bracelet||Personal contacts||Activates when squeezed three times. Programmed contacts may include 911.|
|InvisaWear Smart Jewelry||Pendant||911, personal contacts||Designed as very discreet jewelry, InvisaWear activates the intercom, 911, and text to your contacts with a simple double click of the button.|
|Samber Micro GPS Tracker||Pendant||Personal contacts, voice support||This heart-shaped pendant looks like regular jewelry, but it has a SIM card and GPS with a discreet activation switch.|
|Nimb Ring||Ring||911||Nimb Ring is a smart ring that silently alerts 911 when its button is held for 3 or more seconds. GPS is transmitted with a request for police dispatch.|
|SmartSole||Shoe insert||Smartphone contacts via text||SmartSole is designed for seniors who may forget to put on their wearable panic button. It slips into the sole of a shoe and wirelessly connects with a smartphone to relay GPS location.|
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