Best Door Locks for use with Senior Medical Alert Systems

elderly medical services

There are many older people that want to live alone and they rely on these medical alert systems. But I thought, what happens when these senior medical alert systems send medical services? How do they get in the house when the patient has fallen or worse?

I ran into this problem during something that happened in my own life. My mother had a medical situation and because she lived alone, they would not release her from the hospital unless she had a medical alert system. We got her what caring.com has called one of the best for customer service, Bay Alarm Medical.

My mother is very independent and wants to stay in her own home. The medical alert system calls me if the alarm goes off. I am the point of contact. They call me when there is an issue with the alarm. Either the power goes out and the monitor doesn’t get a signal or the alarm actually goes off and they want to know if it is a real alarm or not.

The Problem I found using a Senior Medical Alert System

Because of work, I live an hour away. This is a problem if there is a true emergency. They will call me but I cannot get there in 10 minutes, much less 5 minutes. So what do the elderly medical services do when they arrive and can’t get in? They ask for permission to break down the door and if they can’t reach me they bust it in anyway. Who wants that to happen?

No one of course. I mean, if it has to be done then do it but what if you can unlock the door without having to be there within 5 minutes?

A traditional deadbolt can only be unlocked with a key or the thumbturn. If the key isn’t available and the elderly person can’t get to the door then it can’t be unlocked.

The Solution

The solution is locks that can be remotely unlocked. In my own situation I use the Schlage Encode. This allows me to, if I get the call, I can be anywhere in the world and unlock her door and allow medical services to enter. It also will let me set codes specific to her home health aide, home therapist and Meals on Wheels. By using the app I get a notification of when the code was used or I can review the log to see if a code was used by one of these caregivers. I also have given a code to a neighbor of her that I trust that can go check on her if need be.

The Qualifying Criteria for use with Senior Medical Alert Systems

My criteria for this best lock list was:

  • Reliable Remote Access – with or without the hub – so door can be unlocked remotely
  • Ease of use for the someone who is a senior or has arthritis
  • Easy to read numbers on a lighted keypad
  • Higher graded lock the better for added security
  • Reputation for customer service and quality locks
  • Allow care givers access at only specified times

Important Side Note Regarding Locks for Seniors – Get Rid of the Knobs

I also must stress, if you care about your elderly loved ones, you must get them levers so they can open the door more easily. Regardless of who we are, as we get older we develop arthritis and lose fine motor skills. A lever is much easier to turn because it does not need to be completely grasped to work. A knob must be grabbed and turned in the same motion to open.

The Best Locks to use with Senior Medical Alert Systems

#1 Schlage Encode

senior medical alert systems best lock for

Schlage is the best residential grade lock regardless if it’s a smart lock, traditional keyed deadbolt or a lever. This lock comes with a lifetime warranty and 3 year electronics warranty, best in the industry and Schlage’s customer service is top notch. This is a certified commercial Grade 1 lock, the highest grade in the industry. The Schlage Encode does not need an additional WiFi hub to connect to WiFi. It has a WiFi connection built in. Using the lock remotely you can unlock the door if the senior medical alert systems call you.

Large numbers on keypad light up making the numbers easier to read. Pushing the lock button on the keypad one time locks the door. You can set up to 100 codes to give to trusted friends, neighbors and care givers to check in on your loved ones. Access with these codes can be removed at any time and set up to only allow access at certain times on certain days. In the app it keep a log of codes and times they were used so you can check when visitors arrived or if they ever showed.

#2 Kwikset Halo Touchscreen

locks for use with senior medical alert systems

Kwikset is probably the second most popular residential lock in the United States. This lock comes with a lifetime warranty and 1 year electronics warranty. This lock has the highest residential Grade AAA lock, the highest grade for residential locks in the industry. The Kwikset Halo does not need an additional WiFi hub to connect to WiFi. It has a WiFi connection built in. Large numbers on keypad light up making the numbers easier to read. Pushing the lock button on the keypad one time locks the door.

You can set up to 250 codes to give to trusted friends, neighbors and care givers to check in on your loved ones. Access with these codes can be removed at any time through the app. Codes can also be set up to allow access at only specific days and times on those days. If care of the elderly person is supposed to be there on only Tuesday from 10am to 2pm. The code can be set up with this schedule and it will not work except during those hours on that day. The app keeps a log of codes and times they were used so you can check when visitors arrived or if they never even showed up.

#3 Yale Assure Lock Touchscreen

works for senior medical alert systems

Yale is probably more well known as a commercial lock brand than residential but their smart locks have been making inroads. This lock comes with a lifetime warranty and 1 year electronics warranty. This lock is a grade 2 commercial lock, not as good as a grade 1 but still pretty good. The Yale Assure Lock comes packaged with a separate WIFI bridge that must be plugged in close to the lock and the WiFi source to be used remotely. Large numbers on keypad are backlit making the numbers easier to read. Pressing the Yale button on the keypad one time locks the door behind you.

You can set up to 250 codes with the Yale Smart Module or 25 without it. Codes can also be set up to allow access at only specific days and times on those days. The app keeps a log of codes and times they were used so you can check when visitors arrived or sometimes if they never even showed up.

#4 Ultraloq U-Bolt Pro

U-tec, makers of the Ultraloq, are big into the smart lock market. This lock comes with a lifetime warranty and 18 month electronics warranty. This lock has not been graded but in my discussion with Ultraloq they told me it was made to Grade 2 standards. The Ultraloq U-Bolt Pro comes packaged with a separate WIFI bridge that must be plugged in close to the lock and the WiFi source to be used remotely.

Large numbers on keypad are backlit making the numbers easier to read. It can also be opened with a fingerprint, which could be useful to have for those having a hard time remembering codes. Pressing the Ultraloq button on the keypad one time locks the door behind you.

You can have up to 60 codes and 120 fingerprints for user access. Access with these codes can be removed at any time through the U-tec app. Codes can be set up to only allow access at certain times on certain days. The app keeps a log of codes and times they were used so you can check when visitors arrived or sometimes if they never even showed up.

#5 Schlage Sense

This is the second Schlage lock on the list. This lock comes with a lifetime warranty and 3 year electronics warranty. This is a certified commercial Grade 1 lock, the highest grade in the industry. This lock does work locally with Bluetooth but to use remotely you will need to get the Schlage Sense WiFi Adapter, it runs about $70.00 right now. Or if you have an iPad or AppleTV connected to your home WiFi network you can control the lock with your iPhone through a HomeKit enabled home and no WiFi adapter is needed. If you have an android phone, you will need the adapter. However, either way the lock can be used remotely so the senior medical alert systems can still contact you and allow you to grant entrance.

Large numbers on the keypad light up in low light conditions making the numbers easier to read. Pressing the Schlage button once locks the door. You can program up to 30 access codes. On the Schlage app the codes can also be set up to allow access at only specific days and times on those days. The app keeps a log of codes and times they were used so you can check when caregivers arrived or sometimes if they never even showed up. You will also get notifications when a code is used or when the lock is opened manually.

5 thoughts on “Best Door Locks for use with Senior Medical Alert Systems

  1.  We are in exactly the same situation with my mother in law, who is in her nineties, and adamant that she will stay in her house. She recently had a fall and carries a medical alert button around her neck now. But the problem is as you say, access to the house. Having a reliable remote access, is the perfect solution. Thank you.

  2. Our parents need our care and love. Although my father passed on recently, this will still be useful for my mother. She has a keybox for medical alert services but I don’t feel comfortable having a key to her house in a lock box outside that anyone can break into. Maybe it’s time to invest in one of these smart locks. Despite my schedule, she means a lot to me

  3. This is a good article and serves as a reminder for those who still have their elderlies. My Mom is one of them, she cannot also leave her old house and sleeps alone in her room. As if it has been the nature of the seniors not to leave their old house.

    And I see the door locks with senior medical alert system very vital to be discussed. Are these the only locks that can be used remotely?

    1. No, there are many others but I used a particular set of criteria and some others can be used with wifi but they’re too new to review or the manufacturer doesn’t have a long enough track record to properly evaluate their locks.

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