1. Bay Alarm Medical
Bay Alarm Medical has been in business for more than seven decades and boasts an A+ Better Business Bureau rating. Bay Alarm Medical is so confident you will love their service they offer a 30-day risk-free trial and free shipping so you can try their products before committing. You will also like the fact that Bay Alarm Medical uses some of the best quality equipment available and is backed by one of the most reliable cellular networks in the country. Not to mention, Bay Alarm Medical only uses U.S.-based 24/7 emergency response teams in their call centers. They also have a variety of features and options that are nice to have if you are an active senior.
- Lifetime equipment warranty
- Waterproof equipment
- Free coverage for your spouse
- Extremely user-friendly and easy to set up
- GPS location tracking feature (included with all plans)
- Plan costs are slightly higher than average (but worth it)
- Fall detection only available on upper-tier plan
- Cellular connection costs more than the landline option
Bay Alarm Medical is our top pick for medical alert systems because they have some impressive equipment and exceptional plans available. If you are an active senior, there are specific features you will need to look for in a medical alert system such as automatic fall detection, waterproof equipment, battery life, cellular communication, and GPS-enabled equipment for location tracking.
Bay Alarm Medical has service plans that are as little as $19.95 per month, but that is for their In-Home option, which as an active senior might not be what you need. However, their mobile, in-car, and 360° protection plans start as low as $29.95 per month. They also offer multilingual support and their device battery will give you up to 72 hours on a single charge.
2. Medical Guardian
Medical Guardian is one of the best all-in-one medical alert systems for active seniors. They have been in business for 13 years and maintain an A+ Better Business Bureau file rating. Additionally, they offer a 30-day free trial, a free wearable help button, a free lockbox, and provide you with free shipping as well. Medical Guardian doesn’t require you to sign a long-term contract, they don’t charge you an activation fee, nor will you find any hidden fees either. And, Medical Guardian currently has more than 200,000 customers, so they must be doing something right.
- Two fantastic mobile medical alert devices for active seniors
- Exceptional mobile app
- Automatic fall detection
- U.S.-based TMA Five-Diamond certified monitoring centers
- UL Listed and FM approved
- Comparatively pricey
- No medication reminder option
The two best options Medical Guardian has for active seniors are Active Guardian and Freedom Guardian. The Active Guardian feature is the industry’s only portable medical alert device that has the combined technologies of both GPS and Wi-Fi. Together these combine the best possible at-home and on-the-go protection. It also has a comparatively long battery life. The Active Guardian option is $49.95 a month and you can add-on the automatic fall detection feature for an extra $10 a month if you want.
The Freedom Guardian is perfect for active seniors who don’t like the look of a traditional medical alert button. The Freedom Guardian is a smartwatch device that is also a medical alert device as well. The Freedom Guardian has a one-time equipment purchase of $99 and a $44.95 a month service fee. You can also add automatic fall detection for as little as $10 a month. The Freedom Guardian is GPS-enabled and has advanced location tracking, text-to-speech messaging, medication reminders and alerts, access to weather reports, and more.
GreatCall is the company that offers the wildly popular Jitterbug phones that have the 5Star Urgent Response button on them. They also have a fantastic A+ rating at the Better Business Bureau and some of the fastest response times compared to other medical alert brands on the market. Another great thing about the GreatCall products is that they offer a bunch of complementary services with their mobile app such as urgent care, medication trackers and reminders, activity trackers, a non-emergency personal operator, daily health tips, brain games, and more. These extra features provided by GreatCall are extremely helpful, especially for active seniors.
- Automatic fall detection
- GPS-enabled medical alert device
- All-in-one unit
- Two-way communication feature
- Must buy equipment upfront
- Comparatively short battery life
- Cellular phone overage costs are expensive
- Requires you to pay an activation fee
The GreatCall Lively Mobile is an all-in-one portable unit you can use at home or on-the-go. It’s popular in part because it is so easy to use. And, due to its small size, it’s also easy to carry around with you. This unit is great for active seniors, mainly because it comes with an enhanced GPS tracking app, fall detection, and a plethora of helpful features. The GreatCall Lively Mobile is $49.99 for the device itself, then you have to pay monthly plan and activation fees.
LifeStation opened their doors in 1977, and they have an exceptional A+ Better Business Bureau file. They also boast fast response times (around 20-seconds) and proudly offer extremely affordable medical alerts systems. LifeStation is also known for its low monitoring fees, automatic system testing, two-way voice, cellular monitoring, and nationwide network coverage.
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- No upfront costs for their equipment
- 20-second average response times
- 5-day battery life (if it’s fully charged)
- CSAA Five Diamond Certified monitoring centers
- Fall detection is an additional monthly charge
- Two-way voice feature is only included on base console
LifeStation has a great reputation in the medical alert service industry. They offer a Mobile with GPS option, which is perfect for active seniors and it can be purchased for a mere $29.95-$39.95 a month, depending on the option you choose. You can also add-on their fall detection feature starting at $10 a month. There are no long-term contracts and LifeStation offers faulty equipment and battery replacements at no charge. Additionally, they ask you to provide them with a personalized emergency plan of action to use in the event you are unable to communicate. LifeStation has many important features that are necessary for active seniors who are frequently away from home or traveling.
Why Would an Active Senior Need a Medical Alert System?
There are plenty of reasons an active senior would need a medical alert system with the main reason being peace of mind. If you are an active senior, wouldn’t it be nice to know that help, should you ever need it, is only the press of a button away?
Active seniors are always on the go which leaves them exposed to a greater variety of vulnerabilities. For example, if you are active, you significantly increase your chances of slipping, tripping and/or falling versus being homebound where you are less likely to move around as much. Also, if you are out and about and frequently go to new places, those places are going to be unfamiliar to you. This means you increase your chances of encountering obstacles that, had you been familiar with the lay of the land (so to speak), you would have already known where any potential hazards were, which means you would have been able to avoid or prepare for them.
Many active seniors like to travel which means they are out of their usual element and away from their normal doctor and medical service facilities. So if an accident occurs while traveling, you might not know where to go for help. However, if you had a medical alert device, all you would have to do is press the help button and let the monitoring center handle the rest for you.
Another great reason an active senior would benefit from a medical alert system is if you were ever to become lost or disoriented. There’s nothing more frightening than not knowing where you are or how to get back. Even locally, it is easy to get turned around to the point you can’t back to something familiar. However, with a GPS-enabled medical alert device, the monitoring center can help. Or, if you ever fall and are unconscious, if you have a medical alert device with GPS and fall detection, the device will automatically contact help for you and the GPS feature will be able to pinpoint your exact location and send or provide assistance.
How Do Medical Alert Systems Fit the Lifestyle of an Active Senior?
Medical alert systems are becoming sleeker and more well-defined. This means an active senior can more easily and discretely wear or carry a medical alert device with them. Most medical alert brands give you a variety of medical alert help button options from which you can choose. So you simply find one or more that best fit your lifestyle. The most common options are pendants you wear around your neck, wristbands you wear on your wrist, and there are also smartwatch options many brands carry as well.
However, if you don’t like the idea of wearing a medical alert button on your person, several brands offer portable mobile options. These are usually one or two-piece devices that can be carried in your purse, pocket, briefcase, or travel bag, etc.
Features of Medical Alert Systems for Active Seniors
Here are some of the most important medical alert features for active seniors.
24/7 Emergency Response
The 24/7 emergency response feature refers to the 24/7 monitoring of your medical alert system. Every medical alert system requires 24/7 monitoring to be effective. The 24/7 monitoring is provided by highly trained monitoring center teams that are usually (but not always) based out of the U.S. With the 24/7 emergency response feature, when you press the help button on your medical alert device, a monitoring center professional will address your call for help and respond accordingly. This feature enables active seniors to move about and travel wherever they want to go without having to worry about getting help should they have an accident or emergency of any kind.
There are two types of connectivity which are a landline and a cellular connection. All mobile devices use wireless connectivity using a cellular network to connect your medical alert device to the monitoring center. Cellular connections work the same as your mobile phone does. You don't generally have to buy a separate cell phone plan to use these systems; however, you will have to use the cellular network that comes with your chosen brand. Wireless connectivity is a more expensive option than a landline; however, if you are an active senior, you will need a wireless option if you are frequently away from your home and will be using a mobile medical alert device.
Most medical alert brands come with, or at least offer, automatic fall detection as an available feature. Automatic fall detection is extremely important for active seniors because this feature could literally save your life. If you fall, are in an accident, or become unconscious the fall detection feature will automatically contact the monitoring center on your behalf if you don't respond within a very short period of time after a fall. So basically, the automatic fall detection feature doesn't require you to manually push the help button yourself if you need medical assistance.
Extended Battery Life
A long-lasting battery is an important feature for active seniors wearing a medical alert device. There is a very wide spectrum of battery life among medical alert devices. Some only last a day and others can go several days or a week or more before they need charging. And some medical alert devices rarely need charging at all because they have batteries that are similar to your cell phone battery and can last for up to 10 years or so. So if you are an active senior, you don't want to be away from home and have your mobile medical alert device lose its charge. Therefore, look for a medical alert device that has an extended battery life. Additionally, some medical alert brands refer to extended battery life as a battery backup that will power your system for an extended period of time if you ever lose power.
Mobile monitoring comes in different monitoring response options. Some medical alert devices will immediately contact your local 911 emergency service when you press the help button. However, most medical alert systems use 24/7 monitoring centers with trained professionals to handle all emergency calls. And, there are a few brands that also employ medically trained emergency response team members, so they can handle your emergency without wasting precious time. If you are an active senior, make sure you get a medical alert system that does offer mobile monitoring. Otherwise, if you are ever in an accident and are unconscious and aren't able to push the help button yourself, you will still receive immediate assistance from the automatic fall detection feature that will contact the monitoring center for you.
There are water-resistant medical alert devices that aren't made to be submerged in water; however, they can handle a slight amount of water such as is the case if you were washing your hands or were to get caught out in the rain. There are also waterproof medical alert devices that can endure being submerged underwater for long periods of time. A waterproof medical alert device is what you need if you are an active senior or will be wearing your device in the shower, etc. With a waterproof medical alert device, you won't have to ever worry about ruining your device because it was exposed to a little too much water.
If you are an active senior, you will need a mobile/portable medical alert device. All mobile medical alert devices use a wireless cellular network to connect your medical alert device with the monitoring center. So when you see a medical alert brand that advertises nationwide coverage, that simply means they use a cellular network that can communicate with your device anywhere in the country where their chosen network has coverage. For example, if your chosen brand uses the AT&T cellular network, your medical alert device will be able to connect with the monitoring center regardless of where you travel throughout the country as long as the AT&T network has service coverage in that area.
If you are an active senior and opt for a mobile medical alert device, you won't have to worry as much about range. In-home medical alert devices are restrictive because you can only go so many feet before you will lose the signal between the base unit and your medical alert help button. But mobile medical alert devices use a cellular signal that doesn't have any range restrictions. Those are only restricted by the locations where the brand has network coverage.
GPS Location Services
Most, but not all, medical alert devices come GPS-enabled which means they have a GPS location tracking feature built into them. If you are an active senior, you definitely need to make sure you get a medical alert device that is GPS-enabled. A GPS-enabled medical alert device connects to a cellular network just like your mobile phone does. This means the monitoring center will be able to detect your exact location if you are ever lost, hurt, disoriented, or feel threatened and don't know where you are. You simply push the help button and the monitoring center will detect your location and send help without having to waste time trying to determine where you are before being able to do so.