If you have been thinking about buying a medical alert system, you have probably been wondering what are the best medical alert systems for seniors…right?
Of course, but where do you start? There are so many brands to choose from and each one of those brands has their own set of features, options, and pricing.
We get it. That’s why we have taken the time to thoroughly review the best medical alert systems for seniors starting with the top five brands that provide the most bang for your buck.
1. Bay Alarm Medical
Bay Alarm Medical is an affordable medical alert system for seniors because their services start at $19.95/mo. Additionally, they have one of the most reliable emergency call centers in the country. They are highly rated among their users, which can be seen on Google which shows them with a 4.7-Star user rating. They also offer a wide variety of popular features, as well as three protection packages from which you can choose.
- 4.7-Star Google User Rating
- U.S. Based 24/7 Monitoring
- Automatic Fall Detection Available
- Mobile GPS
- In-Car Medical Alert Feature Available
- Three Redundant Call Centers
- Lockbox Service Available
- 100% Waterproof Help Button
- Two-Way Communication Feature
- Nationwide Coverage
- Compatible with Most Phone Lines
- Has Remote Call Answering Capabilities
- Multi-Lingual Support for 170 Languages
- Voted Best Senior Medical Alert Service Provider of 2018
- Lifetime Equipment Warranty
- 30-Day Risk-Free Trial
- Combining Packages Can Get Pricey
- Fall Detection Option Costs Extra
- The Least Expensive Plan is for a Landline (cellular option available for $14.95/mo. if you don’t have or don’t want to use a landline)
Bay Alarm Medical offers some of the best medical alert systems for seniors in the country. They are family owned and operated and have been in business since 1946 so they obviously know what they’re doing. Additionally, all their equipment is made in the U.S. so you know you are getting quality equipment that will last.
Bay Alarm Medical has three redundant CSAA Five Diamond Certified emergency call centers and they offer four equipment packages with varying features from which you can choose. Their protection packages range from $19.95/mo. to $59.95/mo. and their equipment packages which are at-home, on-the-go, on-the-road, and 360°protection (which is in and away from home) range from $19.95/mo. to $39.95/mo. And, when you bundle their packages, you will be eligible for a package savings discount.
MobileHelp has an A+ Better Business Bureau rating and they have a senior medical alert system that will work with or without a phone line. They also offer a service called MobileHelp Connect that includes an event notification and online tracking system for caregivers and family members which makes them one of the best medical alert systems for the elderly. Additionally, they have the fastest response time of any other company we’ve seen in this industry which tops out at 17 seconds.
- 17 Second Emergency Response Time
- No Long-Term Contracts
- Nationwide Wireless Voice and Data GPS Technology
- No Hidden Fees
- 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
- 100% U.S. Based Sales and Customer Service
- Free Shipping
- Medical Reminder Service Available
- FDA Registered Company
- Two-Way Voice Communication
- Battery Backup (30 hours)
- No Equipment Purchase Required
- Two Redundant Emergency Call Centers
- Limited Range of 600 Feet (base station to help button)
- Automatic Equipment Testing Not Available
- Additional Mobile Devices Not Available (an entire SOLO system must be purchased separately)
MobileHelp has been in business for 10 years and has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. They offer three different equipment packages, as well as a wearable watch smart option. The equipment packages range from $19.95/mo. to $41.95/mo. with the wearable watch option that cost $349.95 then you just pay $24.95/mo. for the monitoring service. These are all affordable options when it comes to medical alert systems for the elderly. MobileHelp also offers additional discounts when you opt to pay quarterly, semi-annually, or annually. They also offer a wide variety of accessories and a MobileHelp Connection option which is a free service that helps keep the lines of communication open between the senior user, their family and/or caregiver. Another great feature is their MobileHelp Connect Premium that offers additional advantages for a $5/mo. fee.
3. Medical Guardian
Medical Guardian is a one-stop-shop when it comes to providing the best medical alert systems for seniors. Medical Guardian is highly rated with its users, as well as a variety of third-party medical alert review websites. They offer 24/7 emergency monitoring with best-in-class customer service. Additionally, Medical Guardian knows that a one size fits all approach doesn’t always work when it comes to your safety; therefore, they have a system in place that allows you to customize your own medical alert equipment and accessory package for both their in-home and on-the-go alert devices that are GPS equipped.
- Free Equipment, Shipping, and Activation Fees
- No Contracts
- Monthly Specials
- No Hidden Fees
- Landline and Cellular Connections Available
- GPS Enabled (on-the-go products only)
- Two-Way Communication
- Fall Detection Available
- Price-Lock Guarantee
- 24/7 U.S. Based Emergency Monitoring
- Battery Backup (30-32 hours)
- Premium Package is Pricey
- Activity Sensors with Premium Package Only
- Limited Range with Some Packages
Medical Guardian has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and frequently offers monthly specials to help keep the overall price down. They offer three in-home packages that range from $29.95/mo. to $79.95/mo. and three on-the-go packages that range from $39.95/mo. to $44.95/mo. You also have a landline or cellular option, and a fall detection option that’s only $10/mo. The on-the-go devices are all GPS enabled and the premium packages are also Wi-Fi enabled. The Medical Guardian pendants all have built-in speakers for two-way communication which is extremely important when you are looking for the best medical alert systems for the elderly.
GreatCall is most widely recognized for their Jitterbug phones that are specifically designed for seniors. However, they have added some mobile medical alert devices to their equipment lineup. Additionally, they allow you to customize your package to include only the features you want and need so you are not paying for something you’ll never use. And, GreatCall is powered by the nation’s largest and most dependable Verizon network.
- No Annual Contracts
- No Cancellation Fees
- 5-Star Award-Winning U.S. Based Customer Service
- Free Shipping
- GPS Enabled
- Integrated Cellular Technology (can be used without a smartphone)
- All-In-One Waterproof Mobile Devices
- Low Monthly Rates
- Daily Fitness Tracking Service (via smartphone)
- Variety of Built-In Health and Safety Apps (via smartphone)
- Fall Detection Feature Is an Add-On
- An Activation Fee Is Required
- Limited Product Line
GreatCall has been in business for 13 years and has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. They also have a wide variety of extremely helpful services in addition to their medical devices such as their MediCoach option that helps with medication refills and reminders, offers daily health tips, daily automated check-in calls, brain games, fitness tracker, and more.
GreatCall has two medical alert devices for seniors that are $37.49/ea. plus the monthly plan and activation fees. And, three Health & Safety packages ranging from $24.99/mo. to $39.99/mo. These packages come with urgent care that gives you access to registered doctors and nurses, a GreatCall Link that helps you keep in touch with your family, product replacement, and a fall detection option that’s available depending on which package you purchase.
LifeStation has been in business for 41 years and has CSAA Five Diamond Certified emergency monitoring centers. They also boast one of the fastest response times in the industry with an average response time of 20 seconds. LifeStation offers top-quality products and services to the U.S. and Canada. They also have a 30-day money-back guarantee as well as a variety of additional incentives and low monthly rates. And, you don’t have to pay full monitoring fees if you have additional users, you just pay a small fee of $3.99/mo. for each extra user.
- 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
- No Contracts
- No Deposit, Hidden Fees, or Taxes
- No Minimum Payment
- Free Shipping
- Waterproof Help Buttons
- Pricelock Guarantee
- Enhanced GPS Location Identification
- Fall Detection Available
- Accessories Available
- Battery Backup (32 hours)
- Quarterly and Annual Pricing Discounts
- Works with or Without a Landline (some fees could apply)
- Additional Users Charged Extra $3.99/mo. Fee
- Requires an Activation Fee (sometimes waived as an incentive)
- Limited Pendant Range (500 feet)
- Non-Landline Option Costs Extra
LifeStation has been in business since 1977 and has an A+ Better Business Bureau Rating. Their 24/7 monitoring centers are CSAA Five Diamond Certified and UL Listed. And, they have some of the fastest response times in the industry averaging around 20 seconds. Additionally, they have some of the lowest monthly rates available.
LifeStation has three medical alert systems for seniors. They have two in-home options and one mobile with GPS option which range from $25.95/mo. to $29.95/mo. and extra discounts, if you pay quarterly or annually. They also have an available fall detection option you can add to your monthly package as well. The LifeStation equipment is easy to set up and easy to use and they frequently offer incentives to encourage you to join. The low pricing, available incentives, and easy to use equipment make the LifeStation brand a great value if you’re looking for the best medical alert systems for the elderly.
Features of Medical Alert Systems for Seniors
While researching medical alert systems for seniors, it’s important to learn about all the different options so you can make an educated decision about which ones you need and which ones you don’t
Here are some of the most common medical alert options and how they benefit you.
24/7 Emergency Response
A medical alert system should have a 24/7 emergency response monitoring system in place for it to be truly effective. This means that when a help button is pushed a signal will be sent to a monitoring center where an operator will answer the call and either assist the caller and/or send help.
Most companies that have fall detection offer it as an add-on; however, sometimes you will find this feature included in the price. Fall detection is probably one of the most important features of any medical alert system for seniors because falls are common among the elderly. The fall detection feature will immediately detect if you've fallen and call for help if you are not able to yourself.
Multi-lingual support is an emergency monitoring center that has call center operators who are able to communicate in a wide variety of languages. Therefore, if English is not your first language, you should inquire about which language it is you need before committing to any given medical alert system.
Spouse coverage or additional occupant coverage should always be included if you live with another senior partner. There will be times when you and your partner are not together and if an emergency should arise and that person doesn't have the help button, they won't be able to call for help, leaving them in pain or suffering. Spouse coverage will give each occupant their own personal medical alert device and access to the monitoring center. Some companies charge extra for spouse coverage and others don't. And some only charge a minimal fee for each additional occupant.
Each brand of medical alert systems for seniors will have their own set of instructions. Some are as easy as plugging the base unit into a power outlet and the telephone line into the base unit and that's it. Others will require a little more know-how especially if wiring, Wi-Fi, downloading and setting up the app, custom notifications, and other measures are involved. However, with that being said, most medical alert systems come with some type of support to help you set up your system as quickly and easily as possible.
Automatic System Testing
Automatic system testing is a feature that will automatically test your medical alert devices (daily, weekly, monthly) to ensure they are working properly. Some medical alert systems have this feature and some don't. The ones that don't will require you to remember to test your system periodically yourself to make sure it is functioning properly and report any problems should they occur.
Long Range Coverage
Every medical alert system for the elderly will have its own range. This means how far away you can be from the base station for your medical alert device to work. If you are home-bound, then you probably don't need much of a range. However, if you are active and frequently away from your home, you might want to consider a medical alert device that has a cellular connection and a GPS tracking feature. A cellular system isn't dependent on a landline connected to your base station for it to work. A cellular option will generally work nationwide and sometimes worldwide. And, the GPS tracking feature will be able to locate you anytime, anywhere if you become lost, disoriented, or need emergency medical assistance.
The 2-way voice feature is another important option that comes with most (but not all) medical alert devices for the elderly. A two-way talk feature allows the user to talk with the monitoring center using the medical alert device so they can communicate the problem more quickly and effectively. Medical alert devices without a 2-way voice feature only have a panic/help button that when pushed will alert the monitoring center; however, the user is not able to use that device to communicate with the monitoring center operator. In this case, the user will have to contact the call center themselves and if they don't, the call center will notify help which could be a family member, caregiver, or emergency medical services.
There are water resistant and waterproof medical alert devices and they are two very different things. A water-resistant medical alert device is able to resist some water; however, it's not designed to be submerged in water for long periods of time. A waterproof medical alert device can be submerged in water without damaging it or affecting its performance. Each brand's medical alert devices will be different; therefore, it's best to clarify any given brand's capabilities before making any decisions. Inquire as to if their device can be worn in the shower and/or bathtub, or not, and if not, to what extent the device is water resistant.