When it comes to caring for our aging loved ones, we want to be compassionate. Of course you want them to have their freedom and independence, but you also need the peace of mind knowing that they’re protected in an emergency situation.
To get the best of both worlds, you need to invest in a medical alert system that checks all the boxes. It needs to be discrete, it needs to be powerful, and it needs to be reliable.
So does Medical Guardian fit the bill?
We’ve spent countless hours testing Medical Guardian’s products and services, and we can definitely say they’re one of the best in the business.
Medical Guardian’s state-of-the-art features, great customer service, and overall ease of use make it one of the best alerts we’ve seen in the industry. It also offers flexible medical alert solutions for at-home and on-the-go protection.
All of that technology doesn’t come cheap. In fact, one of the chief downsides of Medical Guardian is that both equipment and monitoring prices are slightly more expensive than its competitors’. You get what you pay for, though, right? Also keep in mind the company is transparent with its pricing, and offers plenty of money-saving deals throughout the year, so you can always be sure you’re getting the best possible deal.
Medical Guardian offers a variety of medical alert systems, and we want to help you make a wise decision. After all, buying an alert system is a big deal. It’s crucial to get the right one that makes sense for you or your loved one. So read on to find all you need to know about Medical Guardian and whether its products are right for you.
Did You Know? Medical Guardian offers an online assessment that older adults or their loved ones can take to help determine the level of protection needed.1
Seniors looking for convenience in their medical alert systems will have a hard time finding one that’s easier to use or more reliable than Medical Guardian. And they go beyond basic functionality, too.
For example, the company recently revealed its MyGuardian app, which allows users to pay their bill online, set up medication reminders, and allow others to track their location via their smartphone. They’ve also recently released a medical alert device that feels and functions more like a smartwatch than a medical alert device called the MGMove. It’s nice to see these types of innovations in an industry where progress can be painfully slow.
Of course, the features and devices you’ll receive will depend on your Medical Guardian package. As far as packages go, there are two affordable, easy-to-use in-home systems and three high-quality mobile solutions. Simply put, there are plenty of options to choose from.
The best features of this system
Medical Guardian is pretty transparent with their pricing. It’s easy to see exactly what you’re purchasing, how much the equipment costs, and how much the monthly subscription will be. The website is easy to navigate, and you’re not going to be surprised with hidden fees at checkout like other providers spring on you — things like activation and installation fees or processing costs and yearly memberships. Bonus points for being up front, Medical Guardian.
The only exception to this is add-ons — optional accessories that you can use to customize your system. Features like the Medical Guardian Lockbox, equipment protection plans, and 911 alerts all cost extra. Keep in mind that most aren’t strictly necessary.
Something else to keep in mind — Medical Guardian’s monthly fees are about on par with other in-class systems on the market today. The one exception is the price of the Mobile Guardian, which, at $44.95 per month, is a little above average. That said, an equipment fee isn’t required with this system. At the end of the day, we think Medical Guardian’s prices are exactly where they should be for the quality of service they provide.
|Medical Guardian Alert Systems||System Type||Monthly Plan Cost||One-Time Equipment Charge|
|Classic Guardian||At-Home / Landline||$29.95||$0|
|Home 2.0||At-Home / Wireless||$37.95||$149.95|
|Mobile 2.0||Mobile / Wireless||$44.95||$0|
|Mini Guardian||Mobile / Wireless||$39.95||$149.95|
|MGMove||Mobile / Wireless||$39.95||$199.95|
Discount Alert: Right now the Mini Guardian is 50 percent off, and they’re offering free shipping, a free lockbox, and a month of free service to boot.
In addition to a monthly payment plan, you can also opt into paying either quarterly or annually. The annual payment option will save you money in the long run (for example, brings monthly cost down to $27.45 a month for Classic Guardian) and scores you lots of freebies. However, it also requires a pretty steep upfront cost — you will need to put down as much as $495, depending on which model you choose. Keep in mind that this does include the cost of equipment, something that many companies charge separately for.
A Bonus for Spouses: With the spousal monitoring program, when you buy a second Medical Guardian pendant for either of the at-home systems, monitoring is covered for free.
We’ll touch on the alert systems and packages soon. For now, let’s go back to those add-ons we mentioned earlier. Medical Guardian offers add-ons and upgrades so that you can customize your system to meet your exact needs.
Some of these add-ons deliver clear medical benefits for seniors with specific needs, like fall detection. Other add-ons can provide some extra safety, like the wall-mounted emergency button. Others might not be necessary for every family, so it’s best to evaluate your own needs to keep your monthly costs low.
|Medical Guardian Add-On||Function||Price|
|Additional Neck or Wrist Pendant||At-Home Help Button||$2.99 per month|
|Fall Detection||Sensors for Most Wearable Devices||$10 per month|
|Entryway Key Lockbox||Lockbox||$2.99 per month|
|Wall-Mounted Button||Indoor Help Button||$2.99 per month|
|Voice-Activated Wall-Mounted Button||Indoor Help Button||$4.99 per month|
|Enhanced Emergency Notifications||Real-time Text & Email Notifications||$2.99 per month|
|Protection Plan||Warranty||$6.99 per month|
|Elite 911||One-button speaker with direct connect to 911||$9.99 per month|
|Step-Up Feature||Caregiver connection with MGMove||$5 per month|
Medical Guardian is one of our favorite alert systems, but if you’re looking for a budget-friendly solution, then we’d also recommend looking into Bay Alarm Medical packages. And one other low-priced option to check out — while testing and reviewing MobileHelp, we found that their systems also have reliable coverage at a competitive price.
There are five Medical Guardian alert systems to choose from, each of which includes different equipment and services. We’re going to break down each of them below, starting with the at-home units. These tend to be a little cheaper because they don’t require GPS monitoring or the other features more mobile people might need. After that, we’ll unpack the mobile units for seniors on the go.
It’s important to note that each of the alert systems below offers 24/7 professional monitoring by a TMA Five Diamond Monitoring Center. The Five Diamond designation recognizes those companies that meet the highest standards in professionalism, training and expertise in the alert industry.2 So you or your loved one can receive immediate help from highly-trained emergency agents at the push of a button. However, the similarities between packages abruptly end there.
FYI: One thing that distinguishes the three on-the-go medical alert systems from each other is fall detection. The Mobile 2.0 offers fall detection through a separate help button pendant. With the Mini, fall detection is built into the mobile device, making it a true all-in-one system. The MGMove, worn on the wrist, does not offer fall detection at all.
This system includes a base station and either a bracelet or necklace help button. It’s fairly bare-bones, in our opinion, and it requires a landline hookup. However, it’s simple and affordable at $29.95 per month. One feature that really stands out is the range from the base station, which at 1,300 feet, is definitely one of the best out there. An older adult who uses a landline and has a large home or yard could definitely benefit from this system.
Who It’s Best For: Classic Guardian is best for home-bound seniors who have a landline in their home.
FYI: The base unit for the in-home systems both have at least a 32-hour backup battery in case of a power outage. We always like to see this feature as severe weather events and equipment failures can occur anywhere, anytime.
For just a few dollars more per month, at $37.95 per month, Home 2.0 comes with a high-quality base station and the option of a black or white watch band or a lanyard to use with the help button. But the main difference between this and Classic Guardian is that Home Guardian uses cellular monitoring via AT&T. So Home 2.0 is a great option for those families and individuals who have eliminated their landline. And, as noted in our guide to the best cellular medical alert systems, the range has recently been updated from 600 to 1,400 feet, which is an industry high.
Who It’s Best For: Home Guardian is best for home-bound seniors who want ultra-fast response times and don’t mind losing some range for it.
The Mini Guardian is a go-anywhere unit that is small and discreet. It will also cover users anywhere they happen to go in the U.S., so long as there’s a signal through Verizon’s 4G cellular network.
How small is it? Well, without getting too technical, it weighs about 1.3 oz, less than a single slice of whole-grain bread. In addition to being light, though, it’s also fairly inconspicuous. It’s flat, and it measures just 1 ½” x 1”. For reference, that’s about the size of a raffle ticket. In short, it’s easy to take anywhere, and it won’t draw attention to anyone wearing it.
A few other unique features — it comes in three colors (black, white, and silver), has a five-day battery life, and uses both GPS and Wi-Fi for precise location detection.
Who It’s Best For: Seniors who leave home often and want an alert device that goes virtually unseen.
This system comes with a mobile device that can function as a base station and a traditional pendant button or bracelet button for protection at home. At $44.95 per month, this reliable option also includes advanced GPS tracking and a 500-foot at-home range for the pendants.
Who It’s Best For: Mobile Guardian is best for seniors who desire reliable at-home and on-the-go coverage.
For seniors who care about having the latest gadgets, the MGMove is a stylish smartwatch that just happens to double as an alert device. Of course, if you need help, you can get it with a single touch of the watch’s oversized touchscreen face. In addition, though, you can check the weather, keep track of your exercise routines, and organize your day. Add the Social Circle Apps Package, and you can keep up with friends and family using MGMove’s unique voice-to-text capabilities. The watch comes in either black or white and costs $199 plus $39.95 per month for monitoring.
Who It’s Best For: The MGMove is best for fashion-forward seniors who want the most discreet and functional alert system available.
Pro Tip: Medical Guardian offers monthly, quarterly, semi-annual, and annual plans. However, we recommend just going with month-to-month coverage, unless you have the budget to work with to purchase the equipment upfront.
No matter which Medical Guardian device you choose, you get access to the brand-new MyGuardian app. This app’s intuitive interface is specially designed for seniors and allows users to easily organize their monitoring plans and get help from customer service. Billing is simple. You can check all your past payments, make a one-time payment, or set up autopay using a credit card or bank account. Communication is just as simple. You can reach out to members of your Care Circle, and you can make decisions about who to add to that circle. You can also use it for location tracking, to set up reminders for medications and daily tasks, and to store emergency medical information.
At the time of this writing, Medical Guardian is offering 50 percent off on a mini device, plus a month of free service, free shipping, and a lockbox. Keep an eye out throughout the year, though, as deals like this come and go fairly frequently.
|Classic Guardian||Home 2.0||Mobile 2.0|
|View Packages||View Packages||View Packages|
|24-Hour, U.S. Based, Emergency Monitoring||24-Hour, U.S. Based, Emergency Monitoring||24-Hour, U.S. Based, Emergency Monitoring|
|Two-Way Communication with 1300 Feet of Coverage||Two-Way Communication with 1,400 Feet of Coverage||Two-Way Communication with 500 Feet of Coverage|
|Power Outage Protection||Power Outage Protection||Power Outage Protection|
|On-the-go and at-home coverage|
|Wearable Medical Alert Button||Wearable Medical Alert Button||Wearable Medical Alert Button|
|Base Station||Base Station||Mobile device|
|Additional Medical Alert Buttons||Additional Medical Alert Buttons||Additional Medical Alert Buttons|
|Fall Alert Pendant||Fall Alert Pendant||Fall Alert Pendant|
|Voice-Activated Wall Button||Voice-Activated Wall Button||Voice-Activated Wall Button|
|Lock Box||Lock Box||Lock Box|
|System Protection Plan||System Protection Plan||System Protection Plan|
Medical Guardian offers a decent lineup of alert systems and add-ons. The prices are a touch higher than what we typically expect to see for alert systems like these. But then again, the features are more advanced than most of the services we’ve researched and tested.
We do think the at-home landline option (Classic Guardian) is too expensive for what you get, but we liked the higher-tier mobile plans. In fact, we can see merit in all three mobile alert systems — that is, if you’re willing to pay the price. Keep in mind that similar options are about $5 to $15 cheaper per month on average. You can compare the starting monthly prices of various alert systems in our rundown of the similar options. That said, we do recommend the Mobile 2.0 and Mini Guardian if you’re always on the move.
Now, when we say the prices are “a touch higher” than other brands, it’s really not that bad. Some medical alert brands can really set you back for alert coverage. For instance, while researching and testing Life Alert, we found their systems to be priced pretty steep for what you get. You can learn more about this option in our Life Alert cost guide.
Medical Guardian is a company that truly cares about seniors, which is unique. In their case, the positive company culture permeates from the top-down. One of their company’s core values is, “customers above all else,” and it shows from their CEO down to their customer service agents.
Founder and CEO, Geoff Gross, launched Medical Guardian out of his apartment in Philadelphia back in 2005.4 Fast forward 15+ years, and today Geoff’s company has helped over 200,000 seniors find peace of mind and a renewed sense of confidence. Geoff was named a Glassdoor Top CEO in 2018.5
No, all of their plans are month-to-month, cancel anytime.
No, Medical Guardian only offers one alert system that requires a landline, while their other five systems use a wireless cellular connection.
Medical Guardian does not charge cancellation fees, and they provide prorated refunds for months of unused service. However, Medical Guardian does not provide a free trial period.
These devices are slightly more expensive than the industry average, but the features and tech are more advanced than most alert systems.
It depends on your budget and lifestyle. But if you do choose Medical Guardian, we would recommend one of their mobile units.
Medical Guardian. (2021). Medical Alert System Provider. https://www.medicalguardian.com/risk-assessment
The Monitoring Association. (2021). For Consumers – Why Five Diamond Recognition Is Important!
Smartwatch. Wikipedia. Retrieved May 8, 2020. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smartwatch
Medical Guardian. (2021). A Family-First Approach.
BusinessWire.com. (2018, June 20). Medical Guardian Founder & CEO, Geoff Gross, Named a Glassdoor Top CEO in 2018.