Whether you’re securing your own home or helping out a loved one, there are a few key things to look for when choosing a home security system for a senior. First off, you’ll want to size up your options based on vital qualities like price, ease-of-use, installation method, and customer service record. Those are the things that matter to all of us, no matter what our age group.
Do you want a system you can set up yourself (with no technical skills necessary)? If so, SimpliSafe, Frontpoint, or Brinks may be the way to go. Or would you prefer one of the industry’s best systems with professional installation? For that, classic brands like ADT and Vivint are worthwhile options.
Did You Know: According to AARP, the majority of people aged 50 and over want to remain in their current home and community. In fact, much of the increased interest in DIY home security systems is driven by older people living alone, and by relatives who can use the systems to check in on loved ones remotely.1
Next, think about special features that’ll be of use to seniors, like a top-notch medical alert system, hazard sensors (water leak detectors, smoke and CO monitors, etc.), and security cameras. Installing security cameras can be an easy way to check on seniors living alone, since the best cameras in the industry all allow remote access via a mobile app. Each of our top six home security systems for seniors offers environmental sensors to notify you of fire, flood, and more. They also each offer video cameras. And most of them have some form of alert system that can be used in the event of a medical emergency, like a panic button or a fall detection service.
We’ll break down the equipment, features, and costs of each of our top six home security systems, and tell you why we think they’re a great choice for seniors. All of these systems have 24/7 professional monitoring that you can rely on. The system you choose will depend on your unique situation and the qualities that matter most to you.
ADT offers reliable service, professional installation, and the best guarantee in the business. ADT’s professional monitoring is second to none in reliability.
ADT is one of the oldest and most well-known home security brands in the business — and their good reputation is well earned. While ADT costs more than DIY systems like SimpliSafe or Frontpoint, ADT offers advanced features that millions of Americans find well worth the price. Those features include professional installation, top-of-the-line equipment, and award-winning 24/7 professional monitoring.
If you’re a senior who plans to stay in your home for at least a few years — and you value having a team of professionals monitoring your alarm at all times — then ADT is a top choice for you. You’ll have to sign an ADT contract of (on average) three years, but you’ll also enjoy a generous six-month money-back guarantee that gives you plenty of time to try out the system and make sure it meets your needs. Learn even more about this classic brand in our hands-on ADT review.
With ADT, you’ll get professional installation (starting around $99) by a friendly technician who will stick around afterward to teach you how to use your new system. You’ll generally pay more for ADT equipment than other brands, but you’ll enjoy a better product that’s built to last. And with ADT you pay for your equipment over time, which takes the sting out of the higher equipment price tag. You can also take advantage of ADT deals to lower your costs even further.
All ADT security plans include the cost of equipment and ADT professional monitoring. Prices start around $27.99 per month for a basic plan and range up to $59.99 per month for a more advanced plan with video cameras and ADT home automation. Your ADT rep can set you up with a custom package that fits your home.
ADT has tons of advanced add-on features like smart thermostats to regulate temperature and save on energy costs, smart door locks, and smart light switches and plugs. The ADT Control app even has voice recognition capability that lets you manage all the smart devices in your home with the sound of your voice.
Finally, ADT Health medical alert systems offer fast response times, and both in-home and on-the-go monitoring. You can get plans starting at $29.99 per month, with a rate-lock guarantee. There are no long-term contracts, and you can get special features like fall detection.
Like ADT, Vivint is a professionally installed top-of-the-line home security system that combines robust equipment with 24/7 professional monitoring. It costs more than DIY systems like SimpliSafe or Frontpoint, but it also has more bells and whistles than you get with those other systems. So if you want the Mercedes of home security, Vivint just might be for you. (And trust us, it’s easy enough to use for seniors who don’t like fussing with new technology.)
With Vivint, you can control your alarm and smart home devices (like video cameras, smart thermostats, and smart door locks) with the Vivint mobile app or the Vivint Smart Hub. This all-in-one hub has a 7-inch touch-screen display (about the size of an iPad Mini) that lets you arm and disarm your system, set custom notifications and rules, view your video camera feeds, and do almost everything the app can.
Speaking of the Vivint app, it’s got a sleek, modern design, and tons of functionality. You can set custom notifications so you get alerts if a door is left open, or a package is left on the porch, and much more. And you can schedule custom actions to happen automatically, like having the alarm disarm at the same time every morning. The Vivint app is so user-friendly and multifunctional that it ranks No. 1 on our list of best home security mobile apps.
Vivint security packages range in price from about $599 to $1,800; you should be able to get a great setup for somewhere in the $800 to $1,000 range. Vivint isn’t cheap, but their products are among the best. And you don’t have to pay for the equipment up front. You can finance your system by signing a Vivint contract of one to five years. This will enable you to spread the cost out over time, with affordable monthly payments.
Vivint monitoring plans are competitive in price, aligning pretty well with those of ADT. They start at $29.99 per month and range up to $45 per month or more, depending on how many cameras you have installed. Vivint cameras, by the way, are among their strongest products. Read our full Vivint home security analysis to learn what it’s like using Vivint’s security system, including their indoor, outdoor, and doorbell cameras.
Like ADT, Vivint offers a medical alert system for seniors.3 It includes a medical alert pendant that you can wear as a necklace or bracelet. In the event of an emergency, just push the button on the pedant to alert Vivint’s award-winning support team. They’ll send medical help right away, and notify designated family members. You can customize your Vivint medical alert system with a variety of features, like video cameras, smart door locks, and more.
Cove’s DIY home security systems with professional monitoring can help to provide a safer home environment. But they can also give independent older folks a cushion of comfort and protection with affordable medical alert devices and 24/7 real-time access to loved ones without the burden of expensive, long-term contracts.
Seniors who opt to live independently don’t necessarily need medical alert devices. But plenty of golden agers do want affordable home security that doesn’t take an advanced degree in Manual Reading to set up. We found that Cove offers both.
Cove’s two packages are about the easiest we’ve installed and cheaper than average without any strings roping subscribers into uncomfortable contract situations. You pay a flat $14.99-$24.99 per month — minus equipment which runs about $225 for a 2,000 sq. ft. home — and can cancel at any time. Add-ons are also cheap. In fact, you can grab a Cove medical alert pendant for 10 bucks, and get instant access to Cove’s security professionals 24/7.
The one big advantage of Cove Plus, the premium plan, is that it gives seniors live video streaming via the Cove app. While seniors themselves might not be gung-ho about smartphones (though plenty are), the app is a great way for families to stay connected, especially in emergency situations. For Cove’s full offering, check out our complete guide to Cove’s features and costs.
Finally, for seniors with hearing loss, Cove has pioneered a feature called InstaText™, which lets older folks communicate via SMS so they don’t have to worry about talking to an operator or not hearing an important alert. Read all about our experience installing and getting to know our Cove system in our Cove home security analysis.
Frontpoint offers contract-free home security systems with easy DIY installation, nice smartphone controls, and tons of add-on equipment with advanced features.
You get lots of flexibility and independence with Frontpoint’s home security systems. There’s no need to sign a contract or invite technicians into your house to drill holes in your walls. Instead, you get a contract-free system that you can install yourself easily without any technical skills. The equipment is wireless, and comes preprogrammed with out-of-the-box functionality.4
Choose from many different Frontpoint equipment packages, or create your own system from scratch to custom-suit your needs. All equipment comes with a three-year limited warranty, which is one of the better warranties in the industry. You’ll also get a 30-day, money-back guarantee, so you can try the system out risk-free. This is great, since Frontpoint is a bit pricier than other top DIY home security systems, and you’ll want to be sure it’s the right fit for you.
Frontpoint equipment packages start around $300 to $600 on sale ($400 to $800 MSRP). Plus, you’ll pay $50 per month for professional monitoring. For comparison, the best affordable home security systems start around $200 for equipment and $10 to $20 per month for monitoring.
Is Frontpoint worth the higher cost? That depends on what you’re looking for. Frontpoint excels in a couple of areas: robust, high-quality equipment and advanced technical features like home automation. For example, Frontpoint has a slick touch-screen control panel manufactured by GE. It runs on dual-path technology, which means it has two methods of communicating with the monitoring center. It uses a cellular signal as the primary method (this is the most reliable method), and your home’s Wi-Fi as a backup. So you’ll never have to worry that your system will lose its ability to contact help when you need it.
Frontpoint is also among the best home automation security systems, with innovative features like geofencing. This means Frontpoint can use your smartphone’s GPS to put an invisible “fence” around your home. Whenever you leave your “fence” without setting your alarm, you’ll get a mobile alert: Just tap the button in the app to secure your home.
This and other advanced features make Frontpoint a best bet for seniors who love efficiency and the ability to customize things. With Frontpoint’s add-on smart devices, like light sensors, smoke and heat sensors, and outlet controls, you’ll be able to automate everything so you can control all with your phone or voice. These features are a big plus for caretakers.
It’s worth mentioning that Frontpoint’s 24/7 professional monitoring has an impressively fast response time. When we tried Frontpoint at home (read our Frontpoint review), we experienced response times of 20 to 30 seconds. Industry average response times range from 30 to 45 seconds. So Frontpoint impresses when it comes to professional monitoring!
That said, if you’re not into technical features, and don’t think you’ll use the home automation capabilities, you’ll probably get more value out of a straightforward DIY system with nice smartphone controls, like SimpliSafe. (Check out our side-by-side comparison of Frontpoint vs. SimpliSafe.)
SimpliSafe offers exceptional home security at reasonable prices with no long-term contracts and easy DIY installation.
SimpliSafe is a value-packed home security system that’s affordable and easy to use, making it a winning choice for seniors. There are no installation or activation fees, no contracts, and no complicated equipment to deal with. That’s why we consistently rank SimpliSafe among the best home security systems on the market.
A basic SimpliSafe equipment package will run you about $230 to $300, and more robust packages go for $400 to $500. For your investment, you’ll get sleek, user-friendly equipment you can easily set up in just minutes. The wireless door and window sensors come with peel-and-stick adhesive on the back so you can quickly pop them into place — no technical skills needed.
You’ll control your SimpliSafe system with a wireless push-button keypad that’s a cinch to figure out. And if you prefer voice control, SimpliSafe works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. There’s also a SimpliSafe key fob you can use to control your alarm remotely.
You can monitor your SimpliSafe system yourself for free, but we recommend subscribing to one of SimpliSafe’s monitoring plans for the ability to control your system with the user-friendly mobile app. In the app, you can set up custom alerts and notifications, as well as view live footage from your video cameras. The basic SimpliSafe monitoring plan goes for $9.99 per month, and the more advanced plan (with 24/7 professional monitoring) is $24.99 per month.
Read about our hands-on experience in our SimpliSafe home security review. One thing that really impressed us was the quick response time from SimpliSafe’s professional monitoring team. Average industry response time is 30 to 45 seconds, but SimpliSafe only took an average of 20 seconds to respond to us. That’s fast!
And SimpliSafe is well loved by users. They’re ranked No. 1 in customer satisfaction (DIY category) on J.D. Power’s 2020 Home Security Satisfaction Study.2
As a senior, you may also be able to get an AARP discount of 15 percent on a new SimpliSafe security system. Check your AARP benefits guide for details.
Brinks offers affordable DIY home security systems with straightforward packages, reliable monitoring, and top-notch customer service. Their LiveVoice Assist allows you to speak with monitoring agents in real time using your touch-screen control panel.
There are lots of things to like about Brinks, a security industry leader since the 1800s. The company has seen many changes over the years, and the current Brinks offerings are robust and competitive. They offer three easy-to-understand home security equipment packages that range in price from $199 to $699. The mid-price Smart Security package, at $349, is our recommendation for best value. For more on our hands-on experience with Brinks, read our Brinks home security review.
Brinks’ packages include GE-manufactured equipment, so you can expect high quality. Particularly impressive is their touch-screen control panel, which doubles as a whole-home smart hub. The device is easy to use for seniors; you can even control it with your voice using Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant. And it has LiveVoice Assist, which gives you the ability to speak with monitoring agents in real time right through the control panel. This feature could be lifesaving in an emergency.
Brinks offers easy DIY installation that takes only 20 to 30 minutes. You get a 30-day, money-back guarantee, and a two-year warranty on equipment. Unfortunately, you do have to sign a three-year monitoring contract. Monitoring will cost you $39 to $49 per month, depending on your equipment. That’s a bit on the high end since industry-average is $20 to $30 per month. But you do save some money on equipment with Brinks compared to other security systems, so the total cost may average out in the end.
Another thing to note: If you’re going to partner with a security company for several years, you want them to be customer service experts, and Brinks delivers on that front.
We’re faced with a larger aging population now than at any other time in history. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, all baby boomers will be age 65 or older by 2030. This means that one in every five people will be at the retirement age.5 So home security for seniors is more important now than ever before.
The needs of seniors vary greatly from one age group to the next, and from one person to the next. Many seniors are tech savvy and interested in features like home automation. For them, ADT, Vivint, and Frontpoint would be best bets. Other seniors prefer to keep things simple, and for them the smart choice is SimpliSafe.
Check out our chart below for the key features to look for in home security systems. That should help you compare these top six systems to decide which one is right for you. Think about price, features, ease-of-use, and customer satisfaction. Also, keep in mind that some systems require you to sign a contract, while others don’t.
FYI: According to the National Council on Aging, 25 percent of Americans age 65 or older fall each year. Falls are the leading cause of fatal injury and the most common cause of nonfatal trauma among older adults. With this in mind, it’s a good idea to look for a home security system that offers a medical alert component, like a panic button.
All of the home security systems we’ve listed here include the option to add on a panic button of some sort, which means you’ll be able to signal for help in the event of a fall or medical emergency. In the case of ADT and Vivint, you can even get a full medical alert system. These features are of particular use if you or your loved one has mobility issues or a chronic health condition. Learn more about how medical alert devices work here.
Look for these key features in a home security system to get the most flexibility, ease-of-use, and comprehensive coverage for senior living.
Wireless DIY home security systems are a great solution for most seniors. The easy-to-install, battery powered equipment can be up and running in a matter of minutes. Hardwired security systems, on the other hand, typically require professional installation and have more of a learning curve. Both options deliver quality home protection to keep seniors safe in their homes.
These days, seniors and smart devices go hand-in-hand. If you have a smartphone, your home security system will send helpful activity alerts. These alerts keep you updated on your security status, and allow you to take necessary action if there’s a security breach. Mobile Alerts are a key feature that come standard with most senior home security systems.
Seniors prefer things to be easy. Thankfully, it doesn’t get much easier than Remote Control. This feature puts the controls on a tiny keychain device. Put it in your pocket or purse, and control your home security at the push of a button. You can arm and disarm the system, hit the panic button if there’s an emergency, and more.
Home security systems for the elderly come with an assortment of Entryway Sensors. These easy-to-install magnetic sensors go on your door frames and windows. When the system is set and a door or window is opened, the alarm sounds and you will most likely receive an alert. Put a layer of security around your home, and experience total home protection, day and night.
Here’s another device that stops criminals in their tracks. Mount a few motion detectors inside your home. When the detectors sense movement, the alarm sounds and alerts are sent. These devices deliver an effective range of up to 400 feet, keeping the inside of your home safe and sound. The best motion detectors can even distinguish between people and pets.
Burglars don’t think twice when it comes to breaking windows. That’s why glass break sensors have become a popular add-on for home security systems for seniors. These sophisticated sensors house an internal microphone that detects the sound frequency of glass breaking. When triggered, the sensor sounds the alarm and alerts are sent. This fantastic feature offers an added layer of protection.
24/7 Monitoring puts a team of emergency response professionals on your side. Most home security systems for older adults offer professional monitoring. This feature is especially helpful for seniors who don’t use smart devices. Instead of sending instant alerts to a smartphone, the monitoring center will field and process the alerts — often within seconds of the security breach.
No landline? No internet connection? No problem. Cellular monitoring is the go-to choice for home security connection. These wireless systems are powered by a cell network (much like your cell phone), so there’s no need for hardwiring into circuits. Seniors love cellular monitoring because it’s easy, effective, and extremely reliable.
Place a panic button in your kitchen, shower, near the stairs, and other high-risk areas around your home. Panic buttons and pendants can prove lifesaving for seniors. In a moment of distress, help is always close at hand. This feature seamlessly connects to many home security systems for loved ones, adding a little extra peace of mind.
Baig, Edward C. (2021, April 12). What You Need to Know About Home Monitoring Systems. AARP.
J.D. Power. (2020, Oct 28). Reasons Shift for Purchasing or Upgrading Home Security System, J.D. Power Finds.
Vivint. (2021). Medical Alert Systems Home Page.
Siegel, Jesse. (2020, Jan 24). Connected security devices are helping elderly parents age in place with dignity and safety. Frontpoint.
U.S. Census Bureau. (2019, Oct 8). Older People Projected to Outnumber Children for First Time in U.S. History.
As Managing Editor for SafeHome.org, Rob Gabriele has written and edited over 1,000 articles in home security. His expertise is in smart home automation and home protection with thousands of hours of testing and research under his belt. Formerly a reporter and producer for the USAToday network, Rob has been a writer and editor for over 10 years. He holds a Master’s of Science with an emphasis on writing from the University of Montana, and he currently lives in the Reno/Tahoe area of Nevada.