The Best Medical Alert Systems 2021
Medical Alert systems, also called personal emergency response systems (PERS) can offer a simple and effective way for people to age-in-place. For older adults, and people with medical issues, a medical alert system can help them remain independent at home and still feel safe and secure.
All types of emergencies can be monitored and addressed at the push of a button including – fires, falls, or anything that needs an emergency response
Medical warning systems are devices designed to call for help in the event of a medical emergency. While most medical alarm systems require you to press a button when help is needed, this new technology monitors your vital signs and automatically calls for help when a health emergency is imminent. A traditional medical warning system consists of a base station connected to a telephone line.
Medical alarm systems come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but the most basic of them usually offer a free-standing device that stays at home, or a trailer or other portable device that you can take along on the go. If you want to age-in-place for as long as possible or if have serious health concerns or a history of injury, a medical warning or emergency system can be helpful. Falls are a major threat to seniors, especially if you have a high risk of falling, such as a heart attack, stroke, or heart failure.
In an emergency, your mobile phone may not be available to call for help, so a free-standing device is usually a one-touch dialer that can be pre-programmed with a list of emergency contact numbers. You can simply press a big button and you will start contacting the list you have selected and someone will respond, or you can talk to someone and ask for help.
Some portable devices allow you to have an alarm button at any time, even while you’re in the shower, so you can stay safe anywhere. Some medical alarm systems offer GPS-enabled options at home and others offer an accompanying mobile app that is paired with the medical alarm system.
Each system offers different features, but most standards include GPS and other intuitive features. If you want to be able to track aging family members and receive real-time alerts about incidents, you should make sure you choose the package from a company with mobile app access. Some work by tracking user activity and allowing you to send or receive messages.
Medical and Guardian Bay Alarm Medical are currently the two largest alarm system providers offering smartwatch options. If you’re looking for a high-tech option, consider a smartphone app, such as the Apple Watch, Android Wear or Google Watch.
A simple push of a screen button connects you to a trained professional and you press the “Help” button to call for help. The Base Unit selects the Response Center that is connected to your medical alarm service. At this point, you will hear a series of loud signals as the unit tries to connect to the Response Center.
The standard medical warning system is a great way to maintain your independence while being prepared for an emergency. This is an excellent compromise when it comes to supporting your loved ones, and is a standard solution for those who want to maintain their independence and still be prepared for events such as emergencies. The proven medical alarm service AutoAlert detects falls and calls for help as soon as it notices a fall.
This way you can continue to live independently and if you ever experience a medical emergency, you can immediately request help and continue to live the same way.
Seniors often use medical alarm apps to complement your home and mobile medical alarm systems. Medical alarm systems are simply devices that send a warning to an alarm panel when activated. As soon as the panel hears it, the alarm for the event will be made in real-time.
The best medical alarm systems use motion detectors and other sensors to let you know when your loved ones are leaving their bed or moving around from room-to-room. The alarm systems for seniors use sensors such as heart rate monitors, blood pressure monitors and blood glucose monitors to monitor in an emergency. These systems are excellent for monitoring elderly family members who need additional help.
The 7 Best Medical Alert Systems
- Life Alert – Best for Personal Protection
- Philips Lifeline – Easiest to use
- GreatCall Lively – Fast Call Response Time
- Alerta – Best For Dementia and Alzheimers
- Medical Care Alert – Best Fall Detection
- Alert 1 – Best Cellular Coverage
- MobileHelp – Best Mobile App Tools
The Industry Leader offers Emergency Medical & Protection Response Systems since 2008
Life Alert is a Personal Emergency Response and Home Medical Alert System company that saves lives from catastrophes. They handled over 2 million calls a year.
The Signature Main unit
Gives you the choice of cellular or landline, with backup battery and 24/7 US-based monitoring.
Becomes a life-saving link to the outside world and medical attention.
The pendant is lightweight and completely waterproof with a range of 800 FT.
The Help Button for the Shower and Bathroom Emergencies
Perfect for shower, bathtub, bathrooms and bedrooms. Just push one button and speak directly to the Emergency Monitoring Center.
For the emergencies away from home. The batteries never need charging with GPS included. You can wear it, or carry it in your pocket or purse.
Help on the Go + GPS
Emergency protection in the shower, help on the go with GPS, with batteries that never need charging.
Fully waterproof with 800 Ft range, wear as a pendant or a wristband, the batteries never need charging.
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First to provide personal alert service in North America
Founded in 1974, by a gerontologist and a sociologist, developed the first Lifeline system, selling to hospitals and healthcare organizations in the US and Canada and expanding their technology to include waterproof buttons that can be worn in the shower.
GoSafe 2 has 5 locating technologies so no matter where you are, you can get help, it’s designed to find you whenever, wherever you are 24/7, connecting you to a trained response associate.
No surprise hidden fees, no enrollment fee, or long-term contracts or service cancellation fees.
They feature a multi-lingual response center and they’re always ready to take your call.
Can message multiple family members, close neighbors, or emergency services.
Single piece system with multiple advanced location technologies, fall detection capabilities and two-way vice communication. $49.95/month, plus a one time $99.95 device fee
Comes in an easy to wear pendant – two-way voice communication provides fast access.
This delivers peace of mind at home. Connects to your landline for $29.95/month, plus a one time $50 activation fee. You choose either a pendant or a wristband. If you don’t have a landline and you need to connect to the cellular services for $43.95/month plus a one-time $50 activation fee.
When you press the button, it acts like a 2-way speakerphone, it can be worn in the shower or bathtub, where falls are most likely to occur.
Long lasting battery, they replace it automatically, the alert button will send alert from anywhere in the house, as long as you’re within range of the communicator.
Simple, list based menu, large 5.5′ screen makes it easy to see.
Voice typing enabled makes texting easier. Front facing speaker for better conversations. Video chat with family and friends. Long lasting battery, with built-in 13 MP camera with flash. Has a 5Star urgent Response button, Mobile Internet access and directions.
Get help anywhere, anytime 24/7. Highly trained certified agents answer your calls, with enhanced GPS. Has Fall detection and is waterproof.
easy to use with big buttons, large screen, Amazon Alexa, Urgent response button with a powerful speaker. The phone has a 8 MP camera with a long lasting battery with a magnifier and flashlight. Comes in Red and Black.
Lively Wearable 2
Get help anywhere 24/7, more sleek and stylish with fall detection available, water resistant and up to 4 months of battery life. Has a step tracker, daily health tips, wear as a wristband or around the neck.
What is a Medical Alert System?
Medical Alert Systems are life-saving devices that connect the user with help when they press a button, or when a fall is detected. There are a lot of options on the market right now and they vary in service, features and quality. With so many choices to research, we’ve done that tedious work for you! We present the best devices on the market and our favorites.
How We Judge Each Medical Alert System
When our team decided to evaluate medical alert systems, we had our work cut out for us! Not only are there so many options of different devices, they each have their own set of unique functions, but we knew there should be certain standard options that all systems should have, this is what we looked for regardless of the type:
- Reliable Equipment – Medical Alert Systems all claim to be built to last, and the ones we’ve featured were made to handle drops or falls and should last for many years.
- Easy to Use – The goal of a medical alert system to help simplify your life and give you peace of mind. This applies to users and their caregivers. The devices we suggested are easy to use.
- Great Customer Service – Having a human touch is the key to this business and companies who offer superior care for their customers, from the customer service reps to the dispatch agents.
- Affordable Price – Medical Alert Systems tend to cost between $20 and $40 per month for traditional in-home systems, if you need a portable unit, they cost a bit extra.
- Flexible Contracts – Senior Affairs doesn’t believe in recommending long contracts, we’ve seen some companies try to lock in customers for 3-year agreements, meaning in order to cancel, you’ll pay a penalty, or keep paying for the service to complete the commitment!
The Ins and Outs of Medical Alert Systems
If you’ve ever seen or heard that commercial on TV for Life Alert, “Help, I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!”
With this simple line, you have a general idea of the function of a medical alert system, if an emergency were to happen, a system like this would connect you to a live agent at a monitering station, they have trained staffed available to offer assistance 24/7. They can talk you through any situation and coordinate a proper response – if that’s sending an ambulance or contacting a neighbor.
There are many types of medical alert systems, some use a landline connection, some operate on cell service. Some systems are designed to provide service at home, some are made to be portable. You can even get services that have apps for your smartphone for easy use.
#4 Alerta – Best For Dementia and Alzheimers
Specialized products for loved ones with dementia or Alzheimers
These products are innovated to liberate the caregiver to attend to other tasks and have the peace of mind knowing their loved one is safe.
It’s smaller than a credit card so it can easily be hidden in the vehicle. Weighs less than three pennies. Its ready to use out of the box.
Allows you to record and playback messages, always a helpful voice in the house, even when you’re not there.
Since it’s motion activated you can remind them to “hold the handrail” or “healthy, drink water” or Good morning, watch your step”
Portable, record up to 2-minute messages, it’s motion sensing range is up to 13 ft.
People use them often near staircases to remind their loved ones to be safe.
Easy to install, uses 3 AAA batteries. Fits anywhere without being noticed!
Try the revolutionary GPS Vehicle Tracking, low cost, long battery life, concealable device, easy to install that provides tracking reports via text messaging or email.
No battery recharging or additional fees, you can always see your loved ones position on the map.
Can be placed anywhere in the vehicle for 2 years without a battery change.
Comfortable wearable patch, not a removable bracelet, lanyard, or shoe insert. Loud alarm sounds if your loved one wonders off too far. Works in the house or outside on the go. Doesn’t impact your daily activities, discreet and waterproof.
Doesn’t need Wi-fi or phone, with no contract and no month service. Starts at $159
Door-Open Alarm – Alerta Chime is a door-open sensor, so you know when your loved ones are going in and out.
You can choose different voice messages or alarm notification sounds, just copy the audio to the device memory.
You can adjust the volume so loud it can be heard through the entire house.
Easy to install and fits anywhere. This is a low costs solution for $19.99
#5 Medical Care Alert – Best Fall Detection
Uses advanced AutoFALL detection technology
One of the leading providers of medical alert systems in the US covering all 50 states. You don’t have to worry about trying a system from MedicalCare Alert because they offer a risk-free trial, and return policy. They have an A+ rating with the BBB and are a repeat winner of the Angies List Super Service Award for outstanding customer service.
These systems normally work off of landlines which can be the old telephone service or the new VOIP or DSLP, but if you don’t have one, that’s ok, you can use their cellular option with AT&T for $5/mos.
You simply connect your phone line and plug in the device and it’s ready to use.
You can choose to wear your waterproof medical alert call button as a necklace, wristband or on your hip.
You can push the button as many times as you like, there is NO extra charge, there is a 2-way speaker and microphone so have the piece of mind that someone will be available 24/7.
HOME with AutoFALL Pendant
If you want fall detection in and around the home. Pendant has 400 ft range from the base station. Add cellular communication if you don’t have a landline.
HOME & AWAY ULTRA With AutoFALL Detection
Go anywhere in the US with built-in fall detection sensors, just talk into the speaker for help. GPS location services and cellular communication in a small 2 ounce shower-safe device.
The Fall Detection Uses Advanced Technologies
The technology in the HOME & AWAY systems information comes from sensors and accelerometers to accurately detect a fall. The fall detector doesn’t detect 100% of falls but the software has algorithms
HOME & AWAY DUO With AutoFALL Detection
The HOME & AWAY DUO is a mobile alert system with GPS communication . Separate AutoFALL pendant is lightweight and shower-safe.
Alert 1 Medical Alert Systems
Versatile device options with GPS and Fall Detection coupled with flexible payment plans.
You can choose from four different payment plans – Monthly, quarterly, annually, or triennially
24/7 Emergency monitoring service with free standard shipping
Push the medical alert button, connect to the 24/7 Command Center, you decide who they call in an emergency. Wifi is not required.
600 ft range from the base, showerproof medical alert button and works with pacemakers.
The fall alert system will call for help automatically if the pendent senses a fall.
The pendant doesn’t have to recharged, it lasts for over 2 years with a low battery detector.
30-day refund policy when you subscribe to a 3-year, annual, semi-annual, or quarterly service plan and return the device in original condition.
If you suffer a fall and can’t speak, the unit has accelerometers which are small devices that have sensors that detect changes in motion and body position.
2 Systems – In-The-Home
Can get a discount for 2 users on the system. Fall detection is extra ($8/mos), Do you have a landline? If not Wireless is $10/mos
Price is $16.95 – $28.95/mos.
Kelsi Pro On-the-go + Medical Alert Systems with GPS and Fall Detection
No landline is needed, these have location detection using GPS, Wi-Fi and cellular technology, up to 5 days of battery life between charges, 24/7 fall detection security
Wear around the neck, they use 911 technology to send you help while you’re on the go. The speaker is 2-way and loud as a cellphone. 30 day battery life, unlimited talk time and button presses.
No cell phone is needed and uses Verizon network, no internet connection or Wifi is needed. No Fall detection.
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Push the button and get help at home or on the go. The system includes a home base unit, mobile unit and a waterproof help button that you can wear in the shower or bathtub. – Starts at $41.95/month
Has AT&T coverage
They provide free equipment while subscribed to services, free shipping, free lockbox with every order, free activation, landline is not needed, no cellular contract is needed and no long-term contracts, no hidden fees.
This is a pack of (2) GPS alert systems, with one low price. Starts from $44.95
Push the button, summon emergency help at home or away. The system includes a mobile unit to be used on the go, or at home, and a waterproof help button you can wear in the shower or bathtub. Starts at $37.95
How Do Medical Alert Systems Work?
By standard, all medical alert systems have a basic function. When the trigger is hit, a medical alert system quickly connects tyou to the mnitering service. The operator will assess the sitation and act accordingly.
There are a few different types of medical alert systems used in and outside the home.
In-Home Medical Alert Systems
- In-Home Traditional – This is the most affordable option and is simple to operate. It’s meant to be used in the home because it requires a working landline. You or your caregivers can set this up, you just plug in the power and phone jack.
- In-Home Cellular – No landline? That’s ok, there are many medical alert companies that offer in-home systems that use a cell connection, the cost of the cellular service is included with your plan. The systems look identical to landline units and a little more expensive.
Both kinds of in-home systems have a base-station with a two-way speaker. This is what you use when you want to communicate with the monitering service. You can activate it with a small button on your neck or wrist.
Keep in mind the range that you might need, the further the distance you’ll be with the device from the base unit should be a consideration. The best systems on the market now have a range of over 1300 feet, which should cover most homes. We generally recommend a system that can also cover your complete outside yard as well, as falls can occur outside as well.
Mobile Medical Alert Systems
Mobile or on-the-go medical alert systems are perfect for people who want access to monitering personnel outside their homes. These systems use a cell connection and feature 2-way communication with a help button, giving you the same protection as a home device, but portable.
Some mobile devices are GPS capable and allows the monitering staff and your loved ones to always locate the user when the device is turned on. The feature is important becuse if a seller cannot speak or verbalize their location if they are afraid, hurt, confused or experiencing an emergency.
Medical Alert Smart Watches
Medical alert smart watches are a relatively new addition to the market. These discreet, stylish devices pack all the punch of the other units in that they full featured despite their small size, most work independent of a cell phone, and they look like wrist watches. These are life-saving, function devices with watches, activity tracker and messengers. Our favorite medical alert smart watches can be set to provide medication reminders and location data.
How Does Medical Alert Monitoring Work?
A medical alert system connects you with a monitering center. Ok, I know what you’re thinking, what is a monitering center? To say it simply, it’s a company contracted out that receives distress calls, assesses situations, (emergencies or not) and then handles the situation appropriately – sometimes calling medical services or notifying someone close by like a neighbor or family member who can check up on the senior.
The monitering centers have well-trained employees who are specialists at senior care
Which Medical Alert System is Right For You?
If you’re thinking about buying a medical alert system, here are some questions you should think about.
In-Home or On-The-Go?
For the most part, medical alert systems can be broken down into two categories, systems for in-home use, and systems for outside the home. Both types give full functionality, but depends on your lifestyle.
In-home systems either connect through landline or cellular connection. When you press the button (usually worn on the neck or the wrist) you’ll instantly be connected to your monitering center through your base unit, which should have a speakerphone and microphone for 2-way communication. This system is perfect for those who plan to spend most of their time inside, although some systems have a wide enough range that they’ll have connectivity outside in your yard as well.
On-the-Go systems connect through cellular service, giving you the freedom to go just about anywhere with decent service, usually worn as a pendant or wristband r even smartwatch, these systems give you peace of mind and security for both the user and their concerned caregivers. These are a little more expensive however.
What Are Your Monitoring Needs?
Each of the systems we mention have 24/7 service, some of them have more personalize features you can enable as well. Using the new caregiver apps and platforms, loved ones and their caregivers can keep track of each other, with the caregiver knowing exactly the location of the device and can monitor their activity and even make sure they they’re wearing the device.
Do You Want Fall Detection?
A feature that is well worth the price of $5 to $15 extra/month is fall detection technology, most medical alert systems have an automatic fall detection option.
What is Automatic Fall Detection?
Falls are the leading cause of injury for seniors, it’s crucial to find ways to prevent this, and deal with it, if it happens. Often if you fall hard, you may not be able to call for help, that’s where fall detection helps!
Using fancy accelerometer technology, an automatic detection pendant can detect a fall and automatically make a call to the monitering staff with the user doing anything. This technology isn’t 100% accurate, and false alerts will naturally happen. However if your loved one were to have an accident or medical emergency and can’t press the emergency button, it’s nice to know that help can be reached.
As a current caregiver for a senior, we take pride in helping people navigate the complicated world of medical alert systems. Everyone deserves independence, regardless of their age, and a reliable medical alert system is the right tool for the job.
Medical Alert System Frequently Asked Questions
Will a medical alert system keep my mom/dad out of assisted living?
Keep in mind that having a medical alert system solves one issue and that there are many challenges to stay at home as you get older. Of course having one couldn’t hurt, in fact, if you combine that system with items like walk-in tubs, you can ensure independence for as long as possible.
Are there medical alert systems without monthly fees?
All monthly alert systems have monthly fees, these are most often monitering and equipment lease fees combined. Startup costs are low.
Why won’t my loved ones wear their medical alert device?
I know it can be frustrating spending all that time, energy researching and spending the money on a safety device for your loved one, just to find out that they won’t wear it! You should ask them why. Is it uncomfortable? Are they embarrassed by it? Or are they simply forgetting to put it on? If it’s uncomfortable, you should try another device. Most systems hang around the neck like a pendant or on a lanyard, you could hide the device under their clothes, or get them a discreet smartwatch. If they can’t or won’t wear the button around the house, try a voice-activated wall button that you can place in a specific area where a fall could occur.
How can I avoid long-term contracts for my medical alert system?
If you chose any of the options we recommend, you won’t have to commit to a long-term agreement. Some companies will offer you a discount if you make a annual or quarterly payment as opposed to a monthly payment, if you choose a different unit, make sure you read the fine print!
Why is a medical alert system better than a cell phone?
If in emergency happens, a cell phone might be hard to work, or it may not be within arms reach, with a medical alert system it’s only a push of a button or a voice command away from help.
Does Medicare pay for medical alert systems?
Unfortunately, Medicare does not cover medical alert systems right now, it’s something that’s discussed in the industry, with many medical alert systems advocating for a change, with that said, some health insurance companies will cover systems for their members, you should check with your company.
Best Unmonitored Medical Alert Systems For Seniors
Most injuries to seniors happen at home. This is due to the deterioration of coordination and decline in bone density stability as we continue to age. The injuries may appear minor at first but ultimately become worse as time goes by. This is why seniors require medical alert systems to help them remain safe and independent while at home. Below are some of the best unmonitored medical alert systems for seniors:
With a 500-foot range, easy attachment features and easy to use emergency call buttons, this medical alert system will suit any senior. It has waterproof receivers and adjustable volume to suit seniors suffering from hearing impairment. Seniors can rely on this medical alert system to alert their caregivers in the event of an emergency.
First and foremost, this medical alert system is very portable. Seniors can wear it as a watch or pendant. Seniors using this device do not have to rely on a caregiver to make or receive calls. This alarm system has received positive reviewers from many first-hand users thus qualifying it as one of the best unmonitored medical alert systems for seniors. This system comes with 32 alarm sounds, is very portable, waterproof, and has a system range of about 500 feet. With such compelling features, seniors can easily reach out to their loved ones when they need an emergency response.
The wireless caregiver pager is equipped with a motion sensor light that operates as a night light to keep seniors safe while moving at night. It is waterproof hence can be carried outside and in the washroom. Seniors can easily raise an alarm whenever they meet a dangerous encounter that requires the intervention of a caregiver. This medical alert system will allow them to call for urgent help.
This alert system gives seniors a peaceful mind by its ability to connect to six contacts. When an emergency occurs, all that users need to do is to press the 2 panic buttons for the system to call their emergency contacts. The seniors will enjoy clear communication and enhanced hearing. Last but not least, this phone has LED backlight display and large-text to suit seniors with vision impairment.
The Guardian alert 911 phone allows seniors to have two-way communication with a local 911 emergency operator. The alert system is kept up to date to make sure it works effectively so that seniors can receive the assistance they need within the shortest time possible.
Medical alert systems allow seniors to call for assistance whenever met with a predicament beyond their capability. They are able to notify caregivers or medical practitioners to administer the necessary intervention. However, not all medical alerts systems will serve the intended purpose in the best way possible. This is why you ought to consider some of the best unmonitored medical alert systems for seniors discussed in this article to make an informed purchase.