If you are a senior citizen requiring care or you have a senior person at home and you do not want to take them to a care home, you might want the best medical alert systems for seniors.
Most people ask: Are medical alert systems worth it?
Well, according to the CDC, one in every four adults aged over 65 years of age reports a fall at least once a year. Now, 37 percent of the elderly who report falling each year also report injuries that need medical attention.
So, from the above explanation, we believe you already have the answer to the question of whether it is worth it to invest in a medical alert system.
A medical alert system is like a caregiver who never sleeps, never gets tired and never fails.
There are tens of medical alert systems for seniors. Since all manufacturers claim theirs to be the best, it can be hard for you to choose one for the first time. Usually, the choice comes down to the features that it comes with, the fees that you will pay and the convenience.
Usually, the choice of a top rated medical alert system comes down to two categories – mobile (on-the-go) or home based (landline and cellular-based) alert system.
The home based medical alerts are good for seniors who do not lead an active lifestyle. You will wear a pendant on the neck or on the wrist. If the need arises and you press the button on the pendant, the medical alert message is distributed as programmed.
Usually, for such a system, you have to be within a certain range, which differs from one system to another.
As their name suggests, these are mobile by nature. Therefore, the user of such a system can move around the neighborhood knowing that if they need help, they just need to press the button on the pendant they wear around their neck or their wrist.
Your mobile medical alert system could also come with a smartwatch that you wear on your wrist all the time. Basically, such systems incorporate GPS and cell connection.
As a result, the On-The-Go units are a bit bulkier than what you would wear on your person for in-home systems. They might also consume more power but they are totally worth it.
To help you make a good choice, we have brought you these five medical alert systems for seniors. You can compare the features and the pricing of each before you make a decision.
The MobileHelp Company is based in Boca Raton, Florida and they supply their equipment to all of the 50 states. They provide Mobile-Personal Emergency Systems and they have units for seniors on the move as well as those who stay around the home.
The DUO is a GPS/GSM system is a fully integrated mobile alert system made for seniors who like to be active all the time. The integration of GPS can help medical response teams find the user fast and offer the required medical assistance.
On the other hand, the SOLO Unit is for in-home use, for people that do not have a traditional telephone line in their home. They also have the more traditional CLASSIC HELP, which they integrate in homes with traditional telephone lines.
MobileHelp Medical Alert System Features
Today, when people talk of MobileHelp, most probably, they are talking about the MobileHelp Home Plan, Classic, MobileHelp/Mobile DUO and MobileHelp Solo.
Therefore, to understand what each of these comes with, it would be prudent to look at each of them separately.
MobileHelp Home Plan - This is the least costly with a monthly cost of $25, which is integrated to the landline telephone. For flexibility, it comes with a wristwatch-based button that you can press when you are in a medical emergency. It can also come with a lanyard button (a strap that you wear around your neck).
Classic – This will cost you just $10 more than the home-based plan but for that, you do not need to have a landline in your house for it to work. The package comprises a base unit and a wearable button. This plan runs on the AT&T cellular network.
MobileHelp Solo – This system is good for people who like to be on the move or at home. It will cost a little more money than the Classic but it gives you more flexibility.
If you like to keep active, this is probably the best option for you since you can take it jogging, walking or traveling with you. It is also GPS-enabled so that medical response teams can track you easily if you press the button.
MobileHelp Duo/ Mobile Duo – As you may have guessed from the word DUO, these GPS-enabled systems come in twos. They are best for couples that need a mobile device with them all the time. The Mobile DUO has an extra button, for which it costs slightly more than the MobileHelp DUO by about $3.
This is one of the main reasons for getting a medical alert system. MobileHelp is monitored 24/7 across all states. Therefore, if you fall, it is detected immediately (except for the home based unit). The units also offer activity tracking, but there are no wellness checks.
The home based MobileHelp plan costs $24.95 per month and the lanyard or wristwatch button battery can last up to 30 hours.
MobileHelp Classic costs $34.95 per month and an extra $10 for fall detection. The battery can last up to 30 hours.
MobileHelp Solo costs $37.95 per month, comes with GPS and costs $10 more for fall detection.
The MobileHelp Duo and MobileDUO cost $41.95 and $44.95 respectively. Both have GPS and they charge an extra $10 for fall detection.
Lastly, there is MobileTouch that comes with a touchscreen option in the form of a tablet, has a pendant/help button and a mobile unit. Its battery can last up to 30 hours and you have to pay an extra $10 for fall detection.
• No activation fee is charged
• No set up or activation fees
• Automatic fall detection
• Optional activity monitoring
• MobileHelp does not offer fire, smoke or carbon monoxide monitoring
MediHill makes devices that can help them keep an eye on your health all the time and wherever you may be. They also say that their systems are designed to give any senior and his family peace of mind knowing that someone always has their back. But is this so? We can only find out by looking at the features.
MediHill Medical Alert Features
This medical alert system has a button. If you press the button, you are immediately connected to a medical operator who assesses the kind of medical assistance you need.
Home based and cellular units
MediHill offers both in-home and mobile medical alert systems. Therefore, whether you lead an active or passive lifestyle, you will find a system that is consistent with your needs.
The MediHill In-home medical alert is the landline based option. You can also buy it with the fall detection function at an extra fee. To use it, you need to plug it into the telephone jack and you must have active landline service.
The mobile unit is called MediHillHealthTracker and it runs on the AT&T network. It too comes in the basic version as well as in the version that has fall detection. Since this is a cellular unit, it has its own built-in communication system. Therefore, you can place it anywhere in the house without any wired connection.
Both the Home Plan and the mobile plans have GPS connectivity. This shows wherever you are located in any state. Once you press the button, you can connect to an operator in less than 30 seconds.
When you push the button, the operator will not send help immediately. Rather, he/she will try to determine the kind of emergency. If you cannot speak, they dispatch a response team immediately to your location. The operator can see your location because of GPS connectivity.
The pendant for the home unit can be worn around the neck or around the wrist. You can wear the one for the cellular unit around your neck or clip it to your belt. These pendants come with a five-year battery life. However, if it stops working before then, you can take it for a free battery replacement.
MediHill Medical Alert System Pricing
You can try any of the MediHill services free for 30 days. That is enough time to let you decide whether you like it or not.
If the equipment has manufacturing defects, they will replace it free of charge. However, if you lose the equipment, replacement will cost $150.
You may purchase a warranty cover for the equipment with MediHill that covers up to two replacements in a year.
For the MediHill Home Alert unit, you will pay $24.99 per month. If it comes with fall detection, you will pay $24.99 per month.
The MediHill Health Tracker with or without fall detection costs $34.99 per month. As usual, you are just renting the equipment so that you can access the MediHill services. Therefore, when you need to cancel, you will have to return their units before they can process termination or refund for the months you did not use.
• Free devices for every subscription plan
• There are no hidden or extra fees
• There is two-way communication
• Mobile devices have GPS
• Shipping fee charged unless you get the annual subscription
• You will be charged $150 for replaced lost or faulty equipment
The Philadelphia-based Medical Guardian offers the best medical alert system for seniors. They use a monitoring service that is TMA Five Diamond Certified. It undergoes regular evaluation from third party agencies from time to time.
Medical Guardian Features
Seniors who do not lead an active lifestyle can get the Home or Classic models. The Classic uses the landline while the Home uses cellular connectivity.
The Classic Model requires you to be within a range of 1300 feet while the Home unit requires you to be within range of 600 feet. To use the landline model, you must have an active landline telephone service at home.
To use the Home model, you do not need any cabling since it is cellular-based. Therefore, you can place it anywhere at home and it will serve you just fine. Of course, either option comes with a wearable pendant/button that you can press if you fall or when you need emergency assistance.
There is also the Guardian Mobile, which requires you to be within 350 feet of a cell phone for it to work. Therefore, this is a perfect option for a person that loves to stay active within their own homestead, without carrying a bulky unit on their person.
You could also get the Active Guardian, designed for seniors who lead an active lifestyle and they love to walk, jog or just move around in the neighborhood and community.
The Active Guardian is equipped with GPS, Wi-Fi-enabled and it has a built-in two-way speaker so that you can communicate with a Guardian operator, from any state in the US.
For this convenience, you get to pay the price of carrying a bulky unit, but it is worth it. Overall, there are four Active Guardian models equipped with GPS and other features.
One of the Guardian health track devices also comes with a wristwatch that works as a standalone device, without requiring you to pair it with a smartphone. It costs more money, but it is definitely worth it.
Battery life and other features
The home model comes with a power backup that can run for 32 hours. The pendant batteries can run for up to five days on one charge.
You can also choose to get wall-mounted buttons that are button-activated or get the voice-activated ones.
A Medical Guardian mobile is also available to help the senior stay connected to his family, whether they are close or far.
All of the Guardian units come equipped with the fall detection feature. Therefore, if a senior falls, it will send an alert immediately and the operator will dispatch a response team promptly.
Medical Guardian Pricing
The pricing of the Medical Guardian units starts at $29.95 and for some units, it goes up to $49.95 per month. There are no activation fees for any model. However, if you buy the Guardian Mini, you will pay a one-off fee of $124. Other fees include the fall detection fee, which is $10 per month.
• No equipment, setup or activation fees
• Refund for unused service after cancellation
• 72-hour battery backup for in-home unit if there is a blackout
• You earn a commission when you refer a person
• Does not have activity monitoring
LifeFone has been in the market since 1976. Over that time, they have perfected their medical alert equipment, of course topped with excellent, 24/7 customer care and monitoring service.
As they say on their website, LifeFone is similar to insurance. You would rather pay the premiums and never need insurance than not pay and need it one day.
Their home-based and mobile medical alert devices are for caregivers, families with seniors and seniors themselves who would not like to spend their old age in a care home. In that regard, their systems are easy to use.
LifeFone Medical Alert Systems Features
The features include things like 24/7 monitoring, fall detection and GPS, which depend on what package you get. Other features include 24/7 monitoring. But first, let us see the packages:
Home based landline
This one comes with optional fall detection and as its name suggests, the unit uses an active landline telephone line. Among the features of this LifeFone unit is the wide connectivity range of 1300 feet in all directions. Secondly, it comes with a battery backup that can last 32 hours. The microphone fitted into this system is also very sensitive so it will capture even the weakest voice.
This is yet another home based unit. However, it runs on cellular connectivity rather than on the cabled traditional telephone line. To be precise, it uses the AT & T cellular network instead of using a landline telephone line. This one too comes with an optional fall detection feature.
In-Home and Mobile GPS
This is the third option from LifeFone. While the above two options cannot be used for active people as they have range limits, the In-Home and Mobile GPS unit is the best medical alert system.
It will work in any place in the US as long as there is AT&T network coverage. If you are a senior who is always on the move, this might help you. If you are at the risk of falling, you can choose one with the fall detection function.
In-Home and Mobile GPS with Necklace Button/Voice
This is the same as the in-home and Mobile GPS unit. However, in this case, it comes enabled for two-way communication with the microphone in the necklace unit. This necklace communication unit is weatherproof, so you can wear it outdoors.
You can also include fall detection in this package for a little extra fee. The battery for this model can last up to 30 days and at the same time, it works anywhere in the USA as long as there is AT & T cellular network.
In addition to the four options that we have mentioned above, there are three others that you might consider getting. For instance, there is the LifeFone Mobile Alert for Individuals, which is an in-home and mobile unit that uses your smartphone.
There is also the LifeFone Family Guard tool that uses a mobile app. Family members of the senior can download this app into their mobile phone to help them track their senior.
Lastly, there is the Complete Home Unit, which uses an active landline telephone but it has extras such as fire, smoke and carbon monoxide detection.
LifeFone Medical Alert System Pricing
The In-Home landline based and Cellular models cost $24.95 and $30.95 respectively. You can add fall detection for $5 a month.
In-Home Mobile system costs $36.95 and fall detection will cost $10 more per month.
• All units come with wrist pendant and you can add a spouse’s pendant for only $5 a month
• Lifetime warranty and free replacement
• It has multi-lingual support
• Fast around-the-clock response
• Extras will cost you more money
• Too many products can confuse a beginner
Bay Alarm Medical is a subsidiary of the Bay Alarm that was established more than 70 years ago. Today, the Bay Alarm Medical offers the best medical alert system, a comprehensive package of both in-home and on-the-go units.
Bay Alarm Medical Alert Features
Most of the medical alert systems for seniors come with the same features across many providers. What matters are the packages that they offer. So, what packages do you get with Bay Alarm Medical?
In-Home Medical Alert
This comes in two packages. First, there is the in-home landline medical alert that is plugged into the traditional wired telephone. It only works with an active landline telephone system. The unit measures 7.0 by 5.2 by 2.0 (L by W by H) inches and you can place it on the table or mount it on a wall.
It also has a big red button that you can press when you need medical assistance. It also has a loud speaker that is sensitive even to incoherent sounds.
The In-Home unit also comes with the requisite items such as a pendant, with a range of 1000 feet. The cellular option is the same but it uses the AT&T network. If you travel, just alert the company of your new location so that they can update and the cellular system stays active as long as there is AT & T coverage.
Fall detection is optional.
On-The-Go Bay Alarm Medical Alerts
The mobile Bay Alarm medical alert systems mainly come in three types. These are:
SOS Smartwatch – Using 4G cellular network, this smartwatch shows the operator where you are all the time. It is a great option for seniors that are active and on the move all the time.
GPS Help Button – This button is GPS-enabled so that you can go with it wherever you go. It runs on 4G cellular service too and it has fall detection. It is designed for seniors who like to keep active and on the move.
In-Car-Alert – This is not targeted at seniors, but at all drivers because it has a crash detection feature. It can also pinpoint the crash location so that Bay Alarm Medical can send a response team promptly.
Bay Alarm Medical Alert Pricing
In-Home landline-based unit cost between $19.95 and $29.95 depending on what you choose to include in the package.
The tabletop/wall mount unit comes with a neck/wrist help button and you can get up to four wall buttons. It comes with a 32-hour battery pack for back up. The in-home cellular unit comes in the same package and price. At the same time, both have optional fall detection for $10 per month.
On-The-Go-GPS Button costs $24.95 per month. It has GPS and fall detection costs $10 per month.
On-The-Go SOS smartwatch costs $24.95 with optional fall detection that costs 410 per month.
Finally, the On-The-Go In-Car Alert costs $24.95 per month with Splitsecnd In-Car Alert.
There is also the Bundle Plan that costs $39.95 with a Home Base Unit, your On-The-Go-Device of choice and neck or wrist help button. It has a backup battery pack that can last up to 32 hours. It also has optional fall detection at $10 per month.
• Cheap pricing starting at $19.95 per month
• No need to sign contract
• Long-lasting battery backup
• Extra sensitive two-way communication
• You will be charged for shipping
• No smoke, carbon monoxide or fire detection
The kind of medical alert system that you buy will depend on your lifestyle. For instance, a senior who is active and moves about the neighborhood needs a mobile medical alert system with GPS and fall detection function if possible.
A senior who stays within range of their home just needs an in-home landline or cellular unit with long-range connectivity, say at least 1000 feet.
We would recommend the MobileHelp medical alert system for seniors because of the extra features that it offers.
For instance, it has vibration feedback for the hard of hearing or the visually impared. It also has excellent customer service and the ability to customize the system to suit your needs is quite good.