Medical Alert Systems SafeWise Buyer's Guide
2017's Best Medical Alert Systems
No one wants to give up their independence, but living alone can become dangerous as you age. Mobility issues and medical conditions can turn into emergency situations. especially for the elderly. Medical alert systems could save your life, putting assistance on standby and available at the touch of a button.
No Two-Way Talk Through Necklace
No Fees (promotion)
Fall Detection Add-On
*SafeWise has conducted impartial research to recommend products. This is not a guarantee. Each individual’s unique needs should be considered when deciding on chosen products.
Medical Guardian Classic Guardian
Medical Guardian specializes in medical alert systems. When you sign up for monthly monitoring, you’ll receive a base station and medical alert pendants to wear around your neck. The base station connects you to the monitoring station. If you need help, you can have a conversation directly through that device. The emergency necklaces won’t work this way, but they will send an alert for a professional to send help. Whoever needs a medical alert device in your home can have a necklace free of charge. They’re water resistant, so you can take them with you into the shower and up to 1,300 feet from the main console.
Family-Friendly Feature: Each member of the household will receive a wearable pendant without an extra fee. This is great for those who have parents that both need emergency monitoring.
Long Range. Compared to other medical alert devices, Medical Guardian has the longest range—1,300 feet.
No Fees. The equipment is free, you’ll just start paying the monthly monitoring charge.
No Contracts. Cancel at any time without being billed.
24/7 Monitoring. Set the system up in your home, keep a medical alert necklace on, and press a button to call for help if you need it. Experts will be listening in, ready to help.
Savings. When you pay annually, you can save about $30. Plus, you’ll get a free month of monitoring.
No Two-Way Talk Through Necklace. You can call for help, but won’t be able to speak to a monitoring professional through the pendant.
Only At-Home. You can only use this device at home.
LifeFone At Home and On-The Go With Fall Detection
Many seniors lead an active lifestyle. That’s why we love the LifeFone At Home and On-The Go With Fall Detection. It comes with a home base and mobile unit, so you can get 24/7 safety monitoring anywhere that has an AT&T cell signal. This medical alert system comes with GPS tracking, so if you get lost or disoriented, help can find you. LifeFone offers simpler and cheaper at-home models, but this one includes myriad safety features both seniors and family members will love.
Family-Friendly Feature: Your loved one can use this medical alert system in or outside the house—anywhere in the U.S.! It has GPS tracking and AT&T cellular service, so if your parent is still driving or likes to be out and about, they can carry this device with them.
On-The-Go. Take the mobile device with you to stay safe anywhere in America. It utilizes GPS tracking and uplinks through the AT&T cell network.
Fall Detection. Fall detection is normally an add-on, but you’ll get with the monthly price of this device.
Full Refund. LifeFone offers a full refund of any unused prepaid service in the event you have to cancel. This is different than some provider contracts that often require you to pay even if a loved one passes away.
No Contract. Pay monthly for 24/7 monitoring that you can cancel at any time.
No Fees. Sign up for monthly monitoring without any equipment or start-up fees.
24/7 Monitoring. Someone will always be there to send help.
Longest Range. Get reception from your wristband or pendant up to 1,500 feet away from the base station.
Shorter Range. While you can take this anywhere, you will only have 600- and 300-foot reception respectively from the base and mobile unit.
Philips LifeLine GoSafe
$64.95/month (wireless) + $149 device fee
Philips has been in the medical alert industry for over 40 years. To date, it serves more than seven million seniors. Philips offers a handful of medical alert systems at different prices, but the GoSafe is one of the best. You can use it in or out of the house, talk to a response center professional through your wearable pendant, and more. Philips’ medical alert system sets itself apart by using six different tracing technologies, including GPS, cellular networks, WiFi, and more. This safety feature is huge and enables the company to find you quicker if you need assistance.
Family-Friendly Feature: Most wearable medical alert devices don’t allow you to talk to the response center. If your loved one gets in trouble, he/she can talk to the emergency response center through their Philips LifeLine GoSafe pendant.
Two-Way Talk. Use the pendant to talk directly with service center representatives.
24/7 Monitoring. Get help anytime, anywhere.
Fall Detection. When the wearable pendant detects a fall, it’ll call for help.
Landline or Wireless. Use wireless or landline service to run Philips LifeLine GoSafe.
High-Tech GPS. GoSafe uses six different location technologies: GPS, WiFi, cellular uplink, and others, so help can find you faster.
More Expensive. Other companies offer mobile service, GPS tracking and fall detection for less.
Fees. You’ll be charged a one-time $149 device fee.
ADT On-The-Go Medical Alert Plus
You might recognize ADT as a top home security system provider, but it’s also one of the best medical alert manufacturers out there. With three different medical monitoring systems to choose from, we like their middle tier, ADT On-The-Go Medical Alert Plus. This device has a longer reception range than the basic package, wireless signal, temperature sensing, and more. It won’t allow you to run errands, (you’ll have to upgrade for that), but it includes everything you need for a quality at-home medical alert monitoring device.
Family-Friendly Feature: ADT has a feature called, “FOREVERate™.” It prevents monthly fees from ever changing—the perfect solution for seniors on fixed incomes or who are supported by family.
Price Lock. ADT FOREVERate prevents your rates from going up.
No Fees. You’ll only pay for monthly monitoring.
Temperature Sensing. If the system detects unsafe temperatures due to fire or freezing, it will alert the ADT Health Emergency Response Monitoring Center.
Fall Detection. This pendant is only an extra $14.99 and can call for help if it senses a fall.
24/7 Monitoring. Someone will be looking out for you and ready to answer your call every hour of every day.
Decent Range. Other home medical alert systems have twice the range, but you’ll still have 600 feet of reception from the base.
No GPS. You can only use this monitor if you’re within 600 feet of the base.
Bay Alarm Medical GPS Alert System
$35/month + $80 equipment fee
Bay Alarm Medical is ideal for people who like to customize products and services. Since most of its devices are add-ons, you can choose to go with a mobile-only plan, add at-home monitoring, and tack on additional sensors. We like Bay Alarm Medical GPS Monitor because it’s a medical alert system you can take with you. The company advises people against using this as a dual at-home device because it works best when in motion. However, you can add an at-home device for a bundled price of $49.95/month.
Family-Friendly Feature: Your family member will be connected to a network of three Bay Alarm Medical call centers. They won’t ever have to wait in an emergency if one is down or busy; they’ll be transferred to a center who can send help right away.
Wireless. Bay Alarm Medical GPS Monitor uses the AT&T network to track location and communicate with response stations.
24/7 Monitoring. Get around-the-clock help.
Two-Way Talk. The mobile device is essentially a phone you can use to talk and listen to professional monitors.
Multiple Call Centers. You’ll be assigned to three different call centers, so help will never be delayed.
Equipment Fee. You’ll pay $80 for the equipment.
Bundle. The Bay Alarm Medical GPS Monitor works best when in motion. For proper at-home safety, you’ll need to bundle products. The at-home device can be added for $10/month.
Fees. Most of these services and upgrades are à la carte, making them much pricier than other brands.
Whether you’re the customer or you’re shopping for a loved one, you can get monthly medical alert monitoring from MobileHelp for a good price. The MobileHelp Duo is our top pick since it includes at-home and mobile monitoring. Carry your pendant or wristband wherever you go and call for help if something bad happens. If you have a parent who lives alone, you’ll get an alert from MobileHelp if they responded to a call. That way, you can stay on top of your family’s health and rush to their side when they need you.
Family-Friendly Feature: MobileHelp will notify emergency contacts immediately when a customer calls for help. If you don’t live with a loved one who has this device, you’ll always be aware of health concerns and incidents.
24/7 Monitoring. Call for help day or night—any day of the year.
Extra Wearables. Get two wristbands and neck pendants.
Savings Options. When you pay annually you can save.
Contacts. MobileHelp will alert loved ones if an emergency call has been placed.
No Contracts. Stop your service at any time.
No Fees. There are often promotions that waive fees.
Fees Outside of Promotion. When MobileHelp isn’t running a promotion, you might have to pay a $99 activation fee and $15 shipping charge.
Fall Detection Add-On. For this price, we’d expect fall detection to come standard.
For such a low starting price of $19.99/month, we almost did a double-take when we saw how much greatcall Splash has to offer. You’ll receive at-home and mobile monitoring, two-way communication devices, GPS locator, 24/7 monitoring, and more. It’s less than half the price as competitors. You can upgrade to a plan for $34.99/month that includes 24/7 access to doctors and nurses and a network of friends and family. However, we think greatcall Splash’s basic plan is pretty cool on its own.
Family-Friendly Feature: greatcall Splash medical alert monitoring is the cheapest on our list—starting at $19.99/month. If your parent has limited income or you’re supporting them, you’ll get a lot of safety features for little cost.
Cheapest. Besides the equipment fee, you’ll only spend $19.99/month on monitoring services.
No Contracts. Cancel at any time.
24/7 Monitoring. greatcall’s 5Star Urgent Response teams are always there to help.
Mobile. Take this device with you or use it at home.
Fall Detection. Your device will alert the call center if it detects a fall.
Upfront Cost. The monitoring device costs $49.99.
Live!y is a pretty neat company. It offers medical alert devices, but with modern flare. In addition to 24/7 monitoring, Live!y provides activity and meal tracking as well as medication reminders. Sometimes older folk have trouble with technology. Live!y has addressed this issue by designing a device that updates on its own and has simple controls. The app allows those who wear the device and loved ones to check in on progress and make sure everything is fine and dandy.
Family-Friendly Feature: You can use the app to check if your family member is taking their medication, exercising, and eating well. They can also benefit from medication reminders, pedometer readings, and more.
Stylish. The watches that correspond with this system comes in different colors to fit everyone’s style.
Tracking. Track your steps and set medication reminders to stay on top of your health.
Social. Family members can keep track of eating, activity, and medication through the app.
Easy To Use. The app will self update and keep things simple for seniors.
Free 30 Days. Sign up for Live!y service and get your first 30 days free.
Not Mobile. This is an at-home device.
Equipment Fee. You’ll spend $49.95 on the device.
MedicAlert® + Alzheimer's Association Safe Return®
This national Alzheimer’s patient database works much like an Amber Alert. If your parent or relative has Alzheimer’s or dementia and goes missing, you can report it, and a notification will be released to local law enforcement and emergency services. When you purchase a membership, you’ll receive an ID bracelet that will help others identify the person wearing it and reunite him/her with family or caregivers. Elderly people with cognitive impairment can easily become disoriented, confused, and lost, so this service is a safety net in case that happens.
Family-Friendly Feature: You can register a loved one who has a cognitive impairment and give them an ID bracelet, so they’ll always be protected if they wander off. For an additional $35, you can also receive a “caregiver ID” bracelet for yourself, to signal to first responders that you provide care for a MedicAlert + Safe Return member, in case of an emergency.
24/7 Hotline. Call at any hour to report someone missing and medically-trained specialists will answer the call and work to activate the “community network” (made up of law enforcement and local Alzheimer’s associations).
Well Connected. If a loved one with cognitive impairment goes missing, local authorities, Alzheimer Association chapters, and emergency responders will be notified.
Wearable IDs. For the price, you’ll receive a membership and ID bracelet.
No Monthly Monitoring. You won’t have a GPS tracker with this membership, just a network of professionals and emergency responders on your side.
Annual Fee. You’ll pay $35 a year to stay in the system.
AngelSense is a revolutionary product for people with special needs. While it was created for children, it can work for people of all ages who are mentally impaired. It works with a bracelet/wearable device and an app. The person with the disability wears the device, and friends and family monitor whereabouts and wellbeing through the app. Some of the fantastic features include the ability listen in through the bracelet to hear what’s happening around your loved one. This comes in handy if your parent or family member has a caretaker you want to ensure is administering proper care. You may also use the app to set boundaries and get an alert if the person travels outside this area. If your loved one has dementia or Alzheimer’s, this device can trace their whereabouts and save the day if they wander off.
Family-Friendly Feature: AngelSense is designed for people with special needs. If you have a loved one who is cared for by others, you can still be involved in their care and daily lives through the app.
For Special Needs. AngelSense is a GPS tracker with features for people with special needs.
Listen-In. Use the app to listen to what’s happening in your loved one’s environment, or to make sure they’re getting proper care.
Contact List. Program contacts who will be alerted if the person wearing this device wanders off.
Almost Real-Time Updates. When someone wanders away, you can get 10-second updates on his/her whereabouts—including the direction they’re moving in.
Safety Zone. Designate areas where the person wearing this device is able to go, and get alerts when they breach the perimeter.
App. Handle all this through an app.
Fee. You’ll pay a one-time $149 start-up fee for this device.
Designed for kids. The look of this wearable GPS device is childish, since it’s made for kids.
You can have your independence and safety too with the help of a medical alert system. That’s because these devices make sure that someone is always a call away if you get into trouble. Whether you’re proactively preparing for old age or looking for solutions to keep parents safe, this list will help you do all that and more.
Have a story to share about a medical alert system? We’d love to hear it. Post below in the comments section to help others find the safest products.