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Best Safety Devices for Seniors

Written by | Updated July 6, 2020
Best Medical Alert
bay alarm medical device and push buttonBay Alarm Medical
  • In-home and mobile medical alert device
  • 30-day free trial
  • In-home and mobile medical alert device
  • 30-day free trial
Best Personal Monitor
Apple Watch 5Apple Watch 5
  • Health monitoring apps
  • Automatic fall detection
  • Health monitoring apps
  • Automatic fall detection
Best for Older Drivers
vyncs deviceVyncs GPS Vehicle Tracker
  • Location and maintenance tracking
  • Monitoring through companion app
  • Location and maintenance tracking
  • Monitoring through companion app
Best for Independent Living
echo show 5Amazon Echo Show
  • 5.5-inch smart display
  • Alexa digital assistant and video calling
  • 5.5-inch smart display
  • Alexa digital assistant and video calling
Best for Medication Reminders
Med-E-Lert medication dispenserMed-E-Lert
  • Holds a month’s worth of medication
  • Dispenses medication after alarm sounds
  • Holds a month’s worth of medication
  • Dispenses medication after alarm sounds
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Last Updated: 3 months ago
Safety is important in every stage of life, especially during the COVID-19 outbreak. Along with senior safety devices, we’ve collected info to keep you and loved ones safe during a pandemic.

The Bottom Line: Bay Alarm Medical Alert System

Bay Alarm Medical is an affordable indoor/outdoor medical alert system for active older adults as well as those needing in-home care. Its GPS, home, and wearable alert systems come on their own or in a bundle as a comprehensive package.

Prices start at $19.95 per month, leaving room in the budget for the exciting stuff like spoiling the grandkids.

The monthly fee gets you access to three redundant monitoring centers and professionals who can help you in any situation, whether it’s a fall in the shower or keys locked in the car.

Compare Senior Safety Devices

Price
Monthly Fees
Caregiver Access
Best Medical Alert
Best Personal Monitor
Best for Older Drivers
Best for Independent Living
Best for Medication Reminders
Bay Alarm Medical Apple Watch 5 Vyncs GPS Vehicle Tracker Amazon Echo Show Med-E-Lert
bay alarm medical device and push button Apple Watch 5 vyncs device Amazon Echo Show Med-E-Lert medication dispenser
$19.95 $429.00 $79.99 $49.99 $78.95
Yes
No
X
No
X
No
X
No
X
Yes
No
X
Yes
No
X
Yes

Visit Bay Alarm Medical View on Best Buy View on Amazon View on Amazon View on Amazon

Info current as of 05/08/20. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

*Amazon.com price as of 05/08/2020 at 11:28 a.m. (MT). Read full disclaimer.

Our Approach

Independence is a priority for older adults and their caregivers, so we chose a range of products that make daily life easier for everyone. 

While selecting the best senior safety devices, we considered products that help with mobility and cognitive issues as well as those for active older adults. We chose devices that prevent emergencies but can help out when accidents happen. 

Check out our methodology page to learn about how we select and test products for reviews like this one. 

Senior Safety Devices Reviews

Bay Alarm Medical: Best Medical Alert

Best Medical Alert
bay alarm medical device and push button

Bay Alarm Medical offers medical alert devices for inside and outside the home. So whether you’re an active older adult or need in-home care, your independence won’t be compromised. You can still run errands and visit with friends with the peace of mind that you’re covered in case of a fall or emergency. 

Bay Alarm Device Options

The at-home medical alert devices vary from adhesive wall buttons to a waterproof pendant. Both use a powerful speakerphone with two-way communication. Pressing the SOS button connects you to monitoring center professionals who can send first responders when you need them. 

The wearable GPS unit can tag along with you outside the house. It sends your location to caregivers and the monitoring center. So if you get lost and need help or have an accident outside of the home, you can get assistance quickly. But unlike the in-home pendant, the GPS unit needs to be recharged every 72 hours.

Bay Alarm Pricing

A Bay Alarm Medical system runs around $20–$30 a month depending on the plan you choose. But you don’t own the equipment—it’s just a lease—and some customers have complained that it’s difficult to return once you don’t need it anymore. Plus, it’s an extra $10 per month if you want to add fall detection. The good news is you get a 30-day trial period to return and cancel the service. 

Read our full Bay Alarm Medical review and see how it compares to the best medical alert systems to learn more.  

Pros

  • Works at home and on the go
  • Offers 30-day trial
  • Has help on call 24/7

Cons

  • Charges extra for fall detection
  • Low battery life on GPS unit

Apple Watch 5: Best Personal Monitor

Best Personal Monitor
Apple Watch 5

The Apple Watch 5 is an all-purpose wearable for grandparents and grandkids alike. It’s expensive, but it tracks activity, heart rate, and even has automatic fall detection like a medical alert watch. 

Apple Watch 5’s Many Uses

The Apple Watch 5 offers a whole lot more than basic health features and fall detection. It has many of the same features as a normal iPhone that can be used to stay in shape and on schedule. 

  • Siri voice assistant for medication and appointment reminders
  • Health-focused apps like calorie counters, glucose checkers, and even an EKG for heart health
  • Built-in GPS locator in case of wandering
  • Text, video, and voice messaging to stay in touch
  • Automatic fall detection calls for help if you aren’t responsive after a fall

Apple Watch 5 Pricing

The biggest downside to the Apple Watch 5 is the price. It’s pretty expensive upfront for a watch, but it’s a one-time payment that you won’t have to add to your monthly bills. 

Most medical alert devices require a monthly monitoring fee and charge up to $10 extra each month for automatic fall detection (a feature that comes for free on the Apple Watch 5). 

The learning curve may also vary from person to person, but like a smartphone, it becomes easier the more you use it.

Pros

  • Tracks health metrics
  • Includes free fall detection
  • Calls and messages loved ones

Cons

  • Pricey upfront costs
  • Steep learning curve for some

Vyncs GPS Vehicle Tracker: Best for Older Drivers

Best for Older Drivers
vyncs gps tracker

The Vyncs GPS Vehicle Tracker tracks the location, driving safety, and overall condition of whatever vehicle it’s placed in. It’s small and discrete, so it won’t interfere with driving. The tracker provides live updates to the companion app. Our only complaint is that the app isn’t very easy to use.

Vyncs Installation and Features 

To install, just plug it into a vehicle’s OBD-II port (the diagnostic port your mechanic uses that’s usually somewhere under your dashboard). Once the driver hits the road, the app updates the location updates on your phone or computer every three minutes.

You can set zone alerts that tell you when the vehicle ventures out of a certain area, and the built-in accelerometer can detect a crash and send an alert to a loved one. Location updates in the app update every three minutes, which may feel slow to most users. 

Because this vehicle tracker uses your diagnostic port for power, it doesn’t require any batteries or charging. It can also send vehicle maintenance reminders about things like tire pressure and oil levels.

Vyncs Pricing

It costs around $75 a year for the Vyncs service, which works out to a little over $6 a month, and that includes the device itself. For a little more, you can add roadside assistance, and you can also pay more for more frequent vehicle tracking updates.

Pros

  • Doesn't charge monthly fees
  • Installs in seconds
  • Monitors location and vehicle conditions

Cons

  • Delayed location updates

Amazon Echo Show: Best for Independent Living

Best for Independent Living
echo show 5

Amazon Echo Show is part Alexa smart assistant, part video screen. Its 5.5-inch smart display makes video calls, streams shows, and looks up helpful things like recipes.

Amazon Echo Show Features

With Alexa built into this device, you can set reminders and check your calendars. Alexa has tons of skills like brain teasers, puzzles, gentle workouts, and even an SOS feature to promote independence. 

Living alone can get lonely sometimes, so having a screen attached to your Echo makes it easier to video call friends, neighbors, and loved ones. Alexa also makes for a good companion for conversation and cognitive sharpening.  

But the Echo Show isn’t for you if you want full medical alert system capabilities. It can call contacts from your phone, but it isn’t meant for emergencies.

Pros

  • Video calling
  • Alexa assistant built in
  • Alexa skills for puzzles, entertainment, and activities

Cons

  • Lacks professional emergency monitoring

Med-E-Lert: Best for Medication Reminders

Best for Medication Reminders
Med-E-Lert medication dispenser

The Med-E-Lert medication dispenser is a sturdy device designed to hold a month’s worth of medication and remind you when to take your dose. And while it’s much more expensive than plastic pill organizers, having a daily reminder and consistent alerts can help keep your doses regular.

Med-E-Lert Dispensing and Reminders 

Older adults or their caregivers can fill up the device at the beginning of the month until it’s time to refill. It can fit over 500 pills (about 18 in each of the 28 slots).

Each slot is labeled for morning, mid-day, and evening doses. The alarms tell you when it’s time to take meds and the Med-E-Lert dispenses them. The best part is these alarms stick even after you change the batteries.

Med-E-Lert Safety Features

Caregivers can monitor how well patients follow their med regimen by checking the Med-E-Lert. It has a locked hard plastic body, making it hard for grandkids, pets, or curious visitors to tamper with. To open, simply use the key that comes with the device.

Pros

  • Consistent with med alerts
  • Tamper resistant
  • Fits entire month's worth of meds

Cons

  • Expensive

More Brands We Considered

Drive Medical Shower Bench

The shower/tub can be a dangerous place for older adults with mobility issues. Consider adding a shower bench to your bathroom to make daily hygiene a little safer. We like the Drive Medical shower bench because it grips to the tub and floor, making it easy to get under the water without standing. 

For a more stylish shower bench, consider the AquaTeak seat. It’s prettier but isn’t as helpful for moving in and out of the bathtub.

OXO Shower Bar

If shower benches aren’t appealing, consider a shower bar. The OXO shower bar is easy to install and grips tightly to the walls of the shower. It’s easy to grab in case of slips and falls and makes moving in and out of the tub easier.

HOLOKIN Motion Sensor Lights

Going to the bathroom or to the kitchen for a midnight snack can be risky when you don’t have the right lighting. Add these HOLOKIN motion sensor lights to stairways, hallways, or bathrooms to light the way and make it safer.

Smart Caregiver Alert System

The Smart Caregiver is an in-home alarm system that sounds a siren when pressed. It’s designed to alert caregivers in the house when there’s an emergency. It’s not like a typical medical alert system that connects to a monitoring center. It’s more of a siren designed to call for help from in-home help. If you live with someone who needs live-in assistance, this is a good way to save money on monitoring and equipment fees.

A Final Word 

Older adults who can live alone should do so as long as they’d like. Loved ones can provide social, physical, and emotional support as best as they can without invading privacy or creating inconvenience.

To do this, you’ll have to blend devices that prevent falls and injuries with equipment that can help you when accidents happen. And while devices can help prevent and react to emergencies, it’s hard to replace genuine connection and quality time. 

Senior Safety Devices FAQ

Find more answers to your questions on our Senior Safety FAQ page.

Why are so many safety products for seniors focused around bathroom safety?

According to the National Council on Aging, falls are the leading cause of injury, both fatal and nonfatal, among aging adults in the US.¹ 

Activities that take place in the bathroom, such as getting in and out of a slippery tub or sitting and rising from the toilet, greatly increase the likelihood for a fall, especially since people want privacy when they’re doing these things.

How can I reduce the risk of a fall in the bathroom?

Bathroom safety is especially important for older adults. Start by reducing slippery surfaces with a non-slip mat and installing a grab bar for extra stability. If you (or your loved one) can’t stand in the shower, consider a bench or seat. Raised toilet seats or toilet bars can prevent falls too. 

How do I talk to a loved one about keeping them safer as they age?

Knowing how to talk about a medical alert system with your loved ones is tough. You don’t want to patronize, but it’s a serious topic that needs to be addressed. 

Start simple by asking how they’re feeling or if they feel safe at home. Discuss their limitations or pain points to narrow down what they really need and what is just extra. And if they’re resistant to the idea, tell them that it would put your mind at ease.

Sources

1. National Council on Aging, “Fall Prevention Facts

Disclaimer 

*Amazon.com list price as of 05/08/2020 12:09 (MT). Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. Safewise.com utilizes paid Amazon links.

Certain content that appears on this site comes from Amazon. This content is provided “as is” and is subject to change or removal at any time.

Written by Katie McEntire

Katie McEntire has tested home security systems in her own apartment, installed GPS trackers in her own car, and watched her cat, Toki, nap all day through a live nanny cam feed. As an expert reviewer, she believes that firsthand experience is the best way to learn about new products (even if it requires being the guinea pig). She specializes in pet safety and DIY security and has contributed to publications like DigitalCare.org and TechGuySmartBuy. Learn more

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