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The Best Medical Alert Systems for Fall Detection

We’ve picked the best medical alert systems for fall protection. Find out how much they cost, whether you get protection at home or away, and why Philips Lifeline is our top pick.
Written by | Updated August 24, 2020
Best overall
Philips Lifeline logoPhilips Lifeline
  • AutoAlert fall detection included
  • Personalized response plan
  • AutoAlert fall detection included
  • Personalized response plan
On-the-go pick
medical guardian logoMedical Guardian
  • Three mobile options
  • Up to five days of battery life
  • Three mobile options
  • Up to five days of battery life
Budget pick
lifefone logoLifeFone
  • Fall detection for $5/mo.
  • Two cellular networks
  • Fall detection for $5/mo.
  • Two cellular networks
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Last Updated: 1 month ago
If you're concerned for yourself or a loved one during the COVID-19 outbreak, check out our guide to helping seniors during a pandemic to find out how to keep them safe and healthy.

Bottom line: Philips Lifeline makes fall detection the standard 

Automatic fall detection is a feature found in all of our best medical alert systems.

Fall detection is important because it gives you instant help if you fall, and falls are the number one cause of injuries for Americans over 65.¹

We like Philips Lifeline because automatic fall detection is part of its base package—no extra fees required. Philips also offers both at-home and on-the-go options.

Best medical alert systems with fall detection

Compare the Best Medical Alert Systems for Fall Protection

Starting monthly price
Fall protection cost
Trial period
Shower safe
Learn more
Best overall
On-the-go pick
Budget pick
Best independent alarm
Philips Lifeline GoSafe 2 Medical Guardian LifeFone MyNotifi
Philips Lifeline logo Medical Guardian logo lifefone logo MyNotifi logo
$29.95 $29.95 $24.95 $0.00
Included $10/mo. $5/mo. $0.00
30 days None 30 days None
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Visit Philips Lifeline Visit Medical Guardian Visit Lifefone Visit MyNotifi

Data effective 07/24/2020. Offers and availability subject to change.

Our approach 

To choose the best medical alert systems with fall detection, we combined data from research, customer interviews, conversations with medical alert companies, expert and customer reviews, and hands-on testing.

We also looked into the impact that falls have on older adults and others at higher risk for falling. 

Falls are such a major contributor to injury and death, so we prioritized companies that included fall detection or had lower prices if you added it to a medical alert package.

In addition, we considered and compared overall pricing, ease of use, reliability, and customer satisfaction. 

To learn more about how we rank and review products and services, read our full methodology.

Fall detection medical alert system reviews

Philips Lifeline: Best overall

Best overall
Philips Lifeline logo

Philips Lifeline

Philips Lifeline is the only company that includes fall detection in a majority of its plans without extra monthly fees. Whether you want protection at home or when you’re out and about, Philips includes hassle-free fall protection.

A lot of medical alert systems offer fall detection only as an extra emergency pendant, which means you may have to wear multiple devices throughout the day. With Philips, you only need one emergency device to cover medical needs and falls. 

Philips Lifeline’s AutoAlert pendant automatically sends a signal to the monitoring center when it detects a fall. There’s no need to press a panic button or raise your voice to get help.

It’s water resistant for showering and bathing, comes with a free battery replacement, and has a 600-foot range from the communicator base. 

The biggest downside to Philips Lifeline is its price. The at-home systems are affordable, but monthly bills can reach up to $50 per month.

We’ve also noticed that Philips adds extra fees (like one for self-installation) to the checkout process.

Learn more about Philips Lifeline

Read our in-depth review of Philips Lifeline to get the full scoop on this medical alert system, its pricing, packages, and other features.

Why we recommend Philips Lifeline

With over 40 years in the business, Philips recognizes how important fall detection is for its customers (literally lifesaving).

That’s why most of its equipment comes with the feature already built in. An all-in-one system like this means less for you to remember and more time for you to enjoy your day.

Pros

  • Fall detection included in most packages
  • AutoAlert technology automatically calls for help
  • In-home and on-the-go options
  • Landline and cellular coverage available

Cons

  • Expensive monitoring fees

Medical Guardian: On-the-go pick

On-the-go pick
medical guardian logo

Medical Guardian

Medical Guardian has three different plans that offer fall protection when you’re away from home. You can get an all-in-one wearable device, medical alert watch, or a combo package that includes the all-in-one device and a traditional medical alert button to wear at home. 

The Medical Guardian fall alert pendant is available for most of the packages from the company. Its Home Guardian base station has a built-in speaker that connects you to the monitoring center.

The best thing about this base station is its 30-hour backup battery (handy for when the power goes out). 

With Medical Guardian, you pay for fall protection adds $10 to your monthly subscription. The only package you can’t add fall protection to is the Freedom Guardian smartwatch.

Learn more about Medical Guardian

We cover more about Medical Guardian’s pricing, equipment, policies, and more in our full Medical Guardian review.

Why we recommend Medical Guardian 

Medical Guardian’s systems are highly customizable, down to the fall detection option.

If you want to tailor your medical alert system to your preferences, including fall detection, it’s a company worth considering.

Pros

  • Multiple mobile options
  • Landline and cellular monitoring
  • Long battery life

Cons

  • No trial period
  • No fall detection with Freedom Guardian

LifeFone: Budget pick

Budget pick
lifefone logo

LifeFone

Automatic fall detection from LifeFone costs half of what you’d pay from Medical Guardian.

You can add the fall detection pendant to nearly every LifeFone package for just $5 per month. It can reach the base station up to 600 feet away and comes with an emergency help button for other situations.

This medical alert company also uses two cellular networks to maintain a strong connection between your device and their professional monitoring centers. So you’re covered anywhere you go. 

 The At-Home and On-the-Go GPS base systems have a built-in speaker that connects you to the monitoring center and an LED screen that displays the time, date, and temperature. They also have a long backup battery and two-way communication. 

LifeFone’s standard medical alert help button can be worn as a pendant or wristband. It’s waterproof too, so you can use it while you shower, swim, or break a sweat on a hike. 

LifeFone is our budget pick for a reason. It offers the cheapest fall detection add-on price and there aren’t any equipment or activation fees. LifeFone provides a 30-day money-back guarantee and will prorate unused days if you need to cancel your service in the middle of the month.

Plus, its lowest package price is $30 per month including fall detection ($10 cheaper than Medical Guardian and $15 cheaper than Philips Lifeline).

Learn more about LifeFone

Still need more information? We’ve got you covered. Read our full LifeFone review to get the lowdown on this medical alert company’s prices, equipment, and features.

Why we recommend LifeFone

Without activation and equipment fees, LifeFone costs less upfront. And its automatic fall detection is affordable (even if it is an add-on). The savings make sense when you consider it’s missing a few standard features like a voice-activated button. But that doesn’t mean it’s not a quality system.

Pros

  • Cheaper fall detection add-on fees
  • No equipment or activation fees
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

Cons

  • No multilingual support
  • No voice-activated buttons

MyNotifi: Best independent alarm

Best independent alarm
MyNotifi logo

MyNotifi

MyNotifi is the only device on our list that isn’t associated with a medical alert system. Instead, this stand-alone fall detection system uses a belt clip (no belt required), waterproof wristband, and your smartphone to watch for falls and stumbles. 

Without professional monitoring, you won’t have to pay monthly bills for a MyNotifi system. It also means your loved ones get notifications directly to their smartphones when you need help. Think of MyNotifi as a direct link to your children, grandchildren, neighbors, or any other emergency contacts you have. 

MyNotifi requires a one-time payment for the fall detection system instead of a monthly subscription.

The On-the-Go system costs $199, while the Around-the-Home system costs $229.

The former requires a smartphone because the device connects to an app that allows you to communicate with your loved ones. Around-the-Home doesn’t need a smartphone because it acts more like a standard at-home medical alert system. 

MyNotifi comes with a few fun features too. Within the app, you can also find mobility exercises for strength and range of motion. You can also get the wristband and belt clip in different colors to fit your style (goodbye stuffy, clinical panic buttons).

Why we recommend MyNotifi 

MyNotifi is a modern, budget-friendly alternative to fall detection attached to a medical alert system. It’s the simple, stand-alone solution that cuts out the middleman and reaches your loved ones directly.

Technically, the MyNotifi fall detection system isn’t part of a larger medical alert company, so we had to place it at the bottom.

Pros

  • No monthly fees
  • Stylish colors to choose from
  • Messaging abilities

Cons

  • No professional monitoring
  • Expensive upfront costs

Final word 

Whatever medical alert system you decide on, remember that fall detection is an important and lifesaving feature. Adults over 65 suffer the greatest number of fatal falls, which are the second leading cause of accidental or unintentional injury deaths  in the world.2

A feature like automatic fall detection can’t prevent you from every crack in the sidewalk or slippery tile floor, but it can connect you to help in minutes when you need it most. 

If you’re considering a medical alert system, Philips Lifeline is an all-in-one medical alert system that tracks your loved one’s location and emergencies. It’s pricier than others, but with automatic fall detection built in, the price is worth it.

Tips to Minimize Falling Risks

Whether you’ve got a fall detector or not, there are things you can do to prevent falling in and out of the house.

Ways to Avoid Falls at Home

  • Secure rugs with nonslip carpet pads.
  • Install grab bars in bathtubs and showers.
  • Affix nonslip decals to slippery surfaces.
  • Add motion-activated night lights to halls and stairways.
  • Keep traffic paths free of clutter.
  • Make sure handrails are secure.
  • Wear shoes, slipper, or socks with nonslip grips on the bottom.
  • Keep up on landscaping and other outside maintenance like fallen leaves and snow removal.

Ways to Avoid Falls Away from Home 

  • Wear sturdy shoes with good traction that fit well.
  • Take your time. You’re more likely to trip or stumble if you’re in a hurry.
  • Be aware of your surroundings. Avoid walking and talking on the phone at the same time, and look out for cracks in sidewalks and other uneven surfaces.
  • Take care at curbs. Stop for a second and make sure you have a good sense of a curb’s height before stepping up or down.
  • Use handrails, a cane, or other mobility support to keep your movement steady and stable.
  • Leave your porch light on to make sure you get to the door safely when you get home.

Fall detection alert systems FAQ 

How does fall detection work?

Like your car’s airbag, a fall detection sensor measures speed and direction to identify when someone falls down. 

Automatic fall detection calls for help when an event triggers these sensors in a fall detection device, meaning you won’t have to press the button if you fall unconscious or can’t reach your device.

What about false alarms?

False alarms happen, but you won’t be penalized for if your device triggers accidentally. Whether you’ve actually fallen or simply dropped your alert, the device will still connect to the monitoring center or your in-case-of-emergency contact. All you have to do is tell them it’s a false alarm. 

Why does my fall alert pendant also have a help button?

You can use the button on fall detection pendants to call for help in all types of situations. If you have chest pains, get locked out of your house, or feel lost or confused, you can press the button to call for assistance through the pendant. 

Sources 

  1. CDC, “Important Facts about Falls,” Published February 2017. Accessed July 16, 2020
  2. World Health Organization, “Falls,” Published January 2018. Accessed July 16, 2020.

Written by Rebecca Edwards

Rebecca is the lead safety reporter and in-house expert for SafeWise.com. She has been a journalist and blogger for over 25 years, with a focus on home and community safety for the past six. Rebecca spends dozens of hours every month testing and evaluating security products and strategies. Her safety expertise is sought after by publications, broadcast journalists, non-profit organizations, podcasts, and more. You can find her work and contributions in places like TechCrunch, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, HGTV, MSN, and an ever-growing library of radio and TV clips. Learn more

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