The Best Medical Alert Systems for Fall Detection

We've chosen the top 5 fall detection systems from a list of over 75 contenders.
Best overall
HomeSafe with AutoAlert
Philips Lifeline AutoAlert
Starts at
$49.95/mo.
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Professionally monitored
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Landline and cellular options
Most fall alert sensors
Medical Alert Mobile System
Starts at
$52.95/mo.
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Professionally monitored
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Extra panic button
Best for budgets
LifeStation Sidekick
Starts at
$47.95/mo.
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Professionally monitored
  • Icon Cons  Light
    Must call to order
Best fall detection watch
Apple Watch 4
Apple Watch Series 4
Starts at
$0.00/mo.
  • Icon Cons  Light
    Not professionally monitored
  • Icon Cons  Light
    Requires an iPhone
Best wall-mounted fall detection
aloe care total care
Aloe Care Health Total Care
Starts at
$49.99/mo.
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Professionally monitored
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Two fall detection devices

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.



Compare the best medical alert systems with fall detection

Best for
Brand
Starting monthly price
Fall detection cost
Equipment cost
Who gets notified
Fall alert technology
Learn more

Best overall

HomeSafe with AutoAlertPhilips Lifeline AutoAlert

Included

Free leasePro monitoring center•Tri-axial accelerometer
•Barometric sensor
Most fall alert sensors
Medical Alert Mobile System
$10/mo.Free leasePro monitoring center•Tri-axial accelerometer
•Barometric sensor
•Gyroscope
Best for budgets
LifeStation Sidekick
$10/mo.Free leasePro monitoring center•Tri-axial accelerometer
•Barometric sensor
Best fall detection watch
Black Apple Watch 4Apple Watch Series 4
Included$249.99911,
Loved ones
•Tri-axial accelerometer
•Gyroscope
Best wall-mounted fall detection
aloe care total careAloe Care Health Total Care
Included$349.99Pro monitoring center,
Loved ones
•Tri-axial accelerometer
•Radio frequency

Data as of post date. Offers and availability subject to change.

Best fall detection system reviews

1. Philips Lifeline AutoAlert: Best overall

Best overall

Philips Lifeline is one of the few companies 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 offers hassle-free fall protection.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Fall detection in most packages
Pro Bullet AutoAlert technology calls for help
Pro Bullet In-home and on-the-go options
Pro Bullet Landline/cellular coverage available
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Expensive monitoring fees
Con Bullet Installation fee
Con Bullet Activation fee

All-inclusive medical alert device

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 need only one emergency device to cover medical needs and falls.

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

Pricey but worth it

Philips Lifeline systems seem pricier than the competition, but in reality, they're in the same ballpark as the other medical alert companies on our list. Philips Lifeline just happens to give straightforward fall detection pricing.

Other companies give a monthly price without fall detection, which makes them seem cheaper at first glance. Once you add in those extra fall detection fees, Philips Lifeline doesn't seem so bad. 

But we've noticed that Philips adds extra fees (like one for self-installation) to the checkout process. Expect to pay at least $70 for activation, shipping, installation. 

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. 

We also appreciate that Philips Lifeline is candid about its automatic fall detection technology and testing process. The team seems dedicated to continuous improvement. 

Thumbs Up
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.

2. Medical Alert Mobile System: Most fall alert sensors

Most fall alert sensors

Medical Alert's Mobile System uses more fall detection sensors than the competition: an accelerometer, gyroscope, and barometric pressure sensor.

Each sensor's data is cross-referenced, helping to reduce false alarms and improve fall alert accuracy. But as with all automatic fall detection technology, don't expect this mobile medical alert system to be 100% accurate.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Professionally monitored
Pro Bullet Secondary help button
Pro Bullet 3 fall detection sensors
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Expensive monthly fees
Con Bullet Limited equipment options

The Mobile System comes with a secondary panic pendant. While it doesn't include automatic fall detection, this panic button can be worn around the house while the mobile unit charges. Press the button if you need help, and monitors will check in on you through the mobile unit's speaker.

Medical Alert also stands out for its customer service. We talked to a dozen medical alert companies about their fall detection technology, and Medical Alert's representative was the most knowledgeable and friendly by far.

Medical Alert's equipment lineup is relatively limited compared to the competition, and you'll end up paying nearly $53 per month for fall detection. You'll shave a few dollars off the monthly cost if you can pay semi-annually or annually. 

3. LifeStation Sidekick: Best for budgets

Best for budgets
LifeStation Sidekick
Starts at
$47.95
/mo

Totaling around $48 per month, LifeStation's fall detection unit isn't exactly cheap, but it's affordable for the industry. Equipment is leased to you for free, which also cuts down on the up-front expense.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Professionally monitored
Pro Bullet All-in-one unit
Pro Bullet 2 fall detection sensors
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet No online ordering
Con Bullet No caregiver app

The Sidekick is also one of the few fall detection devices on the market with more than one sensor.

The only thing we don't really like about LifeStation is that you can't order a system online. You have to call their sales line, and that's not convenient for everyone. 

Learn more in our full LifeStation review.

4. Apple Watch 4: Best fall detection watch

Best fall detection watch
Apple Watch 4

Amazon.com list price as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

Medical alert companies typically sell their fall alert devices as pendants, citing accuracy concerns with wristlet devices. However, some fall detection watches have come onto the market recently, including the ultra-smart Apple Watch.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet No monthly fees
Pro Bullet 2 fall detection sensors
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Not professionally monitored
Con Bullet Expensive up-front cost
Con Bullet Compatible only with iPhone

Using your Apple Watch as a fall detection device completely eliminates the extra monthly fees associated with other products on our list, but it also means you don't have professional monitors in your corner.

The Apple Watch can call 911 on your behalf or alert your emergency contacts. You'll have about a 30-second window to cancel the calls.

The watch also vibrates on your wrist to let you know something's up. Don't ignore that vibration: if the watch calls 911 and nothing's wrong, you might get hit with a false alarm fine. (That's one of the perks of professionally monitored devices—no false alarm fines.)​

Which Apple Watches have fall detection?

We recommend the Apple Watch Series 4 since it's often the most affordable model on the market, but any Apple Watch released after Series 4—including the Apple Watch SE—has built-in fall detection. Don't forget to turn on fall detection mode in settings.

Learn more about how the Apple Watch can promote safe aging in our reviews of the best fitness trackers and wearable devices for seniors.

5. Aloe Care Health Total Care: Best wall-mounted fall detection

Best wall-mounted fall detection

Aloe Care Health's Total Care package includes a rare device: a wall-mounted fall sensor. It's perfect for people who don't remember to wear traditional fall detection pendants—or who simply don't want to. 

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Wearable and non-wearable options
Pro Bullet Lots of equipment
Pro Bullet Voice-activated system
Pro Bullet Caregiver alerts
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet No pro monitoring
Con Bullet Expensive up-front cost
Con Bullet Compatible only with iPhone

Aloe Care Health recommends placing the fall detection sensor in the bathroom since older people often slip in or around the tub, but in theory, you could put it anywhere in the home. 

A mobile fall detection unit is also included in the Total Care package, as are some other accessories like the base station hub, two motion sensors, and a help button you can wear around the home.

All of it is monitored for around $50 per month with no extra fall detection fees tacked on, but you'll also have to part with about $350 up front just to get the equipment.

We also like that caregivers are kept in the loop in real-time. Through the Aloe Care app, they'll know exactly when a fall was detected and get a play-by-play of your conversation with the professional monitoring center.

Learn more about this innovative tech in our full Aloe Care Health review.

Other medical alert systems with fall detection we considered

Medical Guardian

Even though Medical Guardian's fall detection technology and pricing structure don't stand out compared to the competition, their systems are highly customizable. If you want to tailor your medical alert system to your preferences, including fall detection, it's a company worth considering.

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

LifeFone

LifeFone has some good things going for it, including your choice of two cellular networks, lots of add-on services, and affordable fall detection. Adding a fall detection pendant to your at-home landline system, for example, brings the total monthly cost to about $35.

But we chose to prioritize devices with multiple sensors, and LifeFone uses only an accelerometer.

Read our full LifeFone review to get the lowdown on this medical alert company’s prices, equipment, and features.

Bay Alarm Medical

We love many things about Bay Alarm Medical, but this is another brand that basically earns a participation trophy when it comes to fall detection.

Yes, you can get in-home and on-the-go fall protection added to your Bay Alarm package, but it'll just be an accelerometer. ​Expect to pay at least $40 per month for fall detection through Bay Alarm Medical.

Read our full Bay Alarm Medical review to learn more. 

MyNotifi

MyNotifi isn't professionally monitored, so there are no monthly fees to pay. That 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.

There are some definite perks to a professionally monitored medical alert system, but the monthly cost can be a barrier. MyNotifi is a decent alternative, and it's one of the few fall detection devices that you can clip onto your belt or tuck into your pocket.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4

If you have an Android phone, you'll be happy to hear that the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 includes fall detection. But, unlike the Apple Watch, the Galaxy only relies on one sensor. It also calls emergency contacts only, not 911.

Kanega Watch

Designed as a medical alert watch for seniors, the Kanega Watch has some impressive technology—including automatic fall detection. But its monthly price reaches nearly $70. It might be worth it if the Kanega turns out to be everything you've ever wanted in a watch. But for us, that price is an industry outlier.

Angel Watch Series R - Assist

The Angel Watch Series R - Assist is like a simplified Apple Watch. You can make phone calls, read and send texts, get movement reminders, and, of course, get help from loved ones if you fall. 

Unlike an Apple Watch, the Angel Watch requires its own cell plan—just $10 per month. All in all, you get more features with zero long-term costs by investing in an Apple Watch, so we left the Angel Watch off our main list.

It's still a great option for people who do need a simplified menu. Check out all of its features by reading our full Angel Watch review.

Medical Care Alert

Medical Care Alert used to offer the best medical alert system with fall detection because it included an accelerometer, gyroscope, and a magnetometer, but it was discontinued once 3G networks became obsolete. 

Right now, the company's best fall detection device is the ULTRA, which uses only an accelerometer. We hope Medical Care Alert plans to re-release the ELITE with 5G.

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.

Final word 

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.

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 protect 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.

Fall detection alert systems FAQ

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.

False alarms happen, but you won’t be penalized by a professional monitoring center 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. 

If the device connects directly to 911, you might get a fined for false alarms. It depends on your local laws.

You can use the panic 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. 

No, Life Alert doesn't offer fall detection. You must push the Life Alert button to get help.

How we reviewed the best medical alert systems with fall detection

To choose the best medical alert systems for seniors 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 devices that included fall detection or had lower prices if you added them 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.

Related articles on SafeWise


Sources

  1. CDC, “Important Facts about Falls,” February 2017. Accessed January 19, 2022.
  2. World Health Organization, “Falls,” January 2018. Accessed January 19, 2022.

Disclaimer

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.

Cathy Habas
Written by
Cathy Habas
With over seven years of experience as a content writer, Cathy has a knack for untangling complex information. Her natural curiosity and ability to empathize help Cathy offer insightful, friendly advice. She believes in empowering readers who may not feel confident about a purchase, project, or topic. Cathy earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Indiana University Southeast and began her professional writing career immediately after graduation. She has contributed to sites like Safety.com, Reviews.com, Hunker, and Thumbtack. Cathy’s pride and joy is her Appaloosa “Chacos.” She also likes to crochet while watching stand-up comedy specials on Netflix.

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