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Best Medical Alert System for 2016

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Medical Alert System Reviews

Protecting yourself and your loved ones from harm is almost always one of life's chief concerns. Life is unpredictable; accidents and other frightening events can occur unexpectedly and when we are advanced in years, accidents have more serious consequences. For people 65 and older, one out of five falls causes serious injuries, according to the CDC.

A medical alert system can give an elderly person instant contact to emergency services if an accident was to happen. This is a valuable resource for a variety of reasons. It gives you or your loved one safety while maintaining independence. It makes living on your own less dangerous.

Medical Alert Systems: What to Consider

A medical alert system is a monitoring service that sends medical assistance to you during emergencies. Most come with a device that is worn around the neck or on a wristband that can be activated if assistance is needed. The portable device is wirelessly connected to a base station that is connected to your phone.

A medical alert system will also give you and your family peace of mind. If an accident were to leave you incapacitated, with the simple push of a button help would be on its way. This means that you can feel confident when you are going about the day on your own that you are safe. It will also give your family the peace of mind that you are prepared in the event of an emergency.

There are several providers of medical alert systems available and each one offers similar services but there are a few differences. When you are looking for a medical alert system, be sure to consider the following factors:

Pendant Device Technology

Consider the distance range of wireless pendants or wearable devices. Ask providers what distance their device covers, the length of battery life and if you can answer incoming calls via the pendant. The latest cutting edge landline based models are effective up to about 1300 feet, nearly a quarter mile. Other wearable devices are mobile-based GPS devices. While their range is a bit less, they do identify the exact location of the wearer.

Does the pendant come in variations, such as a necklace or wristband, belt or pocket models, and is it waterproof? Some providers also include mounted help buttons throughout the house to supplement pendants or other worn devices, this feature can be particularly useful in bathrooms or bedrooms.

Another key issue is whether the device detects if the wearer falls, sensing an impact. Such a device automatically alerts an emergency dispatcher. They are able to check in with the wearer to assess the situation, and connect to emergency services if needed. A device that can detect falls can save lives in a situation where the user is unconscious, or unable to respond for any reason.

Connection Choices

Medical alert systems tap into landline, cellular or mobile GPS-enabled devices to connect with emergency help centers. Service providers are given to touting their technology as superior. Keep practical concerns in mind; for example, in the case of a power failure, does the system have a backup battery?

Some providers, such as Medical Guardian and Bay Alarm medical, offer a variety of service packages based on any connection technology your prefer. This includes landline, wireless or mobile GPS connections, with each package offering its own distinct features. Landline packages tend to offer the longest distance range of protection while being the least expensive in terms of monthly fee. The highest level of service technology typically includes a mobile wearable GPS-enabled transmitter that includes fall detection.

The console from the provider Lifestation is very easy to set up and begin using, even though you a limited to a landline connection. Plug the system into a phone jack and power outlet and you are ready to go. Automatic weekly tests ensure that the system is working properly.

Independent consumer reviews are a good information source on the comparative technical aspects of medical alert systems. Conduct some due diligence searching of user reviews prior to the purchase of a medical alert system, and you will see what customers report about the equipment from medical alert companies, free of marketing messages.

Service Features

Most medical alert system companies allow you to add another person such as a spouse or relative to your service package at no extra fee. Other important features to look for include periodic check-in service to confirm that all is well, and monitoring for carbon monoxide, smoke and gas. The top companies tend to offer all these service features as part of their medical alert system, but some charge extra fees for these items. Some companies only offer basic services, without gas and smoke protection or check in options.

Service Languages

One of the top medical alert companies, Medical Guardian, sets the standard offering more than 200 languages in their service. Most companies offer a range of languages, although some offer service in English only. Be sure to check that a provider has service in the language you need before purchasing.

Customer Support and Fees

Take a careful look at fees for service activation or cancellation from each company you consider, and whether they require a long-term contract. The top companies do not charge for activation or cancellation. They charge a monthly service fee. Fees for equipment (purchase or lease) vary from company to company. Some providers charge shipping on equipment while others cover this cost.

Monthly fees for medical alert service start around the twenty-five dollars-per-month range for basic landline based service. Wireless, cellular and GPS enabled mobile device service climbs into the mid thirty dollar range, with full high-end service with all the bells and whistles from top providers capped at just under fifty dollars per month.

In terms of customer service, look for 24/7 phone access, live chat and email. Are service workers empowered to order an ambulance direct to your home? Do they have access information to your doctors, family and trusted friends?

One downside of shopping for a medical alert system is you may be subject to high pressure follow-up sales calls from the marketing departments of these firms.

Meet the Best Medical Alert Companies

In this comparison of medical alert systems, we looked at the technology, service and reputation of the leaders in the industry, to establish this list of excellent companies:

Medical Guardian Alert

  • Pros
  • Add another person to your plan for free
  • Free check-in service
  • Supports 200 languages
  • Helpful add-ons
  • No cancellation or activation fees
  • Cons
  • Start with a three month contract

Medical Guardian sets the standard in the industry, providing outstanding service options that other companies charge added fees for, such as adding additional members to your plan at no extra fee. They employ cutting edge technology and offer more than 200 languages in their service. They offer four service levels at a range of popular prices. While their landline-based system boasts the furthest range, the top two tiers of service track your exact location via GPS-enabled mobile device. There is a risk assessment tool at their website to aid in determining if you are a good candidate for the service. There are no long-term contracts or activation fees.

Bay Alarm Medical

  • Pros
  • Add another person to your plan for free
  • Free check-in service
  • Carbon monoxide and smoke monitoring
  • Supports over 100 languages
  • Long signal range from base station
  • Cons
  • No free shipping

Bay Alarm provides high-quality medical monitoring, additional alert buttons at no extra cost, periodic check-in service and smoke and gas detection. You can choose from well-priced medical alert packages utilizing landline, cellular or mobile GPS equipped button technology. You do pay equipment shipping fees, but on balance Bay Alarm is a provider to seriously consider.

ADT Medical Alert

  • Pros
  • Discounts for members of AARP
  • Good customer service
  • Home monitoring options
  • Cons
  • More expensive than other providers
  • Requires a contract

The ADT medical alert system is a product of the well-known home security provider. They offer a traditional medical alert system for the home, along with multiple options for seniors, including landline, wireless and mobile based system at competitive rates. Their medical alert systems are offered on a month-to-month basis without any long term contract.


  • Pros
  • Add another person to your plan for free
  • Check-in service (for additional cost)
  • Two representatives handle your call
  • Email alert system
  • Cons
  • Only supports English
  • Check-in service is not standard

Lifestation medical alert systems follow practices of top providers such as adding additional family members at no extra fee and offer the unique service of having two representatives handle emergency calls. Lifestation has a built-in battery back-up in their proprietary medical alert system that keeps you connected during power outages. One drawback to this otherwise excellent company, they only support their service in English.

Life Alert

  • Pros
  • Add another person to your plan (for an additional cost)
  • Monitors for fire and gas leaks
  • Prices don’t increase over time
  • Cons
  • Three year contract
  • No check-in service
  • Only supports English

Life Alert is one of the biggest names in the field, offering excellent features like automatic smoke and gas monitoring. Life Alert offers free equipment use and free shipping, and they back it up with a warranty. They do charge for additional pendants and require a three-year contract. While that is longer than industry standards, you do lock in a price that will not increase.

Advice for Medical Alert Systems

Prior to making a decision on a medical alert system, take the time to explore our advice guides to get up to speed on medical alert systems. You'll find answers to your questions and information that is useful in choosing a medical alert system provider.

  • A big point of a medical alert system is the ability to live in confidence that help is quickly available, if and when you need it. Elderly people, their families and care providers gain peace of mind knowing that help is just the push of a button away. When shopping for a system, keep in mind the specific condition and needs of you or your loved one. Look at system features with a critical eye to ensure that a particular medical alert company will instill confidence.
  • Are you sitting on the fence about signing on with a medical alert system provider? Consider the pro and cons of whether this service is right for you from a logical perspective, as well as the more emotionally based question of peace of mind. Here is a checklist of reasons to consider the purchase of a medical alert system, including ease of use, cost-effectiveness and safety. For example, in the case of a heart attack, the quick response can literally be a matter of life and death.
  • The good news these days is we are living longer as life expectancy continues to grow. However, long life brings extra financial considerations along for the ride. Healthcare costs in the United States tend to almost double for people aged 75 to 85, an age when many face other increased costs such as live-in help or some type of assisted living facility. Even when long-term care costs are covered by Medicaid, the system has the ability to recoup costs of care out of the person's assets, such as their home. A medical alert system is a great alternative, saving money on long-term care for those who prefer to live on their own and are generally able to manage it.


Sales of med-alert services are growing as the baby boom generation ages. This technology based service delivers peace of mind to independent elders, their families and caregivers. Of course, it also literally delivers emergency help rapidly in case of a crises or medical emergency.

As you check through these reviews of top providers, compare their services and fees, including the terms and length of their contracts. This is a very competitive industry, so you may be able to take advantage of a discount or special offers, such as free equipment, shipping or activation.

Above all consider which company offers the features that work for you or your loved ones situation. All of these companies can bring help when you need it, but ask yourself which company can best instill confidence in all involved.

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Questions & Answers About Best Medical Alert Systems

Do I actually need a Medical Alert System?

A medical alert system is a good idea for anyone who needs a little extra security and monitoring. Seniors and people with disabilities commonly use them so that they can maintain independence while also having someone who can quickly respond during emergencies. As adults age, the severity of things like trips and falls become more serious. What once would have meant a bruise can be a broken bone.

If you are thinking about whether or not you need a medical alert system consider the following?

  • Do you live on your own? What would you do during an emergency if you couldn't reach a phone?
  • Have you had a serious fall in the past? Have you been dizzy or close to falling recently?
  • Do you have any medical conditions that can cause sudden or unexpected pain or incapacitation?
  • How is your mobility? If you need to get up or leave your home quickly would you be able to?
  • Do you have chronic diseases like diabetes, osteoporosis or arthritis that might require assistance?

If any of these questions worry you, a medical alert system might be valuable. Not only can it be incredibly valuable during an emergency, a medical alert system can give you and your family peace of mind.

Do I need to test my medical alert system?

Medical alert systems, like smoke detectors should be checked periodically. Even the base station's battery is important for when you the power unexpectedly goes out. However, many of the top services run tests on the system for you. They will call in to check on your status and make sure that you are doing well. In doing so, they can also test your devises to make sure that the connection is good and the batteries are working.

Many companies offer this service for free while others offer it at an additional cost. If you have a provider that does not have a check-in service, be sure to test your battery backups every once and a while. Also, when you are choosing a medical alert system look for a provider with a long battery life, so you can rest assured that your system is ready when you need it most.

How exactly does a medical alert system work?

When the button on the pendant is pressed it begins connecting you with an operator from a care center in seconds. Once you are connected you can speak to them and tell them whatever it is you need. Whether it is the police, medical attention, or just for the operator to call a family member for you, they are there ready to help.

Can the pendant be worn in the shower?

The medical alert pendant is completely waterproof and can be worn in the shower.

What would happen if my loved one or myself were unable to communicate with the operator?

No worries! If there is zero communication between the operator and the person who has requested the operator local paramedics will be sent out to the person's home immediately.

How durable is the medical alert system?

The medical alert system is designed to go through your everyday routine with you so it is pretty durable. If it is dropped or you feel it was damaged in any way then it is important to perform the procedure to assure it is still working. If your medical alert system isn't working a new one will be given to you for free.

What will happen to the medical alert system if the electricity goes out?

Have no fear; power outage will not negatively affect your device. If your electricity goes out a backup battery will assure device function for up to five days after power issues. Once your power is back on the backup battery will automatically recharge and be ready for any other unexpected surprises.

What happens if I move to a new address?

Moving to a new home is a stressful experience, however with your medical alert device, it doesn't have to be. All that is required from you is a written notice with new address and phone number, at least, twenty-four hours prior to the move. Once you are moved in you will need to perform a test procedure to assure the system is working with the correct address.

Will my device work even if I am outside?

You don't have to be confined to the inside of your home because of your device. Your device is meant to help you and make your life better, not stop you from enjoying it. Medical alert systems absolutely work outdoors! Depending on the company your system could work anywhere from three hundred to fifteen hundred feet from your home. So whether you're getting the mail or tending to your garden in the yard, if something happens and you need to use your device it will work.

What is the size of the medical alert system and pendant?

The medical alarm system is a small system that comes with a necklace with a small button on it.

How long is a medical alert system agreement?

Your medical alert system agreement will last for one year unless there are special circumstances.

Does the medical alert system unit need to be tested?

Staying on top of your system is important. Be sure to help the system that wants to help you! Your system should be tested monthly.

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Advertiser Disclosure

In order for MoneySavingPro to remain a consumer free service, many of the companies covered in our industry reviews compensate MoneySavingPro for new sign ups.

However, the results of our comparison tools, the rankings of the providers and the information presented is not affected by compensation. Indeed, many of these companies approach us for an advertising partnership after we have already written a published their reviews.

While we try to research and review as many providers as possible in the 100+ industries we cover, we have not reviewed every company available.

Our rating system is independent of compensation and reflects our true understanding of the industry and the company based on a variety of factors. The companies that receive the highest rating will always be the providers that we believe offer the best value to the consumer.

Advertiser Disclosure

In order for MoneySavingPro to remain a consumer free service, many of the companies covered in our industry reviews compensate MoneySavingPro for new sign ups.

However, the results of our comparison tools, the rankings of the providers and the information presented is not affected by compensation. Indeed, many of these companies approach us for an advertising partnership after we have already written a published their reviews.

While we try to research and review as many providers as possible in the 100+ industries we cover, we have not reviewed every company available.

Our rating system is independent of compensation and reflects our true understanding of the industry and the company based on a variety of factors. The companies that receive the highest rating will always be the providers that we believe offer the best value to the consumer.