Readers looking for the best medical alert system for a loved one know that both quality and price are important considerations. After all, you don’t want to pay an unreasonable monthly fee, but you do want to be sure the medical alert you choose is reliable.
We were interested to learn that Walgreens now offers a medical alert button, known as Ready Response. As Walgreens is one of the most trusted pharmacy names in America, we are hopeful that Ready Response will turn out to be a reliable, high quality alert.
Walgreens Ready Response: Our Take
Without further ado, let’s launch into our ReadyResponse medical alert review to see if it offers good value to seniors.
Ready Response Medical Alert System: The Basics
Ready Response offers similar functionality to most medical alerts on the market today:
- Landline (Vi Service) and cellular, no landline required (CEL Service) options on the in-home system
- An available mobile cellular device for use out and about
- A pendant that can be worn different ways – around the neck, on a wristband, or on a belt clip
- Connects users to a 24/7 call center
- Swift response (under a minute)
- Call center staff dispatch help as needed – this can be either emergency services or a trusted responder who has a key to the senior’s home
Ready Response offers a few additional features: An optional senior fall alert pendant is available for an additional monthly fee. Users who choose to upgrade receive a new pendant which replaces the standard one. We like that there’s no need to wear two different buttons as we know many seniors find it cumbersome when the fall alert and emergency button are separate. The fall alert pendant is an additional $7.99/ month.
If an additional pendant is needed, one can be purchased for $4.99/month and lock boxes are available for $2.99/month.
What We Like
There’s a lot to like about Ready Response – and a few things that could use improvement.
Regular readers know we are strongly against long term contracts. We like the fact that Ready Response has an easy cancelation policy. Users simply give one month’s notice. Users should note, though, that they do pay for the month’s notice period.
We like the fact that the pendant can be worn around the neck, on the wrist, or clipped to a belt. Unlike some systems, buyers don’t have to choose which they want at checkout – each pendant can be worn all three ways.
We also appreciate that users can upgrade to include fall detection and receive a new pendant which includes their regular alert button plus the fall detection technology in one unit.
Ready Response also offers 36 hours backup battery life for the in-home base station in the event of a power outage, and is covered by a lifetime warranty.
What We Don’t Like
There are a few things we feel could use some improvement.
The range on Ready Response is not very good – only 390ft from the base station. Most medical alerts have a range of at least 600ft, with many stretching as far as 1000ft. If your loved one lives in a large home or spends a lot of time in the yard, you may want to double check whether the in-home Ready Response offers enough coverage.
If the in-home unit doesn’t offer sufficient coverage, the Mobile Safety device may be a better choice. This is the cellular option that can be used anywhere a cell connection is available (no cell phone needed). The cellular option is $39.99/month.
We also notice that the mobile device has a $14.99 activation fee. It’s not a big amount, but worth keeping in mind as every little bit pushes up the overall cost.
The monitoring center doesn’t automatically test the unit. They do issue regular test reminders, but for more infirm or forgetful seniors that’s not as practical as automatic testing.
There are no additional options such as activity monitoring, cell alerts for caregivers, or activity and usage reports.
What Does It Cost?
Ready Response costs $29.99 per month for the Vi landline option, $36.99 per month for the CEL at home cellular option, or $39.99 per month for On The Go mobile option. Fall detection is an additional $7.99 per month.
There are discounts available for quarterly, semi-annual and annual plans.
Ready Response pricing is comparable to most other medical alerts on the market today, although several other competitors are starting out at $19.99/month.
Walgreens Ready Response Verdict
Ready Response probably isn’t going to set the medical alert world on fire, but it offers a solid, usable no-fuss unit at a good price, with no long-term contracts. It’s not the best choice for people who need a bigger in-home range, or who would benefit from additional options, however it is an affordable, flexible system for those who are looking for a reliable medical alert without too many bells and whistles.