Costco is a stalwart of grocery shopping. From a loaf of bread to a widescreen TV, Costco sells practically anything you can think of.
Can you also pick up a medical alert along with your groceries and household goods? The answer is yes, for the online shoppers among you. Costco’s website currently carries a medical alert eligible for online purchase only – and it’s from Medical Guardian, a reliable medical alert system that is one of our top med alert recommendations.
Which Medical Alert System Can I Buy From Costco?
Costco carries the Active Guardian Plus GPS medical alert system from Medical Guardian. Active Guardian is a convenient go-anywhere medic alert that can be worn by seniors inside and outside of the home.
Active Guardian is an all-in-one device that is easy to wear when out and about. Two way communication is via the easy-to-use pendant device. Fall detection is included as standard, so there’s no need to wear a second device for fall detection purposes.
We like what Medical Guardian has done with this device, creating an all-in-one solution for seniors both indoors and out in the community.
For seniors who are homebodies, Active Guardian provides added peace of mind in the home. However, the device really comes into its own for seniors who are active in their local communities.
Now they can go out to see friends or family, walk the dog or go for a drive, attend local events or go for a meal, or simply go out to enjoy the sunshine, knowing that if they need help it’s only a button press away.
How Does Active Guardian Medical Alert Work?
Active Guardian, like most mobile medical alert systems, uses cellular phone networks (in this case AT&T) to provide service both in the home and out of doors. However, unlike most mobile medical alert devices which rely solely on GPS, Active Guardian uses a combination of GPS and Wi-Fi hotspots to accurately pinpoint the location of the wearer.
No matter where the wearer is, Active Guardian’s technology searches for the nearest hotspots to provide seamless service. That also means that users can benefit from Active Guardian’s protection with no need to rely on a cell phone network.
If the wearer needs assistance, all they have to do is press the button. Their wearable device immediately connects them to the Active Guardian call center where operators offer support and reassurance, assess the situation, and dispatch help as needed.
We especially like that callers can request help from the people they’ve listed on their account as contacts, such as a nearby family member, friend or caregiver.
Medical Guardian understands that calling the EMTs isn’t always the right answer. Sometimes a trusted person who lives close is the best person to offer assistance. We think users will appreciate the flexibility.
What’s In The Box?
We’re particularly impressed with the extras that come as standard with this package. Many medical alerts include automatic fall detection or a lockbox as an extra, with an extra fee to match, too. With Active Guardian, both are included with the price. Let’s take a look at what’s inside the box:
This is lightweight, wearable device with adjustable lanyard. The device is watertight, making it safe for use in the bathroom, which is important as many falls happen in the tub or shower.
Automatic fall detection
There’s no need to pay extra or wear a separate pendant. Every Active Guardian comes with automatic fall detection as standard. The device uses accelerometer technology to sense sudden or unusual movements, and sends an automatic call to the center.
Most mobile medical alerts only work from one to three days on one charge. Active Guardian runs for an impressive five days on just one charge. We love how convenient this is – charge once and have peace of mind for most of the following week!
Many seniors worry about what would happen if EMTs needed to access their home in an emergency. After all, no one wants to deal with a broken lock on top of everything else.
A lockbox is mounted on the porch or outside the home and the user sets a pin code which they only share with the call center (it’s completely confidential).
In the event of EMTs needing access to the home, the call center lets them know the pin so they can access the key and enter without breaking the lock. Some medical alert systems include a lockbox as an added extra, but with Active Guardian it comes as standard.
To protect the wearer from out-of-pocket expenses from lost, damaged or stolen equipment.
User manual and quick activation guide
To get new customers up and running in no time.
Medical Guardian at Costco: Our View
Active Guardian is an exclusive online offer for Costco, but this isn’t the first time we’ve talked about the parent company, Medical Guardian. You can read our review of Medical Guardian here. Overall, we like how reliable Medical Guardian is, and how many options they offer their customers.
What Users Are Saying
We’ve gone through the on-site reviews so you don’t have to, and here’s what we found.
- Lots of users commented on the professional, kind service – a must for any medical alert system. Whether calling for help, or responding to a false alarm, it appears from reviews that the call center is wonderful to deal with.
- We also noticed a lot of comments on how clear and easy communication is with the center.
- Active Guardian is easy to use. Just one button touch summons help, and charging is as simple as putting the device in its charging cradle for a few hours. Ease of use is a must for elderly medic alert users, and it seems that Active Guardian delivers.
- We also noted a lot of praise for Active Guardian’s speed in dispatching help when needed. It’s reassuring for caregivers to know that if they can’t be there, help can be with their loved one in minutes.
- The main complaint we spotted about Active Guardian is the tendency for false alarms from the fall detection technology. This is a common problem with all fall detection enabled pendants, no matter who makes them. It seems that some users have remedied the problem by adjusting the length of the lanyard so the device sits closer to the wearer and doesn’t swing as much. We can understand the frustration, but we’re firmly of the opinion that it’s better to have fall detection and risk the occasional false alarm, than not to have it.
- Some wearers find the device a little bulky. This is also a common complaint we’ve noticed with mobile medical alerts. Active Guardian is designed to be lightweight and easy to wear but even so, some people find it uncomfortable. As there are no long term contracts it might be worthwhile to give it a try for a while and see if you can get used to it.
- A few people have had cell coverage issues. If this is the case for you, Active Guardian make it easy to return the unit.
No medical alert service is perfect, so we’re not surprised to see there have been a few snags for some users. However, the overwhelming majority of reviews are very positive indeed and it seems that Active Guardian has been well received and provided reassurance and assistance to many people.
What Does It Cost?
The system, including the medical alert device, fall detection, and lockbox, costs $129.99 from Costco online. This also includes shipping and handling, and three months of service.
Ongoing service starts at $49.95 (according to Medical Guardian’s website), but Costco offers monthly savings for people who buy through them. We spotted one review that mentioned saving $10 a month off the list price!
We really like this latest offering from Medical Guardian. It’s got everything seniors need to stay safe inside and outside the home, and is packed with useful features. Plus it’s from a company we know are reliable, and there are no long term contracts.