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The Best Medical Alert Systems 2019

About Our Expert:

Amie Clark

Editor of TheSeniorList.com

Amie has 20 years of experience in various senior care roles at skilled nursing facilities in Oregon and later as Senior Housing Advisor she helped seniors and their families find the best housing and care options.

In that role, Amie helped a client who was at risk of a fall related injury by recommending a medical alert system. From there she began hand-testing medical alert systems and writing reviews for them. Over the past 10 years as Editor of TheSeniorList, Amie’s writing has helped over 800,000 seniors and their families choose the right medical alert system.

  • 20 years experience in various senior care roles at skilled nursing facilities
  • 10 years experience hand-testing medical alert systems
  • Through her writing, she’s helped over 800,000 seniors and their families choose a medical alert system
Medical alert systems - also known as personal emergency response systems (PERS), medical emergency response systems (MERS) and fall buttons, offer peace of mind and a quick and easy way for an individual to get help during an emergency or any medical event that requires an immediate response. Finding the right medical alert system can be overwhelming. Allow us to guide you in making the right decision for you or your loved one.
Best Overall
#1
Overall Rating:
4.9 / 5
See Pricing » What We Like ↓
Most Affordable
#2
Overall Rating:
4.6 / 5
See Pricing » What We Like ↓
Easiest to Use
#3
Overall Rating:
4.5 / 5
See Pricing » What We Like ↓

What is a Medical Alert System?

Medical Alert Systems are life-saving devices that connect a user with help when a button is pressed, or in some cases, when a fall is detected. There are a large number of medical alert companies in the U.S., and they can vary widely in terms of equipment quality and services offered. With seemingly endless options to choose from, it’s difficult to know where to start. Rest assured, you’re in good hands. Our team of experts leave no stone unturned when testing and reviewing medical alert systems.

Our Highly-Anticipated Annual Lineup of the Best Medical Alert Systems for 2019.

Emergencies happen. That’s why a medical alert system is a life-saving investment for any senior. The ability to call and receive help at the touch of a button gives seniors and their loved ones the reassurance and peace of mind they deserve. But how do you know which one is best?

Simply narrowing down your choices can be a daunting task. That’s why every year over 250,000 people visit The Senior List for trusted advice and information on the best medical alert systems on the market today. We believe the alert systems on this list deliver the highest overall value to customers. And we think you’ll agree.

We Hold Medical Alert Systems to the Highest Standards

Medical alert systems must meet the following four criteria to qualify for our Recommended list:

  1. Equipment works as advertised, or better

    Most medical alert equipment on the market today is just “good enough.” But our readers deserve better than “good enough.” To make our list, medical alert equipment must perform to a high standard.

  2. Great customer service

    We look for customer service teams who answer calls in a timely manner, and who are courteous and knowledgeable enough to answer your questions.

  3. Affordable pricing

    Most medical alert systems range from $20 – $40 per month for traditional in-home systems, and a little more for cellular capabilities. All of the systems on our list fit this price bracket.

  4. Easy to cancel contracts

    If you frequent The Senior List, you know we’re very much against long-term contracts. Some companies lock customers into 3 year contracts, which means you’re stuck paying if your loved one no longer needs it. All of the companies on our recommended list offer easy cancelation terms with NO long-term contracts.

Ready to choose from a list of the best medical alert systems on the market today? Have a look at our highly-anticipated 2019 lineup.

The Top 9 Highest Ranked Medical Alert Systems

At a glance: Recommended Medical Alert Systems

Our
Rank
Medical Alert
Company
Starting At Fall
Detection
In Home
Range
Cellular
Provider
#1 $19.95/mo$10/mo1400ftAT&T
#2 $19.95/mo$10/mo1000ftAT&T 4G LTE
#3 $29.95/mo$10/mo1300ftAT&T
#4 $29.95/mo$15/mo400ftAT&T
#5 $29.95/mo$5/mo1300ftAT&T
#6 $19.95/mo$7/mo500ftAT&T
#7 $29.95/mo$11.95/mo600ftAT&T
#8 $30.00/mon/a1000ftAT&T
#9 $25.95/mo$11/mo600ftAT&T / T-Mobile

*Cellular units do not require wifi or an internet connection. There are no additional cellular contracts required for cellular units.

For additional details about these top rated companies, continue reading!

Our Full List of the Best Medical Alert Systems for 2019

  • What We Like Most:

    • Industry Leading Equipment
    • High-End Smartwatch for Active Seniors
    • Best 24/7 Monitoring Service
    • Best Fall Detection Technology

    Overview

    MobileHelp sets the standard in the medical alert industry for not only producing best-in-class equipment but also for providing the highest level of customer service. MobileHelp is an  FDA-registered company and has an A+ rating with the BBB. We have tested MobileHelp products for several years, and they consistently meet or exceed our expectations.

    MobileHelp offers cellular in-home medical alert systems, mobile + GPS systems, and a unique smartwatch option. Extras like fall detection, medication reminders, activity tracking, and vital sign monitoring are also available.

    MobileHelp’s smartwatch is a particularly good choice for men, as it doesn’t look like an alert system. Also, it has the features of an actual watch, so it is more likely to be worn on a daily basis.

    MobileHelp offers a beautiful solution for women with classic, high-end jewelry.  Their Trelawear collection pairs a neck pendant with either the in-home or mobile medical alert.

    MobileHelp is also a great choice for couples, as they are one of the few companies that offer a two-for-one deal for both in-home and on-the-go systems.

    MobileHelp’s landline and cellular lineup of medical alert systems ensure that users will be covered regardless of whether or not they have a landline. With six different systems to choose from, MobileHelp keeps users safe in homes large and small, and with options for both homebodies and seniors on-the-go. Read our comprehensive MobileHelp Review here.

    MobileHelp Details:

    Features: Cellular in-home option, cellular mobile option with GPS, water-resistant button.

    Extras: Automatic fall detection, medication reminders, activity tracking, vital signs monitoring (blood pressure, weight, blood oxygen saturation levels).

    Battery: 30-hour backup battery on the in-home system, 24-hour battery life on the mobile system.

    In-home range: 1400 ft range from base station, cellular, no landline required.

    Cost: Starts at $19.95 monthly for the in-home cellular system (one-time $49.95 fee for in-home system only, this fee is waived if you choose an annual plan).

    Why we chose them: MobileHelp manufactures top-of-the-line medical alert equipment and offers a great range of traditional and cellular options to suit your needs.

    What makes them stand out: Their optional MobileHelp vital signs tracker and medication reminders makes them much more than a help button. MobileHelp’s equipment is top quality and used by a number of other medical alert companies.

    Medical Alert Systems Offered:

    MobileHelp Classic — In-home cellular medical alert system. The base station has a clear two-way speaker and communicates seamlessly with the help button.

    MobileHelp Touch — Combination of a mobile medical alert and in-home tablet with features like medication management, video-based physician consultations, brain games, and a photo gallery.

    MobileHelp Solo — Mobile + GPS + two-way voice medical alert. Perfect for seniors on-the-go.

    MobileHelp Smart — Medical alert smartwatch featuring activity monitoring, the weather forecast, heart rate monitor, and easy-to-press help button. Does not require a smartphone to work.

    MobileHelp Duo — Two systems in one. MobileHelp Classic + Solo, perfect for couples.

    Mobile Duo — The only two for the price of one mobile + GPS medical alert system. Covers two people on the go, in and outside of the home.

    How Much Does MobileHelp Cost?

    The alert systems from MobileHelp range in cost from $19.99-$44.95/month.

    What users are saying:

    “Without my MobileHelp alert system, I would probably not have lived. Thank You MobileHelp for helping to save my life.”

    “Everybody who lives alone should have one.”

    “I test it once a month and response is pretty immediate. Plus, their customer service reps are very responsive. It’s very easy to use too.”

    “I’m absolutely loving it and I have recommended it to people.”

    What the company says: “MobileHelp, with an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, has a reputation for the highest quality affordable mobile emergency systems allowing you to maintain an active life at home or on the go.”

     Promotion Alert! A free lockbox, $29.95 retail value, is available on all orders.

    Pros

    • Duo is one of the only two-in-one systems available
    • Flexible pricing plans
    • No landline required for in-home systems
    • Stylish smartwatch option, great for men
    • Two pendants included with every system
    • No long-term contracts
    • Simple, easy to understand pricing
    • High quality equipment
    • Free lockbox with all orders
    • FDA-compliant

    Cons

    • Fall detection and cellular are two separate units
    • Initial set-up fee for in-home unit (monthly plan only)
  • What We Like Most:

    • Many Affordable Options
    • First In-Car Medical Alert Technology
    • 30 Days Risk-Free Trial
    • Free Monitoring for Spouses

    Overview

    Bay Alarm Medical is a long-standing, family-run company that has been around since 1946. Bay Alarm Medical prides itself on outstanding customer service, and it shows in their numerous online positive reviews and customer testimonials.

    Bay Alarm Medical offers a traditional in-home medical alert system, a cellular in-home system (no landline needed), and a 4G LTE + GPS mobile option for those who need support outside of the home. They are also the first company to offer an in-car medical alert system to keep older drivers safe.

    Bay Alarm Medical is a good choice for people with large homes. The in-home system has a range of about 1,000 ft, which should cover just about any home.

    Bay Alarm Medical is also a great option for seniors who are still driving, as they offer the first in-car medical alert system. The in-car system also works well for teen drivers whose parents want to keep track of their location and receive boundary notifications.

    Bay Alarm Medical Details:

    Features: Landline and cellular in-home options, mobile option with 4G LTE coverage and GPS, in-car medical alert, water-resistant buttons.

    Extras: Wireless wall buttons, “vial of life” medical information pack so that EMTs can quickly review the customer’s medical history in an emergency, and caregiver tracking portal (on mobile systems only).

    Battery: 32-hour backup battery on in-home system, 72-hour battery life on the mobile system.

    In-home range: 1,000 ft. for the in-home system

    Cost: Starts at $19.95 monthly.

    Why we chose them: Bay Alarm Medical offers great product features, but what we love most is their dedication to customer service.  Our editors and met with their team on several occasions to discuss what really matters to older adults and in the medical alert community.

    What makes them stand out: Bay Alarm Medical offers simple pricing and easy to install equipment. A nice range of products (without being overwhelming) to fit a variety of situations.  In addition, Bay Alarm Medical has over 2,000 verified reviews on Google with an average of 4.7/5-star rating.

    Medical Alert Systems Offered:

    In The Home — In-home medical alert system. Choose from a traditional landline option or the cellular option for those without a landline.

    On The Go — New in 2019, the mobile + GPS option from Bay Alarm Medical is a small, sleek cellular unit with 4G LTE and lasts up to 72 hours on a single charge.

    On The Road — The first in-the-car medical alert system is perfect for seniors who are still driving. The device called Splitsecnd simply plugs into a 12V plug in any vehicle for instant connection to help in the event of a crash or press of the built-in help button.

    How Much Does Bay Alarm Medical Cost?

    The alert systems from Bay Alarm Medical range from $19.95-$29.95/month.

    What users are saying:

    “Bay Alarm Medical is the ideal medical monitoring system because of the balance it strikes between good features and good value.”

    “After a complete comparative review process, it was clearly evident that Bay Alarm Medical offered the best overall package.”

    “When I was researching different companies, Bay Alarm was the most informative and helpful. They answered all of my many questions and were very patient.”

    What the company says: “Bay Alarm Medical’s mission is to provide affordable safety and peace of mind for you and your loved ones.”

     

    Pros

    • No equipment fees
    • Lowest monthly cost
    • In business since 1946
    • No long-term contracts
    • Try for 30-days risk-free
    • Excellent customer service
    • In-home and cellular mobile options
    • Innovative in-car medical alert device

    Cons

    • Longer shipping times to the east coast
  • What We Like Most:

    • Traditional & Cellular Options
    • Great for Large Homes
    • Innovative SmartWatch for Active Seniors
    • 1st Month Of Service is FREE

    Overview

    Over the last decade, Medical Guardian has served its users across the U.S. with a fierce commitment to customer satisfaction and saving lives. The company has earned numerous awards including “Top Workplaces,” “Best Places to Work,” and most recently, “National Winner for The Best and Brightest Companies to Work For.” The vibrant work culture at Medical Guardian translates to happy employees who are dedicated to helping seniors.

    Medical Guardian offers an in-home traditional medical alert system, an in-home cellular option, two mobile + GPS devices, a smartwatch, and fall detection.

    Medical Guardian is perfect for active seniors who want to remain safe without being tethered to their home. The Classic Guardian is a great option for those with larger homes.

    Medical Guardian is also a great choice for those who are often on-the-go outside the home with the long-lasting Active Guardian and the “invisible” medical alert of the Freedom Guardian.

    Medical Guardian provides top-notch medical alert equipment in addition to their stellar service. They offer traditional and cellular in-home options, two mobile + GPS units, an all-inclusive family monitoring plan, and an innovative smartwatch for both men and women. Read the Medical Guardian review here to learn more about their offering.

    Medical Guardian Details:

    Features: Landline and cellular In-home options, mobile option, new combination Wi-Fi and cellular system for more active users, water-resistant button.

    Extras: Automatic fall detection.

    Battery: 32-hour backup battery on the at-home system, and 24-hour battery life on the mobile system.

    In-home range: 1,300 ft on Classic Guardian, a traditional at-home system. Although a landline is required, this is one of the longest ranges on the in-home market today!

    Cost: Starts at $29.95 monthly.

    Why we chose them: Medical Guardian offers a flexible range of units and pricing plans, and their customer service is second-to-none.

    What makes them stand out: The 1,300 ft range on the home unit is the highest range we’ve seen. And their new combined Wi-Fi and the cellular unit is unique in that it’s the only such option on the market today.

    Medical Alert Systems Offered:

    Classic Guardian — Traditional in-home medical alert system that plugs into a landline. With a range of up to 1,300 ft., this is the most robust in-home system to date.

    Home Guardian — Cellular in-home medical alert system that works without a landline.

    Family Guardian — The most advanced in-home system combining a cellular alert system with activity monitoring and a smartphone app for family and caregivers.

    Mobile Guardian — Mobile + GPS medical alert that runs off of the AT&T network. Has a 24-hour battery life and a clear two-way speaker to connect with a monitoring center in the event of an emergency.

    Active Guardian — Mobile + GPS + WiFi location technology + fall detection. This medical alert system does it all. It includes a 5-day battery life, precise location technology, clear two-way speaker, and it’s waterproof.

    Freedom Guardian — An innovative alert system that combines medical alert technology in a feature-rich smartwatch that doesn’t require a cell phone to operate. With black or white color options, the Freedom Guardian is great for men or women who want to wear a medical alert system discreetly.

    How Much Does Medical Guardian Cost?

    The alert systems from Medical Guardian range from $29.95-$79.95/month.

    What users are saying:

    “Their people went out of their way to explain their services. Unlike many of the other companies they did not try to sell me more than I needed and their overall pricing was better than the rest that I talked to.”

    “I’d recommend Medical Guardian to anybody.”

    “Dealing with their team has been pleasant and easy. It’s a good experience and I would recommend it.”

    What the company says: “Here at Medical Guardian, there’s nothing we love more than hearing, ‘My medical alert device saved my life,’ because that’s what we do. We’re not just selling emergency response systems; we’re saving lives, every single day.”

    Special Offer: Call Now to Get 1 FREE Month of Service! Use Promo code TSL19 to get your savings today!

    Pros

    • No long-term contracts
    • Variety of med alert systems to fit any budget and lifestyle
    • Excellent range (1300 ft) on Classic in-home system
    • Sleek, updated hardware
    • New smartwatch option suitable for men and women
    • Water resistant pendants
    • High quality equipment

    Cons

    • Monthly monitoring fees are higher than some competitors
  • What We Like Most:

    • All-In-One Mobile Alert
    • FDA Approved
    • 1st Medical Alert Service in North America
    • Most Personalized Response Plan

    Overview

    Philips Lifeline was the first company to provide medical alert services in North America in 1974. The company was founded by a gerontologist who wanted to create a solution for seniors living at home alone. Philips Lifeline is FDA approved and boasts the largest subscriber base in the U.S.

    Philips Lifeline offers in-home landline and cellular (no landline needed) as well as cellular mobile units for those looking for coverage outside the home.

    Philips Lifeline is a good choice for those looking for professional installation, but do-it-yourself-ers can also easily install the equipment themselves.

    Philips Lifeline’s options include the in-home options, Home Safe Standard and Home Safe with Auto Alert which includes fall detection. The on-the-go options include GoSafe and GoSafe 2. Both protect a user at home and away, but the GoSafe 2 is an all-in-one pendant with a two-way speaker and fall detection. Read our in-depth Philips Lifeline review here.

    Philips Lifeline Details:

    Features: Landline and cellular at-home option, landline and cellular mobile option, all-in-one mobile option, water-resistant pendants

    Extras: Automatic fall detection (known as AutoAlert), customized response plan so you can choose who is contacted in the case of an emergency, voice extension, lockbox

    Battery: 30-hour backup battery on the in-home system, up to 7 days on the mobile systems (impressive!)

    In-Home Range: 400 ft range from the base station on home devices, up to 200ft for landline mobile option

    Cost: Starts at $29.95 monthly for landline and $44.95 for cellular

    Why we chose them: Philips is a trusted name in mobile medical alerts, and we love that they offer a range of options to suit different needs.

    What makes them stand out: They offer a lightweight, convenient mobile alert that can be used both inside and outside the home. Their pricing remains the same no matter how long you sign up for, unlike most providers who charge you more per month if you pay on a month to month basis.

    Medical Alert Systems Offered:

    HomeSafe Standard (landline) – base station with a two-way speaker and a water-resistant button

    HomeSafe Standard (cellular) – base station that works with no landline required and a water-resistant button

    HomeSafe with AutoAlert (landline) – base station with a two-way speaker and a water-resistant button with fall detection technology

    HomeSafe with AutoAlert (cellular) – base station that works with no landline required and a water-resistant button with fall detection technology

    GoSafe (landline) – an in-home communicator and a lightweight waterproof button that can be worn inside and outside the home

    GoSafe (cellular) – an in-home communicator that works without a landline and a lightweight waterproof button that can be worn inside and outside the home

    GoSafe2 (cellular) – an all-in-one pendant that can be worn anywhere

    How Much Does Philips Lifeline Cost?

    Medical alert systems from Philips LifeLine range in cost from $29.95 – $64.95 monthly.

    What users are saying:

    “I’m very pleased with my device and I never take it off. I never know what could happen. My Philips is wonderful and I’ve recommended it to other people.”

    “The team is very supportive and it’s comforting to know that I have someone as professional as they are on the line when I need help. I would highly recommend them.”

    “I’m here by myself a lot of times and the Philips Lifeline makes me feel safe. I carry it around my neck all the time if my husband isn’t here. I can’t say enough good about it and I wouldn’t be without it. “

    “I fell one time and I couldn’t get up, and I used it then. The response was good and my experiences have always been good too.”

    What the company says: “Our personal alert services give you fast, reliable access to a trained North America-based, Response Associate 24/7 at the push of a button.”

     Promotion Alert! All units have a one-time activation fee. Be sure to use Promo Code X2HW to receive free shipping + free activation! 

     

    Pros

    • Waterproof buttons
    • Fall detection available
    • No long term contracts
    • Automatic battery testing
    • Personalized call response plans
    • Responsive and professional monitoring center
    • Option for an all-in-one pendant with the GoSafe2
    • Long lasting batteries – up to seven days on the mobile system
    • Pay the same amount whether you sign up month to month or for a few months at a time

    Cons

    • Activation fee (be sure to use the code X2HW to receive free shipping + free activation)
    • Fall detection add-on is more costly compared to other systems
    • No caregiver monitoring or other "smart" medical alert features like activity tracking
  • What We Like Most:

    • Free spouse coverage
    • Price lock for life guarantee
    • 1300 ft in-home range
    • Add fall detection for only $5/month

    Overview

    In business since 1976, LifeFone has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. All of the services they offer are provided by an entirely U.S. based workforce, and they offer customer-friendly policies like 30-day money back and price-lock guarantees.

    LifeFone is a great option for active seniors who don’t want to worry about constantly charging their medical alert system. The 30-day battery life on the mobile system is one of the longest-lasting batteries in the industry.

    LifeFone is also a great fit for couples who don’t want to pay for two systems with their At-Home and On-The-Go-GPS combo. There are very few companies that provide this kind of value.

    LifeFone provides the same high-quality medical alert equipment as several other top-rated companies. They offer four alert systems: in-home (both traditional and cellular options), a combination at-home and on-the-go system (perfect for couples), and two mobile + GPS units with 30-day battery life. All systems are compatible with optional fall detection. Learn more about their offering in our LifeFone review.

    LifeFone Details:

    Features: Choose between at-home (with a landline or without) options, on the go GPS, mobile two-way voice system or a bundled system with both at-home and on the go devices.

    Extras: Lockbox options, wall mounted buttons, accessories. Fire, smoke, and carbon monoxide monitoring with the complete home package. Mobile apps for individuals and families.

    Battery: 32-hour backup battery for the in-home system.

    In-home range: 1,300 ft. range from base station, cellular or traditional landline

    Cost: Prices start at $24.95 for the in-home system.

    Why we chose them: LifeFone has been serving customers for over 40 years. They have a proven track record of customer service excellence and utilize high-quality medical alert equipment.

    What makes them stand out: Price lock for life guarantee, free spouse coverage, lowest fall detection add-on cost ($5/mo), no long term contracts, own monitoring center (not outsourced).

    Medical Alert Systems Offered:

    At-Home Landline — Traditional in-home medical alert system for those with a landline. The equipment has an impressive range of 1,300 ft and is perfect for older adults with larger homes.

    At-Home Cellular — In-home medical alert for those without a landline. Uses a cellular network (AT&T) with no additional cellular fees. Also boasts a range of 1,300 ft for maximum coverage.

    At-Home and On-The-Go-GPS — This is a great option for couples. An in-home alert system paired with a mobile + GPS device that can be used by two people at once.

    At-Home and On-The-Go-GPS, Voice in Necklace — Mobile + GPS medical alert system that gives you maximum coverage using both Verizon and AT&T cellular networks. With a battery life of 30-days, this is a perfect mobile medical alert system for active users who don’t want to worry about charging a senior alert device every day.

    How Much Does LifeFone Cost?

    The alert systems from LifeFone range from $24.95-$39.99/month.

    What users are saying:
    “Your call center personnel have always been polite and efficient. When intervention was required, you promptly went through the call list and called for MedAct when appropriate…”
    “We have not yet had an emergency, but several ‘accidental’ button pushes. LifeFone was prompt in answering and very patient, courteous, and helpful in response.”
    “Wonderful response when I press the button. They are very kind and handle the calls very professionally.”

    What the company says: “LifeFone is a leading provider in Medical Alert Service and is recognized by doctors, hospitals, and caregivers along with premier national health, education and consumer organizations. We are the first service provider to have consumer friendly service policies, and we maintain that philosophy throughout everything we do.”

     Visit LifeFone or call (866) 790-3741 to learn about promotional pricing for new customers.

    Pros

    • Free spouse coverage
    • Price lock for life guarantee
    • Lowest fall detection add-on cost
    • Traditional in-home landline and cellular options
    • 1,300 ft range for in-home system
    • No long-term contracts
    • In-house monitoring center
    • High quality equipment

    Cons

    • Monthly costs are slightly higher than some competition
  • What We Like Most:

    • Starts at $19.95
    • No Long-Term Contracts
    • Five Day Battery Life on Cellular Mobile Unit
    • 30 Day Money Back Guarantee

    Overview

    LifeStation has been keeping seniors safe since 1977. Recent updates to their equipment and customer-service has dramatically improved the overall consumer experience. We like seeing medical alert companies strive for greatness, and so we are happy to see LifeStation’s major improvements over the past several years.

    LifeStation is a good option for those who want a no-frills medical alert device with no long-term contracts and a 30-day money-back guarantee.

    LifeStation is keeping it simple with three primary medical alert options. Traditional in-home (landline required), cellular in-home (no landline needed) and a mobile + GPS option. Fall detection can be added on to any of the alert systems. Our LifeStation review goes into further detail if you want to learn more.

    LifeStation Details:

    Features: Landline and cellular in-home options, a mobile option with GPS, water-resistant button.

    Extras: Automatic fall detection.

    Battery: 32-hour backup battery on in-home option (one of the longest backup batteries we’ve seen.)

    In-home range: 500ft.

    Cost: Starts at $25.95 monthly.

    Why we chose them: LifeStation has really listened to their customers and made huge strides in their offerings, proving their commitment to giving customers the very best service possible.
    What makes them stand out: 30-day money back guarantee, a long 5-day battery life on the mobile unit.

    Medical Alert Systems Offered:

    In-Home Traditional — Traditional in-home medical alert system that plugs into a landline with a 1,000 ft range between the base station and waterproof neck pendant or wristband.

    In-Home Plus — Cellular in-home medical alert system that works well for users without a landline. Comes with waterproof neck pendant or wristband.

    Mobile with GPS — The mobile + GPS unit from LifeStation is a typical model we see offered by other highly-rated medical alert companies. It works off of the AT&T cellular network and boasts a 5-day battery life.

    How Much Does LifeStation Cost?

    The alert systems from LifeStation range from $19.95-$34.95/month.

    What users are saying:
    “Worth its weight in GOLD! Thank You.”
    “The entire experience from the start was simple, easy and great. Anytime we have any contact with LifeStation employees, it has been a real pleasure.”
    “The operator was informative and clear. The job could not have been done better!”

    What the company says: “Around the clock, LifeStation provides technical, supervisory & operational staff to meet your needs. Whatever situation may arise, our highly skilled employees will be there.”

    Promotion Alert! Get a FREE lockbox when you use promo code: SLIST

    Pros

    • Both landline and cellular in-home options available
    • No long-term contracts
    • 30-day money back guarantee
    • Water-resistant button
    • Long 5-day battery life on mobile unit
    • Low monthly monitoring fees start at $19.95

    Cons

    • Some users report false alarms on fall detection pendant
  • What We Like Most:

    • Outstanding Customer Service
    • 30-Day Battery Life on Cellular Unit
    • Automatic Fall Detection + GPS on Cellular Unit
    • Free Month of Service
    4.3 / 5
    See Pricing

    Overview

    The ResponseNow management team has over 30 years in the business of saving lives. They have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and offer flexible, customer-friendly pricing and terms. You can see just how great they are in our ResponseNow review.

    ResponseNow is an excellent choice for people looking for a long battery life on a cellular unit. The Belle cellular medical alert is small and easily worn around the neck.

    ResponseNow is also a good choice for those looking for mobile and fall detection in one unit. Many other cellular devices require a second pendant if you want fall detection, but with the Belle+, the two features are combined.

    ResponseNow’s core medical alert products are comprised of an in-home landline system and two mobile options powered by the AT&T cellular network.

    ResponseNow Details:

    Features: Landline and cellular in-home options, mobile option, water-resistant button.

    Extras: Automatic fall detection, device tracking for the mobile option.

    Battery: Mobile option (Belle) has a battery life of 30 days between recharges – the longest we’ve seen!

    In-home range: 600ft

    Cost: Starts at $24.95 monthly (use the code “Senior List” to receive a free month of service).

    Why we chose them: We’ve personally met with ResponseNow representatives, and we were impressed with their heart, dedication, and high standards for customer satisfaction.

    What makes them stand out: Their Belle mobile unit has a 30-day battery life, longer than any other mobile unit.

    Medical Alert Systems Offered:

    In The Home — The traditional medical alert option from ResponseNow is a good fit for people who spend most of their time at home. Expand the range and number of users with the addition of wall buttons and extra pendants. Fall detection can be added on for an additional fee.

    Belle — The cellular alert option is a sleek and compact mobile unit that boasts a 30-day battery life. This is one of the longest-lasting batteries on the market today! Weighing in at a mere 1.8 ounces, the Belle is easy to wear as a pendant.

    Belle+ — The other cellular option from ResponseNow is slightly different from the original Belle. The Belle+ is also GPS enabled (device tracking) and has built-in fall detection. The only downside is the limited battery life (5-days) due to the additional features.

    How Much Does ResponseNow Cost?

    The alert systems from ResponseNow range from $24.95-$44.95/month.

    What users are saying:
    “I made several test calls and always got prompt answers.”
    “They got a new pendant to me before I even knew it needed to be replaced. I was so impressed by the prompt service.”
    “The setup was so simple that my mother in law had plugged the unit in and tested the service with the monitoring center before I had got in my car to drive to her house.”

    What the company says: “When you’re ordering a medical alarm from ResponseNow, you can be assured you’re buying from a company that truly knows and cares for its customers.”

    Promotion Alert! For a FREE month of service, use the code SENIOR LIST 

    Pros

    • Both landline and cellular in-home options available
    • 30 day battery life on cellular mobile medical alert
    • Excellent customer service
    • 30 day money-back guarantee
    • No long-term contracts
    • Customer-friendly cancellation terms
    • Waterproof pendant

    Cons

    • In-home system range of 500ft.
  • What We Like Most:

    • 1000 ft In-Home Range
    • Activity Alerts
    • Cellular or Land-line Options
    • Two Year Battery Life
    4.1 / 5
    See Pricing

    Overview

    QMedic’s medical alert devices were created by MIT scientists and take a proactive approach to senior alert technology. QMedic partners with leading health providers across the U.S. to help manage the independence and wellbeing of their members. QMedic is also available to general consumers who are not affiliated with its health providers.

    QMedic uses its own proprietary equipment. The biggest differentiator between QMedic and most other medical alert companies is that it provides proactive measures like wellness calls if abnormal behavior patterns are detected. Indicators like decreased activity or not wearing the button are examples of behavior that may indicate a problem. You can read more about their medical alert features in our QMedic review.

    QMedic is a great choice for seniors who are frail, blind, or disabled because of the unique proactive monitoring and alerts the company provides. However, QMedic does not offer additional fall detection at this time.

    QMedic Details:

    Features: Landline and cellular in-home options, completely water proof button, proactive alerts for caregivers including mobility and sleep anomalies, whether the wearer is home, and whether the wearer is wearing the device.

    Extras: With QMedic all features are included as standard – there’s no need to pay extra for monitoring and alerts. Unfortunately, automatic fall detection is not available at this time.

    Battery: 24-hour backup battery, 2-year battery life on all pendants (pendants don’t need recharging.)

    In-home range: 1,000 ft.

    Cost: $25/mo. with an annual plan or $30/mo with a month-to-month plan.

    Why we chose them: The base station has an impressive 1,000 ft radius, much larger than many systems we review. Beyond offering a dependable medical alert button, QMedic also features activity alerts to detect deviations in sleep and activity patterns.

    What makes them stand out: QMedic makes it so easy for caregivers to monitor their loved ones and receive immediate alerts about changes in activity and mobility, or if the device is removed.

    Medical Alert Systems Offered:

    In-Home Landline — You can choose from a wristband or pendant. With an impressive range of 1,000 ft radius from the base station, it surpasses most other in-home systems in this way. Choose from a waterproof wrist bracelet or neck pendant.

    In-Home Cellular — All the features of the In-Home Landline system, except there’s no landline needed.

    Outdoor Mobile GPS — The mobile + GPS safety alert from QMedic is a high-quality device used by several other medical alert companies. No fall detection is available, as QMedic firmly believes fall detection technology still needs much improvement before they are willing to offer it to their customers.

    How Much Does QMedic Cost?

    The alert systems from QMedic range from $30.00-$45.00/month.

    What users are saying:
    “The QMedic system has already worked for us exactly the way that we need it to, and we are so thankful for this high tech system that we trust to alert us whenever she needs assistance. If you have a loved one who has the additional challenge of not being able to speak well, I recommend contacting them.”

    What the company says: “We’re a team of healthcare professionals and technologists whose mission is to keep care in network and at home.”

     

    Pros

    • Waterproof
    • Proactive activity alerts
    • 2 year battery life on pendants
    • In-home and cellular available
    • Straightforward, no-frills pricing
    • Impressive 1,000 ft. radius for in-home system

    Cons

    • No automatic fall detection
  • What We Like Most:

    • Starts at $19.95
    • Choose T-Mobile or AT&T for Cellular Unit
    • Free Shipping, Free Activation
    4.1 / 5
    See Pricing

    Overview

    Alert1 has been providing medical alert services since 1988, and today they serve customers in all 50 states. All staff is U.S. based, and support is provided in 190 different languages. Alert1 has no long-term contracts and has agreed to zero termination fees for The Senior List customers.

    Alert1 offers a range of equipment for users who primarily remain at home as well as for those who are frequently out and about. See the full equipment lineup in our Alert1 review.

    Alert1 is a good choice for seniors who need a basic in-home system for the lowest possible monthly cost. At $19.95, the traditional in-home medical alert system is a good option.

    Alert1 is also a good fit for couples who need to be covered separately. Each medical alert package has the option to upgrade with a discount for the second user.

    Alert1 Details:

    Features: Landline in-home option, mobile option with GPS, water-resistant buttons.

    Extras: Fall detection available for both landline and mobile options.

    Battery: 24-hour backup battery on the in-home system, 1-month long battery life between on mobile system.

    In-home range: 600ft.

    Cost: From $19.95 monthly with an annual plan.

    Why we chose them: Alert1 makes choosing the right system uncomplicated and affordable. If you are choosing the mobile option, you decide between T-Mobile or AT&T, whichever offers the best cellular coverage in your area.

    What makes them stand out: Their new “PAX” package gives customers complete coverage and fall detection both in and out of the home.

    Medical Alert Systems Offered:

    Home — Traditional in-home landline-required system. If you have been reading this complete medical alert guide, you should be quite familiar with this type of system. This system has a 600 ft. range and an additional user can be added for just $10 more per month.

    Home Fall Detection — This combo in-home cellular unit + fall detection offers protection throughout the home with a 400 ft range. An additional user can be added for $10 more per month. The pendant is shower-proof and uses the T-Mobile network.

    On-the-Go — Mobile cellular unit uses either the T-Mobile or AT&T network. It’s small and compact, and can be worn around the neck or in the protective case clipped to a belt. Does not include fall detection or GPS. This device is good for people who just want basic mobile medical alert protection. A second user can be added for $20 more per month.

    On-the-Go Fall Detection — The same features as the On-the-Go device, with fall detection and GPS included. Uses the AT&T network and is waterproof. A good fit for users looking for a cellular device with all the bells and whistles. An additional user costs $20 more per month.

    On-the-Go + Home Fall Detection — This is the perfect system for two users. Includes a fall detection pendant, a cellular device, and a standard waterproof wrist button. Uses the AT&T cellular network, and the cellular device is GPS enabled. If additional equipment is needed (if both users needed cellular protection, for example) an additional user costs $30 more per month.

    How Much Does Alert1 Cost?

    The alert systems from Alert1 range from $19.95-$52.95/month.

    What users are saying:
    “I am so happy with Alert1. It’s the fastest response you can get. I can’t imagine why we didn’t get this before.”
    “We found Alert1’s service to be excellent and reliable.”
    “The service is the best in the industry and I have literally seen them save a life! I strongly recommend Alert1.”

    What the company says: “Our operators go through a rigorous training program so they know how to handle and help you through any situation.”

     

    Pros

    • Landline and cellular options available
    • Mobile and fall detection in one available
    • Great value for traditional in-home medical alert system ($19.95/mo)
    • Free shipping, free activation
    • Choice between T-Mobile or AT&T for mobile unit

    Cons

    • Cellular plans tend to cost more than competitors

How do I find the best medical alert system for my loved one?

You are in the right place. Our editorial team has been testing and reviewing medical alert equipment for many years, and we update our information frequently. If you take the time to read through our reviews and comments from other visitors, you will gain a good understanding of what each company offers, the related costs, and if they will be a good fit for your loved one.

Our comprehensive list of the best medical alert systems for 2019 wouldn’t be complete without a more in-depth look at medical alert devices in general.

Who uses a medical alert system?

Medical alert systems are primarily used by seniors who may need additional support and safety reassurances while living at home. Many medical alert users live alone in their own homes. Couples utilize alert devices as well, especially in situations where one person is at home and the other is out running errands, exercising, or visiting friends.

How do medical alert systems work?

There are several types of medical alert systems used both in and outside of the home.

1. In-Home Medical Alert Systems

  • In-home traditional: This system is meant to be used inside of the home and requires a working landline to connect with a monitoring center. These systems are easy to install by plugging the alert system into a power outlet and the phone jack. Here are a couple of examples:

Examples of in-home medical alert systems from a variety of top rated companies.

  • In-home cellular: No landline? No problem. Many medical alert companies offer in-home systems that use a cellular connection to work. Simply plug in the power source and the system initiates installation. Some in-home cellular systems look exactly like their traditional (landline) counterparts. Here are a couple of examples:

Examples of in-home cellular medical alert systems from a variety of top rated companies.

Both in-home and cellular medical alert systems include a stationary base station with a two-way speaker to communicate with trained monitoring personnel, as well as a small button that can be worn around the neck or wrist, depending on the user’s choice. Remember to consider the range of the base station and the pendant — some larger homes may need a system with a larger range. Currently, the best systems have a range of up to 1,300 ft. We generally recommend a system that has a range large enough to cover an outdoor area of a home, as many falls occur outside.

2. Mobile Medical Alert Systems

Mobile, on-the-go or cellular medical alert systems are ideal for people who want access to help even if they are away from home. Cellular alert systems feature a two-way speaker with a button to press for help. These compact devices (smaller than a cell phone) use a cell signal to connect to trained monitoring personnel. You’ll be glad to know there are no additional charges from cellular providers for cellular medical alert systems. Here are a couple of examples:

These are examples of cellular medical alert systems that can be taken anywhere with a cellular signal.

Some mobile medical alerts are GPS enabled. This helpful feature allows monitoring staff to locate users through GPS capabilities in the device. This is important as some users may be unable to verbalize their location if they are hurt, confused, or otherwise experiencing a medical emergency.

3. Medical Alert Smart Watches

The medical alert smartwatch is a recent addition to the medical alert industry.. Geared toward both men and women, these sleek and modern-looking devices ensure that mom or dad remain safe without others even knowing. These systems work independently of a cell phone (with no additional cellular fees) and look like a typical smartwatch. Not only are they discreet, life-saving devices, they also operate as a functional watch, activity tracker, and they can be set up to provide medication reminders and more. Here are a couple of examples:

These are examples of medical alert smartwatches that don't require a smartphone.

What is automatic fall detection?

As mentioned, automatic fall detection is also a consideration when it comes to choosing a medical alert system. Through sophisticated accelerometer technology, automatic fall detection pendants can detect a fall and automatically place a call to monitoring personnel without the user having to press the button. Keep in mind, this technology is not 100% accurate, and false alerts may occur. However, in the event that a loved one falls (or has a medical emergency) and is unable to press the button on their safety device, there is comfort in knowing that help can still be reached.

Who answers the call when the button is pressed or a fall is detected?

When a user pushes the button on their alert pendant, wrist-worn button, or medical alert smartwatch, the call is answered by a real person in a specialized monitoring center. There are several of these monitoring centers located across the U.S., and it is typical for medical alert companies to contract with these centers. Very few medical alert companies have their own in-house monitoring personnel.

Our editorial team has had the opportunity to visit one of these monitoring centers in Utah. We witnessed first-hand the expertise and knowledge of the highly-trained staff who work in these monitoring centers. Since an average of 80% of button pushes aren’t emergency-related, the patient staff field calls from lonely seniors, false alarms, users testing equipment, worried spouses, and other non-emergency situations.

However, in the event of an emergency call, the monitoring personnel stays on the line with the user while contacting emergency responders. They will also connect with family and friends according to the user’s notification procedure.

The medical alert industry and long-term contracts

In the early years of the medical alert industry, long-term contracts were the norm. One-, two-, and up to three-year contracts had customers paying for medical alert devices even when they no longer wanted or needed the service. As the industry has grown and become more competitive, we are happy to report that long-term contracts are (mostly) a thing of the past. We do not recommend signing up for any medical alert service that requires more than a 3-month contract. None of the companies on this list require long-term contracts and many offer prorated refunds if a user no longer needs the equipment. Keep in mind, it is standard that the equipment must be returned by the user in good working condition before a refund is issued.

I had no idea what a “medical alert system” was — what else are they called?

Medical alert systems are commonly referred to as personal emergency response systems or PERS by medical professionals. Other common terms include:

  • Alert button
  • Personal alert button
  • Personal safety button
  • Medical emergency button
  • Medical pendant
  • Alert pendant
  • Medical alert bracelet
  • Medical alert necklace
  • Medical alert jewelry
  • Medical alert watch
  • Senior alert system
  • Senior alert
  • Senior alert device
  • Senior fall alert

Frequently Asked Questions about Medical Alert Systems

Q: Will a medical alert system keep my mom/dad out of assisted living?
A: While a medical alert device may not solve all of the challenges of remaining at home for seniors, it is an important safety feature to consider if you are concerned about a loved one. In addition to adding an alert system, families may also be researching home care, walk-in tubs, scooters, durable medical equipment, and other in-home modifications to keep a loved one safe at home.

Q: Why is there a monthly fee for medical alert systems?
A: There is a monthly fee for two reasons. 1) Since there are no fees to use the equipment, you are essentially renting it. 2) The monthly fee also pays for the peace of mind of knowing that help is on the way with the press of a button.

Q: What about those medical alert systems with no monthly fee?
A: There are walkie-talkie types of alert systems that do not require a monthly fee — if you press the button, the call goes straight to 911 or a family member. Can you imagine how overloaded 911 dispatch would be every time a button was pressed? Knowing that the majority of button presses are not for emergencies, calling 911 every time someone decides to test their unit or has a question doesn’t seem like a good idea.

Q: What happens if my loved one won’t wear the medical alert device I paid for?
A: It can be frustrating to spend the time, energy, and money on a safety device for your loved one, only to find out they aren’t even wearing it! First, find out what their reason is for not wearing it. Is it uncomfortable? Are they embarrassed? Are they simply forgetting to put it on? If one device is uncomfortable, perhaps another device might be more accommodating. Many medical alert companies give users the option of wearing the button around their neck on a lanyard, or on the wrist with a wrist-watch type band. If they are embarrassed to be seen wearing the system, talk about discreet ways it can be worn under clothing. Or, perhaps your loved one would be more comfortable with a smartwatch medical alert system? If they don’t want to wear the button around the house, check with the alert company to see if they offer wall buttons that can be placed in high-risk fall areas throughout the home.

Q: I don’t want to be locked into a long-term contract — how do I avoid that?
A: We don’t want you to be locked into a long-term contract either. If you choose any of the companies on this list, you will never be locked into a long-term contract. If you go elsewhere, always read the fine print and make sure you are comfortable with the language in the contract. As a last resort, have your attorney review the contract to ensure you are protected.

Q: Mom is on a very limited budget — how do I know her monthly fee won’t increase?
A: Many of the companies on this list guarantee that the price you pay when you sign up will never increase. Be sure to ask about a price-lock guarantee.

Q: I don’t want to micro-manage my dad’s care — how can a medical alert system help me to keep track of him without being intrusive?
A: If your loved one is using a mobile medical alert system with GPS, that’s one easy way to check in periodically to see where they are located. Some medical alert companies also offer daily check-ins, medication reminders, and proactive activity notifications as an add-on service.

Q: Why is a medical alert system better than a cell phone?
A: In the event of an emergency, a cell phone can be difficult to navigate or may not be in close proximity to make a call. With an alert system, it only takes the simple push of a button to reach help.

Q: We are snowbirds — can I take my medical alert system with me when I travel?
A: Absolutely. Simply call your provider and let them know you are traveling. You will give them your new address, and they will take care of the rest.

Q: We no longer need the medical alert system — do we have to keep paying for it?
A: If you are with a company that doesn’t require a long-term contract, simply call customer service, let them know you won’t be needing the equipment anymore, and receive the return instructions. You must return the equipment in good working order or there may be a fee charged to your account for the equipment.

Q: Mom needs this, but I’m concerned she won’t wear it because it looks like a medical alert unit.
A: Ladies rejoice! There are now jewelry and watch options to disguise alert buttons. Add it to your list of questions to ask when shopping around for a medical alert system.

Q: Are there other options to keep my loved one safe that don’t require them to wear a button?
A: Yes. Many companies offer wall units that can be placed throughout the home. Some of them are voice-activated and do not require a user to be wearing a button to call for help.

Q: How do first responders enter the home if my loved one is unresponsive?
A: A lockbox is the easiest way to provide first responders access to the home if your loved one is unable to open the door. Most medical alert companies offer lockboxes for a nominal fee when you sign up.

Q: Dad has a pacemaker — is it safe for him to wear a medical alert device?
A: There is no easy answer to this question, as alert systems run on different frequencies. Talk to your loved one’s physician about the specific pacemaker and medical alert system you are considering.

How much do medical alert systems cost?

Depending on the type of medical alert system you are looking for, prices can range anywhere from $19 to $65 per month. A traditional in-home landline system is the least expensive, while mobile + GPS units tend to be the most expensive. Additional fall detection will cost anywhere from $5-$15 extra per month.

Does Medicare pay for medical alert systems?

Unfortunately, Medicare does not cover medical alert systems at this time. It is something that is frequently discussed in the industry, and many alert companies are advocating for the change. However, some health insurers do cover the systems for their members, so be sure to check with yours.

 

Final Words

Our medical alert experts love what they do, and they take great pride in creating helpful resources like this one. After all, there’s often someone (maybe you or your loved one) who needs a reliable alert system now more than ever. So it’s our pleasure to stand in the gap and provide unbiased reviews and rankings to help you on your way.

Like we said from the start, there’s a lot to know about medical alert systems. And the process of finding the right match can get overwhelming pretty quick. With that in mind, we hope this guide to the best Medical Alert Systems has helped to simplify your search.

If you’re still undecided, that’s perfectly fine. It can take time. So feel free to dig deeper by reading our in-depth reviews of each of the companies we listed.

And remember our four standards: The equipment must work as advertised or better; the company must provide great customer service; the system must be affordable; and the service must be easy to cancel.

Well, we hope you’ve enjoyed the journey as much as we have. Please leave a comment below with any questions, comments, or concerns. We’d love to hear from you.

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