Finding The Right Medical Alert System

Finding the right medical alert system can be tough.  It requires time, patience and a good deal of research.  Many of you come to The Senior List® to find answers to your medical alert system questions, and we LOVE being a part of that experience.  Many times we're asked to recommend a “one size fits all” medical alert system, but we really try to shy away from that practice.

We prefer to offer several quality medical alert providers that we know can do the job.  By giving the consumer a short-list, they can then begin to research the right fit AND form for themselves (or their loved one).  It would be easy to tell you that we love GreatCall, Philips Lifeline, Bay Alarm Medical, and anything from Costco (and we do) but the right medical alert system for one may NOT be the right medical alert system for another!

Here's a common question from one of our community members here at  The question (a good one) from Russ is:

Which ones do you recommend I look at? I know Life Alert has a 36 month (3 year) contract which surprises me. Why does it require that? Questionable. Expensive also at $70 a month for the mobile plan. But is it the best one (forget pricing)?

Finding the right Medical Alert System

The answer is not an easy one with limited information, but here's our attempt at an answer:

Russ, It really depends on your needs which is hard to determine in a quick comment but I’ll try. If all you need is a functioning medical alert system (small pendant) for in-home use we like both Philips Lifeline and Bay Alarm. If you don’t care about size of the wearable look at Costco’s MediPendant or the GreatCall Splash. If you need a mobile alert system (cellular) there are some other interesting options and newer alert systems to look at.

We always recommend that you DO NOT sign a long-term agreement. If you do, make sure you have an out clause that allows you to leave without penalty (or minimal penalty). The reason we offer a variety of recommended options for consumers is that we want people to do their homework on these items. Each person's needs are unique, so you need to ask medical alert providers good questions to narrow down the options that are right for you. – Amie, The Senior List


We'll continue to review the latest medical alert systems, and provide practical information to make your decisions easier (and more informed).  Remember after narrowing down your choices (find three you're comfortable with), it's time to really dig in.

Look around The Senior List and other sites for ratings and/or reviews.  Speak to the customer service representatives at each provider and ask a few good questions, if they're no good on the phone you might want to reconsider them as a top choice.

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  1. Not sure if this is the correct place to post. This is in regard to LIvely system. I wrote once before when I first had problems with the set up. Another update here since Great Call bought them. Still ongoing problems. I first reported on Jan 10 – 2016 one of the sensors was out. Finally got back to me and told me to put in new batteries. I did and nothing. Contacted again but once I unplugged the “hub as suggested ” to help it reconnecty with the new battery then I had two sensors out. Back to the support. After a wait of about a week they finally called me back. Had me run tests with replacing batteries – I had just bought new ones and there was no problem with old batteries. Okay. They sent me two new sensors. These did not function and have never worked. Now I have three sensors out of four non-functioning and we are going on the third month. Twice they have promised me they would send out a new “hub” or a whole new set up as that must be the problem. Nothing. Each tine I call back and report I haven’t received anything they tell me oh we can’t find the tracking number so will resend. Nothing. The last person I talked to in tech support said he would definitely send a new complete system out immediately with two day shipping. Of course. It’s now 8 days later and have received nothing so calling them again today. Beware of Lively and Great Call. I have now paid for three months monitoring at $34.95 a month and have not had a fully functional system since January 10th. LIvely itself had a great set up and good customer service. All of these problems came about once Great Call got in the picture.

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