Their home security:
ADT Protect Your Home is a long-standing security company with over 100 years of experience keeping homes and possessions safe. They offer a wide range of security solutions regardless of home size or location in the U.S.
Why We Recommend ADT Home Security
- Custom designed home alarm systems
- Landline or cellular connections available
- Three protection packages to choose from
- Motion sensors, video doorbells and cameras
Their home security:
Vivint offers professional installation for its top of the line home security products. Known for their lineup of powerful smart-home security features, Vivint uses the latest technology to keep you and your loved ones safe at home.
Why We Recommend Vivint
- Professional installation
- Advanced technology and user-friendly
- Combines home security with home automation
- Smartphone app lets you control your home security remotely
Their home security:
Frontpoint has a reputation for excellent customer service and lets homeowners install the equipment themselves. Simple to install equipment, great for renters and snowbirds alike.
Why We Recommend Frontpoint
- Do it yourself installation
- 30-day, money-back guarantee
- Home security + home automation
- Professional monitoring included with every system
As a senior, the life you enjoy is the fruit of a lifetime of hard work. But your accomplishments also make you vulnerable, and seniors know that they and their hard-earned wealth are disproportionately targeted by con artists and crooks — including the brazen criminals who specialize in home invasions and burglaries.
Seniors are particularly vulnerable to certain types of crime, but you don’t need to be defenseless. Modern security systems are more effective than ever, and the extensive feature sets available through the most trusted brands can prevent crimes and get you help fast in the event that something does happen on your property.
But which security systems are the best, and which ones offer the most to seniors? That’s what we’re here to talk about today. Below, we’ll lay out your best bets for home security in your golden years.
The Best Home Security Systems for Senior Citizens
#1. ADT Protect Your Home
Seniors shouldn’t have to become experts in technology or home security just to protect themselves and the things they treasure. That’s why our list rewards home security systems that combine effective protection with professional installation and ease of use. In our view, no company meets these criteria as completely and as effectively as ADT.
Systems: Every ADT system includes a digital control panel, entryway contacts that detect entry attempts at egress points like doors and windows, a wireless keychain remote, a motion detector, and yard signs and window decals. ADT monitors its customers’ systems 24/7, and that offsite monitoring is paired with a high-decibel alarm that will spook would-be intruders. For specifics on the systems and features available in your area, contact ADT for a quote.
Installation: ADT is a great choice for seniors in part because the company will send in professionals to set up your system. There’s a charge for this service (see our “Cost” section), but it will save seniors some work and ensure that everything is set up properly and securely.
Management: You’ll manage your system primarily through the keypad, which will allow you to set and disarm your system on demand. Customers can also use a keychain dongle or, in some cases, ADT’s app to manage their system.
Monitoring: ADT monitors its customers’ systems 24/7.
Extras: ADT offers lots of features and installations, including smart home security products. ADT’s systems can be customized to suit your needs, so you should go ahead and take that up with an ADT representative.
Cost: ADT will vary in price depending on what your package includes, but the company says that prices generally range from $36.99 to $52.99 per month. Installation costs $99, but new customers will get a $100 Visa Rewards Card to sweeten the deal.
ADT offers a 6-month money-back guarantee. The service will also reimburse you for insurance deductible costs of up to $500 in the event of theft (details of that reimbursement will vary by area and contract).
Contract: ADT requires a 36-month (three-year) monitoring contract to start things off, and you’ll be subject to penalties if you want to cancel early. However, the money-back guarantee will allow you to escape at any point during the first six months if you so desire.
Like ADT, Vivint offers professional installation. That’s a big deal for seniors, who need to know that their security system is set up (and set up properly), but who may not want to be trying to rig up complex systems themselves.
Systems: Like ADT, Vivint offers a range of different security packages and allows customers to customize their systems to suit their needs. Vivint systems include in-home consultation and professional installation of hardware that include, variously, a touch screen control panel (standard in all installations), smart locks, cameras (such as doorbell cameras and interior/exterior security cameras), and sensors that detect broken glass and forced entry at doors and windows.
All systems include Vivint’s SkyControl touch panel, Sky App, home security hardware that detects things like forced entry attempts, and 24/7 monitoring.
Installation: Vivint makes things easy on seniors by offering a professional in-home consultation followed by professional installation of the products and systems that you choose for your home.
Management: Vivint offers powerful smart home security features. Using the touchpad control panel or Vivint’s app, Vivint customers can lock doors from a distance, arm and disarm their system, and more — including some smarthome perks that have a bit less to do with security, such as turning off and off lights or adjusting the thermostat.
Monitoring: Vivint monitors its customers’ systems 24/7.
Extras: There are a lot of extras on offer at Vivint, because the service focuses on custom solutions for its customers. Chat with a representative or schedule an in-home consultation to discuss your options, which include 30-day 24/7 continuous video recording, smart doorbell cameras, Google Home devices, and more.
Cost: Vivint home security packages start at $39.99 per month and go up from there. Since Vivint builds a customized package out for each of its customers, you’ll have to turn to one of their representatives for an exact quote.
Contract: Vivint demands a long contract commitment: you’ll be locked in for five years, which is a significantly longer term than most competitors use for starter contracts. Even after five years have gone by, and with some limited exceptions, you’ll need to provide Vivint with written notice 30 days ahead of time if and when you want to cancel.
Frontpoint uses smart devices to blanket your home in protective security. It requires you to set things up yourself, but the installation process isn’t too taxing. There’s no drilling or wiring involved and no manual programming.
Systems: Frontpoint’s system is built around its “Frontpoint Hub,” a wireless smart security hub that can switch quickly between Wi-Fi and wireless networks to ensure that it always stays online. That hub connects wirelessly to sensors and to Frontpoint’s battery-powered keypad. The standard system includes basic sensors, but customers can upgrade and customize their security package with a range of smart home devices.
Installation: Frontpoint does not offer professional installation, but there isn’t too much of a need for it: since everything here is wireless, you won’t have to be drilling into walls or anything like that. Still, seniors may find themselves wishing for some help from consultants and installation pros when it comes time to put sensors at every egress point.
Management: You can manage your Frontpoint security system from the battery-powered keypad, but the more powerful management options must be accessed through the app (there’s no screen on the keypad).
Monitoring: Like its competitors, Frontpoint doesn’t take any breaks: your system will be monitored 24/7.
Extras: Frontpoint offers an extensive selection of add-ons and extras with which you can customize your security and smart home systems. The add-ons include multiple models of indoor and outdoor security cameras, smart locks, garage door controllers, motion sensors, intrusion sensors, smoke detectors, carbon monoxide sensors, and a keyless remote control.
Cost: You’ll pay at least $99 for your equipment and at least $34.99 per month for monitoring to get started under Frontpoint. More extensive monitoring options can cost as much as $49.99, and additional pieces of equipment will, of course, be extra.
Contract: Frontpoint demands a three-year contract of its new customers. That’s very much standard for this type of company.
#4. Protect America
If you’re open to setting up your own system, then you’ll find an impressive array of features and superior customer service in Protect America. Protect America also makes its solutions available at very competitive prices.
Systems: Protect America offers two main security bundles. The baseline bundle includes a standard control panel, motion sensors, entry sensors, yard and window signs, and monitoring. Customers can then customize and upgrade their system with more smart home and security features, which include fire detection, smart garage door controls, and many other individual options.
Installation: Protect America keeps costs down in part by requiring its customers to install their systems themselves. That could be a drawback for seniors, who may prefer the professional installation offered by ADT and Vivint.
Management: Like many competitors, Protect America offers a control panel as the standard way to manage your system. You can also use Protect America’s app and supported smart devices to control and command your Protect America security and smart home systems.
Monitoring: All Protect America home security plans include 25/7 monitoring services.
Extras: Protect America’s standard plan (which includes a control panel, sensors, and monitoring services) can be improved upon with the addition of extras like wireless video cameras, smoke detectors, and smart home systems like Amazon’s Echo products and Alexa AI assistant.
Cost: Protect America puts an emphasis on affordability. With security monitoring packages starting at just $19.99 per month, the savings over competitors like ADT are significant.
Contract: Protect America’s standard contract starts at 36 months (three years).
Brinks is a brand that has long been synonymous with security. Their home security offerings feature smart devices, and the company has particularly good ratings for customer service.
Systems: Brinks offers a few basic security packages as starting points for new customers, and each features some powerful hardware — including Nest brand smart home devices. The most affordable starting package includes a keypad, Nest security sensors, and access to the mobile app. Other packages include additional hardware devices, like a touchscreen control panel and video recording devices.
Installation: Brinks gives its customers a choice. You’re welcome to install your new security system yourself (which may not be too tough, depending on your familiarity with wireless products and smart home systems), or you can pay Brinks to take care of it for you.
Management: Brinks systems can be managed through the app, which also allows you to receive security alerts. You can also use the system hub or one of Brink’s keychain devices.
Monitoring: Brinks will monitor your system 24/7.
Extras: Brinks offers a selection of base packages at set prices, but customers are welcome to customize and upgrade their systems with additional hardware and features. Extras include flood sensors, smart locks, cameras, keypads, and more.
Cost: Brinks’ monitoring services start at $29 per month. That doesn’t include the startup cost of buying the equipment, which will run you at least $399 under the standard prices, depending on which package you choose (Brinks does offer discounts, so customers will want to keep their eye out for deals). Brinks offers a 30-day satisfaction guarantee and a two-year product replacement warranty.
Contract: Brinks requires customers to sign a 36-month (three-year) agreement, and customers are on the hook for the full amount of the contract — you won’t be able to back out early. An exception is provided by Brink’s 30-day guarantee period. If you cancel within the first 30 days, you’ll be off the hook.
SimpliSafe’s products look as sleek and stylish as the newest iPad, but they’re tough, smart, and quick enough to get you help right away when you need it. You’ll need to set up SimpliSafe yourself, but it won’t require you to play electrician or get a degree in computer science. That should be welcome news for seniors!
Systems: SimpliSafe allows customers to create their own customized security package. In addition to that “Build My System” option, however, SimpliSafe offers some pre-made bundles. Those start with “The Foundation,” which includes a hub, entry sensor, motion sensor, and keypad. Pricier bundles include additional entry and movement sensors, new sensors for things like water and smoke, sirens to alert you and scare off crooks, keychain remote controls, and more.
Installation: Like some of its modern wireless competitors, SimpliSafe expects you to set up your system yourself. It’s not the most difficult thing in the world to do, and the resulting system is among the sleekest and most effective on the market, but seniors may be reluctant to handle the setup on their own.
Management: SimpliSafe’s primary control device is its keypad, which has a screen. Of course, as with many modern smart security systems, you’ll also be given extensive power over your system through a corresponding mobile app.
Monitoring: Like its competitors, SimpliSafe offers around-the-clock monitoring: they’ll keep tabs on your system 24/7.
Extras: Customization is a big part of SimpliSafe’s offerings. You can create a plan from scratch or add on individual devices to a pre-crafted bundle. Among other devices, you’ll be able to purchase security cameras, extra sensors, and other individual pieces of hardware by customizing your system on SimpliSafe’s website before buying.
Cost: Pre-built security bundles from SimpliSafe will run you $229 and up (though discounts are often available). The exact pricing on your bundle will depend on if and how you choose to customize it. The pricier and more complete pre-packaged bundles can cost north of $400, which is a bit high for this sort of company — that’s likely related to SimpliSafe’s very customer-friendly contract policies (more on those in a moment). Monitoring services cost $14.99 per month, which is significantly lower than what many competitors charge.
Contract: The most unusual and impressive thing about SimpliSafe is its stance on contracts: it doesn’t have them. You can cancel or downgrade your service at any time.
Why Do Seniors Need A Home Security System?
Investing in a home security system gives peace of mind to both seniors and their caregivers. The right home security system provides seniors with a sense of protection and helps keep their home safe. Many systems also include monitoring which makes it easy for seniors to get help any time day or night if there’s a problem.
Home security systems can provide a deterrent to would-be burglars. They also make it easier for seniors to manage their home security systems, and see what is happening around their home.
Seniors can also use the system to check out legitimate callers and makes sure they’re comfortable before opening the door. It all adds up to seniors feeling safer in their homes, which positively impacts their state of mind and quality of life.
What Types Of Home Security System Are There?
The answer is, how long have you got! There are many types of home security system, ranging from the most basic burglar alarms through motion detectors, security lights, and CCTV systems. Most systems at least include an alarm and some motion sensors. Some systems are monitored, while others are not. Some also include elements such as smart home control.
Home security systems come in two general categories: Hardwired or wireless. Hardwired systems are wired into the home power supply, which means they are harder to install and often require professional installation. This can push the price up.
However, they also mean you don’t have to worry about the system running out of power. Wireless systems work from batteries, which makes them easier to install. They’re suitable for most spaces, but do be mindful of the battery running out.
Because there are so many different types of system available, we recommend shopping around and comparing several different systems before making a decision. We’ve compared six of the most popular systems in this article so you can see what’s out there.
What To Look For In A Home Security System
For most seniors, ease of use is an absolute must. Some systems can be installed by a competent DIY-er (a family member or caregiver), while others require professional installation. Whichever you opt for though, make sure it’s easy to use once it’s set up. At the very least we recommend choosing a system that has:
- Movement sensors to pick up on movement around the home
- Glass break sensors in case of break ins
- Entryway sensors that let users know if a door or window is opened
Some useful extras you might want to look for include:
- Monitoring by the system provider so help is always at hand
- Remote control so users can activate the system at the press of a button
- Mobile alerts sent straight to a cell phone so users know at once if there is a problem
- Mobile apps to make it easier to manage the system
- Wireless options – no wire means no wires to cut, making it harder for intruders to disable
Many home security systems include long term contracts. Although The Senior List is not keen on long term contracts, in the case of many home security systems, they’re hard to avoid. We recommend going over contracts with a fine-tooth comb and being very clear on what happens if you want or need to cancel, and any fees you would be liable for.
We also recommend making sure you can talk to a real person who will address your questions and concerns. Choosing a home security system is an important decision, and you want to be sure you’re getting the best system for your needs.
A company that makes it easy to talk to a real person, and where you feel your concerns are being heard and addressed, is more likely to provide good customer service going forward.