The Best Medical Alert Systems of 2022

After months of testing over 50 different medical alert systems, we’ve come up with the best medical alerts for any type of user.
Medical Alert System Basics
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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. While many companies offer these devices, only the best medical alert systems provide consistent access to help when you need it.

Using Active Guardian
The Active Guardian from Medical Guardian gives you protection both in your home and on the go.

List of the Best Medical Alert Systems of 2022

The Best Medical Alert Systems Compared

Ranking Medical Alert Company Standout Feature Starting Price Fall Detection Minimum Contract
#1 Medical Guardian Best GPS Medical Alert $27.45/mo $10/mo None
#2 ADT Best In-Home Systems $25.99/mo $10/mo None
#3 Bay Alarm Medical Best Smartwatch $24.95/mo $10/mo None
#4 Medical Alert Most Affordable Protection $19.95/mo $10/mo None
#5 Lifeline Easiest to Use $29.95/mo $10/mo None
#6 MobileHelp Most Durable Devices $19.95/mo $10/mo None
#7 Aloe Care Health Best Caregiver Features $24.99/mo Included None
#8 LifeFone Free Spouse Coverage $24.95/mo $5/mo None
#9 Lively Mobile Plus Fastest Response Times $19.99/mo $20/mo None
#10 Life Alert Best Customer Service $49.95/mo N/A 3 Years

Full List of the Best Medical Alert Systems of 2022

1. Medical Guardian - Best GPS Medical Alert

Medical Guardian Logo
4.9 / 5
View Packages
Call for best price:
855-680-0742
What We Like Most:
  • Excellent customer service
  • No long-term contracts or setup fees
  • $10 per month for extra fall detection
  • GPS location technology
  • Activity monitoring

Overview

What separates Medical Guardian from other medical alert providers is their fierce commitment to protecting customers. The company has even been recognized as one of the top places to work in the country, and happy employees lead to happy customers.

In terms of devices, Medical Guardian offers an in-home traditional medical alert system, an in-home cellular option, and four mobile devices, including an all-in-one mobile unit, the Active Guardian, and their MGMove smartwatch. Both of these feature GPS technology and optional fall detection. What’s more, their systems are both intuitive and simple to use. I was able to get mine up and running in a matter of minutes. Medical Guardian promises a “life without limits,” a lofty goal that is certainly met.

Medical Guardian base station with alert buttons, mobile alert and medical alert smartwatch.
Medical Guardian has several systems for both in-home and mobile use.

Medical Guardian costs slightly more than Bay Alarm Medical, with their systems starting at $29.95 per month; however, they excel when it comes to response times. In my tests, their monitoring agents answered my distress calls in an average of six seconds, the quickest times of any medical alert company.

This range of service features helps put them at the top of my list, as there is a Medical Guardian system to suit any set of needs. If Medical Guardian seems right for you, then check out my Medical Guardian reviews to learn more.

Medical Guardian Key Points

  • Features: Medical Guardian offers landline and cellular in-home options, mobile options with GPS capabilities, and water-resistant help buttons worn around either the wrist or neck.
  • Extras: Additional wrist or neck pendants can be added to a system, which is a great option for couples and roommates. Medical Guardian also offers automatic fall detection pendants, wall-mounted help buttons, voice-activated wall buttons, and waterproof lockboxes.
  • Battery: In-home systems feature a 30-32-hour backup battery, ensuring your system will still function in the event of a power outage. Their mobile units feature a rechargeable battery that lasts for up to 7 days, depending on the device.
  • In-Home Range: The Classic Guardian, their in-home system, features a connectivity range of 1,300 feet, which is more than enough for most homes.
  • What Stands Out: The connectivity range of Medical Guardian’s in-home systems is unrivaled in terms of distance. You can also add multiple help buttons under the same system, a common-sense feature that is lacking in most medical alert products.

Medical Alert Systems Offered

Pros
  • All-in-one mobile system
  • Landline and cellular options
  • Smartwatch option
  • Accurate location tracking
  • Fall detection available on most systems
  • No long-term contracts
  • Free month of service on annual subscriptions
  • Up to seven-day mobile battery life
Cons
  • Occasional false alarms with fall detection
  • Limited activity monitoring

2. ADT - Best In-Home Systems

ADT Medical Alert - Logo
4.6 / 5
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Call for best price:
844-996-2846
What We Like Most:
  • Waterproof help buttons
  • Optional fall detection
  • Quick response times
  • Straightforward pricing

Overview

Widely known for their home security systems, ADT also offers medical alert systems that can keep users safe both in and outside their homes. While you won’t find much in terms of groundbreaking new technology here, ADT medical alerts deliver exceptional performance with durable equipment and speedy emergency response times.

Currently, ADT offers a traditional in-home system, which can connect through either a landline or a cellular signal. They also have a mobile system that features a built-in GPS. Both of these systems can work with the addition of fall detection.

ADT Help Button Wristband
ADT’s help button can be worn as a wristband (shown) or pendant.

ADT plans start at $29.99 per month, making them about average in terms of cost. Luckily, they have no additional activation fees, and since their equipment is leased (rather than purchased), you won’t have to worry about repairs or warranties. For more info on ADT’s medical alert systems, check out my ADT medical alert review.

ADT Key Points

  • Features: ADT’s in-home options can function through either a landline or cellular connection. The mobile system, with its all-in-one pendant, is compatible with GPS and fall detection, allowing monitoring agents to better protect you in the event of an emergency.
  • Extras: ADT’s in-home and mobile systems are compatible with automatic fall detection. Additionally, their in-home systems feature temperature monitoring, meaning in the event of a fire, your system will automatically contact the monitoring center for a quick response.
  • Battery: Their in-home systems feature a 24-hour backup battery. Their mobile system lasted upwards of a day during our tests.
  • In-Home Range: ADT’s in-home landline system can cover 300 feet, whereas the cellular version covers about 600 feet.
  • What Stands Out: ADT isn’t reinventing the wheel with their medical alert systems. What they do provide, however, is durable equipment tied to a stellar team of monitoring professionals. I would definitely trust ADT to help out any older adult living alone.
Pros
  • Waterproof help buttons
  • No long-term contracts
  • Automatic fall detection
  • Personalized response plans
  • Quick response times
  • Landline options available
Cons
  • Relatively small in-home range
  • No smart features
  • No caregiver tracking

3. Bay Alarm Medical - Best Smartwatch

Bay Alarm Medical
4.8 / 5
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Call for best price:
844-620-0287
What We Like Most:
  • 30-day risk-free trial
  • Optional fall detection
  • Location tracking on mobile units
  • Plans start at $24.95/month

Overview

Since 1946, Bay Alarm Medical has brought medical alert systems to homes throughout the country. Despite all this time, they’re still family-owned and operated, allowing them to provide care that is both personalized and attentive.

Bay Alarm Medical alerts include a traditional in-home medical alert system, in addition to a GPS-enabled mobile unit and an in-car system, the first of its kind. This system, I observed, would also be great for young drivers, as it allows you to track its location and set notifications when the device leaves a certain boundary.

Bay Alarm Medical GPS Help Button
Bay Alarm Medical GPS Help Button

They also allow you to save by bundling their in-home system with one of their on-the-go options. Some of their systems can also be used with their Caregiver Tracking app, which allows you to track the user’s location, in addition to sending you notifications when the system’s battery is low.

All of these features come at a shockingly low cost. Bay Alarm Medical costs start at $24.95 per month, not to mention that they also waive activation, installation, and equipment fees.

Bay Alarm Medical Key Points

  • Features: Bay Alarm Medical offers landline and cellular in-home options, a mobile option with 4G LTE coverage, and an in-car medical alert system. Each of their help buttons (worn as either a pendant or wristband) is also water-resistant.
  • Extras: In addition to the systems themselves, Bay Alarm Medical also offers several useful add-ons including additional help buttons, wall buttons, automatic fall detection, and lockboxes for your keys. They also have some products not often seen with other systems. Their Bella Charms offer a stylish way to spruce up the staid appearance of the help pendant, and their Vial of Life is a handy way to keep track of medical information. For more details on these extras and their pricing, check out my Bay Alarm Medical reviews.
  • Battery: The in-home system features a backup battery that can last up to 32 hours, and the mobile unit can last 72 hours on a single charge.
  • In-Home Range: Bay Alarm Medical’s in-home system has a connectivity range of 1,000 feet, enough to cover most homes and potentially even accommodate venturing into the yard.
  • What Stands Out: Bay Alarm Medical offers simple pricing and equipment that’s a breeze to install. Although their number of systems is not as large as other companies, they are still able to cover almost any type of care situation. On top of everything, Bay Alarm Medical offers stellar customer service. Each time I made test calls to their monitoring centers, I was treated with patience, skill, and, most importantly, compassion.

Medical Alert Systems Offered

Pros
  • One-time $35 fee for additional help buttons
  • $15 per month for additional fall buttons
  • 1,000-foot in-home range
  • Two U.S.-based monitoring centers
  • 32-hour in-home backup battery
  • Water-resistant devices
Cons
  • Equipment fees for some systems
  • Extra cost for fall detection

4. Medical Alert - Most Affordable Systems

Medical Alert logo. Medical Alert is a medical alert company.
4.3 / 5
View Packages
Call for best price:
877-909-6735
What We Like Most:
  • Simple Setup Process
  • At-Home and On-The-Go Options
  • Automatic Fall Detection
  • Full-Featured Mobile App

Overview

Partnered with Connect America, Medical Alert is one of the largest providers of personal emergency response systems in the country. Nowadays, with their addition of a modern, feature-rich smartphone app, they have become one of our favorite medical alert systems.

Medical Alert offers a traditional in-home medical alert system, in addition to a mobile unit with an optional help button add-on. This option is perfect for those who wish to carry their system in a purse but would like the immediate access of a help button on either a pendant or a wristband.

Connect America Medical Alert
My system from Medical Alert included a base station, a wristband help button, and a fall detection pendant.

With the Medical Alert Connect mobile app, both wearers and caregivers can keep an eye on multiple systems. This app allows you to manage multiple subscribers, receiving notifications each time a wearer presses their help button. This app also provides a handy way for caregivers to manage the contact list and check on the operational status of the device.

When purchased on an annual subscription, Medical Alert costs as little as $19.95 per month for the in-home unit and $27.95 per month for the on-the-go system.

To learn more about this provider, read our Medical Alert review.

Medical Alert Key Points

  • Features: Medical Alert offers landline and cellular in-home options, in addition to a mobile unit with an optional wearable help button. Each of their help buttons (worn as either a pendant or wristband) is also water-resistant.
  • Extras: In addition to the systems themselves, Medical Alert offers an automatic fall detection pendant that will automatically call the response team in the event a fall has been detected. Additionally, Medical Alert also offers free lockboxes, lanyards, wristbands, charging cords, and carrying cases for its mobile units.
  • Battery: The in-home system features a backup battery that can last up to two days, and the mobile system’s battery lasted us for multiple days, even while making test calls.
  • In-Home Range: In our tests, Medical Alert’s in-home system had a connectivity range of about 1,000 feet, more than enough to cover our entire first floor.
  • What Stands Out: Medical Alert offers durable and reliable equipment while still remaining one of the most affordable systems on the market. We especially appreciated the addition of their caregiver app, which allowed us to keep track of multiple systems and keep tabs on our loved ones and their devices.
Pros
  • No Equipment Fees
  • Affordable Monthly Costs
  • Monthly Contract Options
  • Discounts for Annual Contracts
  • In-Home and On-The-Go Options
  • Simple Setup
  • 24/7 Professional Monitoring
Cons
  • No Option to Purchase Equipment

5. Lifeline - Easiest to Use

Lifeline Logo
4.6 / 5
Call for best price:
844-615-0088
What We Like Most:
  • All-In-One Mobile Alert
  • Free Caregiver App
  • Personalized Response Plans
  • First Medical Alert Service in North America

Overview

In 1974, Lifeline became the first company in North America to provide medical alert services. Founded by a gerontologist, this company has consistently proven itself as an innovator in the world of caregiving, and I’m not the only one who thinks so. Of all medical alert companies, Lifeline has the largest subscriber base in the country.

Lifeline pendant is waterproof.
The Lifeline pendant was waterproof, meaning I could wear it in the shower without damaging it.

Currently, they offer a traditional in-home system, the HomeSafe, which can be purchased with or without fall detection, in addition to the GoSafe 2, their mobile alert system with GPS capabilities and two-way talk. Recently, they have also introduced the Lifeline Cares app, which allows caregivers to view the status of their loved one’s device and even create schedules for checkups and other assistance.

With plans starting at $29.95 per month, Lifeline prices are on the higher end when it comes to price, and that’s not including activation fees, equipment costs, and add-ons such as fall detection. Still, the quality of this system and its monitoring is hard to beat, and that’s why I’ve ranked it so highly. For more info on Lifeline, check out my Lifeline reviews.

Lifeline Key Points

  • Features: Lifeline’s in-home options can function through either a landline or cellular connection. The mobile system uses AT&T’s cellular network, and it also features GPS tracking, fall detection, and two-way talk through its all-in-one pendant design.
  • Extras: Lifeline offers automatic fall detection as an add-on for their in-home systems, and this option comes standard in the GoSafe 2. The in-home systems also feature voice extension, allowing you to speak to the monitoring center even while in a different room from your base unit. They also offer an automatic medication dispenser for $59.95 per month.
  • Battery: Their in-home systems feature a 30-hour backup battery. The GoSafe 2, however, can last up to seven days on a single charge.
  • In-Home Range: Lifeline’s in-home cellular system can cover 400 ft, whereas the landline version covers about 200 ft.
  • What Stands Out: For decades, Lifeline has been a trusted name in mobile medical alerts, and I appreciate the simplicity with which I was able to install and operate my systems. They also keep pricing simple. No matter how long you sign up for, the monthly price remains the same, meaning there’s no need for long-term contracts.
Pros
  • Waterproof Help Buttons
  • No Long-Term Contracts
  • Automatic Fall Detection
  • Personalized Response Plans
  • Responsive Monitoring Center
  • All-In-One Mobile Pendant
  • Long-Lasting Batteries
  • Affordable Monthly Plans
Cons
  • Activation Fees for Most Systems
  • Costly Automatic Fall Detection
  • No Activity Tracking or Smart Features

6. MobileHelp - Most Durable Devices

MobileHelp logo
4.5 / 5
What We Like Most:
  • Starting at $19.95 per month
  • Flexible contracts
  • Mobile and in-home protection
  • Free equipment and activation

Overview

When it comes to medical alert systems, MobileHelp offers several different options that quickly give your or your loved ones access to emergency help. With just the press of a button, your MobileHelp system will connect you to a professional monitoring agent who will coordinate a response, be that contacting medical help or a loved one.

MobileHelp Base Station with other equipment
Our MobileHelp system included an in-home unit, a help button, a fall detection pendant, a wall button, and a mobile system with GPS.

MobileHelp costs as low as $19.95 per month for their basic in-home system. This system operates on AT&T’s cellular network, meaning you don’t need a landline in order to use it. Additionally, it comes with your choice of medical alert bracelet, either a black one or white one.

Recently, MobileHelp introduced the MobileHelp Touch Classic, a unique tablet medical alert system. Instead of a traditional base station, this system features a tablet with a touch screen. It allows you to use activity tracking, medication reminders, and even play Sudoku, in addition to the traditional emergency features.

To learn about my experience with their systems, check out my full MobileHelp review.

MobileHelp Key Points

  • Features: Using AT&T’s cellular network, MobileHelp’s devices can connect you to help from just about anywhere. What’s more, all of their help buttons are waterproof, meaning you can take them in the shower or tub without worry.
  • Extras: All MobileHelp systems come with a free lockbox, allowing first responders to easily enter your home in the event of an emergency. Additionally, MobileHelp offers a warranty plan and MobileHelp Connect, an app that allows loved ones to track a user’s location and device status.
  • Battery: MobileHelp’s in-home systems have a backup battery that lasted us about 30 hours in tests. The mobile systems lasted about two days before needing a recharge.
  • In-Home Range: MobileHelp’s in-home systems can connect an impressive 1,400 feet, giving it one of the largest ranges we’ve seen.
  • What Stands Out: In addition to their low pricing, we also appreciated MobileHelp’s bundled systems. These make them a great option for couples or roommates.
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)

7. Aloe Care Health - Best Caregiver Features

Aloe_Care_Health
4.4 / 5
Call for best price:
855-618-0261
What We Like Most:
  • Sophisticated voice commands
  • Wall-mounted fall detection
  • Motion sensors with activity monitoring
  • Helpful caregiver app

Overview

A relative newcomer in the world of medical alert systems, Aloe Care Health shakes up the medical alert device formula with its smart hub. Much like a traditional medical alert base station, the smart hub serves as your speaker and microphone, allowing you to communicate with emergency responders. Where it differs is in its voice command features, allowing you place calls and ask questions with solely the sound of your voice.

Aloe Care Health offers three different in-home systems: Essentials, Essentials Plus, and Total Care. Essentials includes a smart hub and a bracelet help button, while the upgraded systems add a mobile medical alert, motion sensors, and a wall-mounted fall detection unit. Aloe Care requires you to purchase your equipment upfront, rather than rent it. This will lead to higher startup costs ($149.99 for the Essentials and $349.99 for Total Care); however, on the plus side, you will own your equipment and won’t have to return it to the manufacturer when done with it.

Aloe Care Health Wall-Mounted Unit
Aloe Care Health does not offer wearable fall detection. Instead, they utilize a wall-mounted unit that detects falls through motion sensors.

Another unique aspect of Aloe Care’s system is its fall detection device. Unlike traditional fall detection, which utilizes additional help buttons, Aloe Care’s fall detection device is designed to detect motion from afar. When placed in your bathroom, it can create a virtual map, allowing it to sense a fall and trigger an appropriate response.

To learn more about this provider, check out my Aloe Care Health review.

Did You Know: CVS has partnered with Aloe Care Health to make their own medical alert system. Read my CVS Symphony review to hear about my experience with this system.

Aloe Care Health Key Points

  • Features: Aloe Care Health offers two systems that are both made for in-home use. Each of these systems features water-resistant help buttons and the smart hub base station. Currently, Aloe Care Health does not offer a mobile option for use outside of the home.
  • Extras: For either the Essentials of Total Care packages, you will have access to Aloe Care’s Caregiver app. We loved how this made it easier to keep track of our system from afar. Whenever a distress call was made, everyone connected to the app received a notification. Additionally, this app could be used to make calls directly to the Aloe Care system. With the Total Care package, we also received motion sensors, which would monitor our movement and provide accompanying notifications through the app’s portal.
  • Battery: The Aloe Care smart hub requires a wall outlet to function. However, in the event of a power outage, it features a backup battery that lasted for a day during our tests, more than enough time to protect you until power is restored.
  • In-Home Range: In my tests, I found that LifeStation’s in-home system worked up to 800 ft away from my base station.
  • What Stands Out: What stood out to us most with Aloe Care’s systems was how our smart hub not only kept us connected to monitoring but also our loved ones. This is the only medical alert device that allows you to make voice calls to anyone on your contact list without triggering an emergency call.

Medical Alert Systems Offered

Pros
  • Voice-activated calls
  • Non-emergency call capabilities
  • Activity, temperature, and air quality monitoring
  • No long-term contracts
  • Affordable mobile system
  • Detailed app for caregivers
  • Fall detection at no extra cost
Cons
  • Higher start-up costs
  • No spouse monitoring

8. LifeFone - Free Spouse Coverage

LifeFone
4.2 / 5
View Packages
Call for best price:
844-996-2846
What We Like Most:
  • 30-day, money-back guarantee
  • No extra cost for spouse coverage
  • At-home and on-the-go systems available
  • Landline and cellular options

Overview

With its entire workforce based in the United States, LifeFone is able to offer an unparalleled level of service to its customers. They also offer bundles of their systems, such as the At-Home and On-The-Go GPS combo, which is perfect for spouses or roommates.

In total, LifeFone offers four different alert systems: in-home (both landline and cellular options), a bundled at-home and on-the-go system (perfect for couples), and a bundle of two mobile units (perfect for active couples). All of these systems also have available the option of fall detection. While LifeFone certainly offers options suited for couples, their solid equipment and locked-in pricing make them a great fit for just about anyone.

LifeFone On-the-Go Unit
With my LifeFone on-the-go unit, I could place emergency calls outside of my home.

In terms of pricing, LifeFone costs start at $24.95 per month, but don’t let that number fool you. Their fall detection costs only $5 per month, lower than anyone else in the industry. Additionally, their bundled systems offer savings to those of us looking to add additional users. All of this makes LifeFone a deceptively affordable option. Check out our LifeFone reviews to learn about all things LifeFone.

LifeFone Key Points

  • Features: Every LifeFone system features the fall detection option, two-way talk, and access to their U.S.-based monitoring agents. The mobile systems also feature GPS capability, meaning that the monitoring center and loved ones can track the user’s location.
  • Extras: When it comes to add-ons, LifeFone has you covered. They offer services such as daily check-in calls, medication reminders, and activity assurance, which is a great way for the monitoring center to verify the wellbeing of the user. LifeFone also offers a hanging lockbox, a leather carrying case, and a vanity pendant, which can help disguise the clinical appearance of a help button.
  • Battery: LifeFone’s in-home system features a 32-hour backup battery, whereas the mobile system lasted about five days on a single charge, based on my testing.
  • In-Home Range: Whether the system is cellular or landline-based, the help buttons will work up to 1,300 feet from the base station.
  • What Stands Out: LifeFone has a proven track record of customer service excellence and equipment made of high-grade material. Their bundles offer a unique and cost-effective solution for cohabitants. Their fall detection also comes in at steal, only $5 per month.

Medical Alert Systems Offered

Pros
  • Landline and cellular options
  • One-time fee for extra help buttons
  • Price-Lock Lifetime Guarantee
  • Most Affordable Fall Detection
  • 1,300 ft Range for In-Home Systems
  • No Long-Term Contracts
  • In-House Monitoring Center
Cons
  • Occasional risk of false alarms with fall detection
  • Larger pendant size

9. Lively Mobile Plus - Fastest Response Times

Lively
4.1 / 5
View Packages
Call for best price:
833-695-0501
What We Like Most:
  • Uses Verizon’s Cellular Network
  • No Limit on In-Home Range
  • Fully Waterproof System
  • Fall Detection, Two-Way Talk, and GPS, All in One

Overview

With their popular line of easy-to-use cell phones, the Jitterbug, it’s likely that you’ve heard of Lively, formerly known as GreatCall. What you might not have heard of, though, is their standalone medical alert device, the Lively Mobile, which combines the portability of a cell phone with the safety features of a personal emergency response system.

The Lively Mobile Plus is a completely cellular medical alert system that includes features such as fall detection and telehealth capability. There’s also an app, Lively Link, that allows families and caregivers to be instantly tuned in with a user’s health and safety.

Lively mobile prices start at a mere $24.99 per month with no long-term contracts or cancellation fees; however, if you want to make the most of your Lively Mobile, I’d recommend going for the Ultimate Package, which includes fall detection, Lively Link, and access to medical professionals. At $39.99 per month, this plan is competitively priced when compared to other mobile systems.

Check out my Lively Mobile review for the full rundown on my experience with this system.

Lively Mobile Key Points

  • Features: The Lively Mobile comes with just about everything you’d expect from a mobile medical alert system: automatic fall detection, GPS, professional monitoring, and two-way talk. My favorite features, however, come with GreatCall’s Ultimate monitoring plan, which includes access to the GreatCall Link app, in addition to an extended warranty on the Lively Mobile itself.
  • Extras: Included in both the Ultimate and Preferred plans is what GreatCall refers to as Urgent Care. This unique feature allows you to speak to a live nurse or board-certified doctor at all hours of the day, no appointments required. They can even write or fill prescriptions for common drugs. This, on top of fall detection, GPS capabilities, and rock-solid audio performance make the Lively Mobile quite the enticing option for someone seeking a portable system.
  • Battery: In my testing, I found that the Lively Mobile lasted about 24 hours on a single charge.
  • In-Home Range: Technically, it’s limitless, although I’d expect nothing less from a mobile system.
  • What Stands Out: Of all the medical alert companies, GreatCall had one of the fastest agent response times, with their 5Star monitoring agents never failing to receive a call in more than several seconds. You can also try this system risk-free for 30 days.
Lively Mobile Plus Charging
The Lively Mobile Plus includes a charging cradle, belt clip, and lanyard attachment.
Pros
  • Waterproof Device
  • First 30 Days Are Free
  • No Contracts or Cancellation Fees
  • Add-On Features Included in Every Service Plan
  • Uses Verizon’s Cellular Network
Cons
  • Device Needs to Be Charged Daily
  • Higher Startup Costs
  • Can Only Be Worn as a Pendant

10. Life Alert - Best Customer Service

Life Alert Logo
3 / 5
What We Like Most:
  • Tailored customer care
  • 3-year battery life on mobile system
  • All-in-one wall button
  • Water-resistant devices

Overview

Easily the most widely known medical alert providers, Life Alert is also one of the best options for in-home and mobile protection. From your first call with Life Alert, you’ll be walked through the process of choosing a system, installing it in your home, and—in our experience—adapting to your role as a caregiver. Upon purchasing Life Alert, we were matched with a “care specialist” who gave us her personal cell number and answered any questions we had about using the device or helping our loved ones adjust to it.

In terms of devices, Life Alert offers a basic in-home system, as well as a mobile medical alert and a wall-mounted help button. All of these devices are water-resistant, meaning they can be worn in the shower, and the mobile device has a battery life that can last up to three years. No recharging here!

The primary downside to Life Alert––and the reason it ranks so low on this list––is the cost factor. Life Alert systems cost a minimum $49.95 per month, and that’s just for the basic in-home system. The mobile system and wall button will also come with extra charges. Life Alert also requires you to lock into a three-year contract, one that can only be exited through death or transition to round-the-clock care.

Still, we think their devices work so well that Life Alert definitely is still an option worth considering.

To learn more about this provider, check out our hands-on Life Alert review.

Life Alert Key Points

  • Features: Life Alert offers landline and cellular in-home systems, as well as a mobile unit with GPS and a wall-mounted help button with a built-in speakerphone.
  • Extras: Extra help buttons can be added to a system; however, Life Alert does not offer any type of automatic fall detection.
  • Battery: Life Alert claims the batteries on its wall button and mobile system will last for years, and in our months of testing, this seems to be true. The in-home system also has a backup battery that lasts for 72 hours in the event of a power outage.
  • In-Home Range: The in-home system has a connectivity range of 500 feet, more than enough for most houses.
  • What Stands Out: No other company took the time to understand our loved one’s needs and plan a system accordingly. Life Alert will walk you through the process of using your system with the utmost care.
Life Alert Systems
My Life Alert system included a base unit, help pendant, wristband attachment, wall-mounted help button, and a mobile pendant.
Pros
  • In-home and mobile protection
  • Free battery replacement
  • Attentive customer service
  • Water-resistant devices
Cons
  • No fall detection
  • Higher costs
  • Three-year contracts required

Our Methodology

As we tested devices from over twenty different companies, here is what we looked for.

  1. Reliable Equipment: Most medical alert equipment claims to be built to last, and I made sure to run extensive tests to verify this. Help buttons and base stations should be able to withstand a fall, and the systems as a whole should last you for a number of years.
  2. Ease of Use: The goal of a medical alert system is to simplify your life, giving peace of mind to both the user and their caregivers, so I kept my eye out for systems that streamlined the process, ensuring users of any ability level can operate them.
  3. Conscientious Customer Care: The human touch is key to the business of caregiving. This is why it’s important for medical alert companies to offer impeccable customer service, from the agents at their monitoring centers to their support personnel.
  4. Affordable Pricing: Medical alert systems tend to cost anywhere from $20-$40 per month, with mobile systems costing a bit more. All of the systems detailed below fit within this range. Many of them also offer discounts for annual agreements.
  5. Flexible Contracts: Companies like Life Alert require you to lock into lengthy contracts of up to three years. Because of this, we also included providers that allow you to cancel your service at any time and stop making monthly payments.

How Do Medical Alert Systems Work?

At their core, all medical alert systems have a similar function. When triggered, a medical alert system will quickly connect you to a monitoring center, whose personnel will assess your situation and, if necessary, contact emergency services.

Naturally, there are several different types of medical alert systems used both in and outside the home. Here is an overview of the categories.

To learn more about these devices, read my guide to medical alert devices.

In-Home Medical Alert Systems

Bay Alarm Medical In-Home System
Bay Alarm Medical’s landline system starts at $24.95 per month. It includes a base station and help button, worn as either a pendant or wristband.
Lifeline Medical Alert
Lifeline’s in-home system uses a cellular connection.

Both types of in-home systems include a base station with a two-way speaker. This is what is used to communicate with monitoring personnel, and it’s activated through pressing a small help button worn around either the neck or wrist.

Remember to consider the range of the base station and help button, as not all systems are created equal in this regard. Currently, the best in-home systems have a range of up to 1,300 feet, which is enough to cover most sizes of homes. Generally, I recommend systems with a range large enough to cover an outdoor area of your home, as many falls occur outside.

Mobile Medical Alert Systems

Mobile or on-the-go medical alert systems are ideal for people who want access to help even while outside their homes. Using a cellular connection, these alert systems feature a two-way speaker and a help button, giving you the same protection as an in-home system but in a portable package.

Bay Alarm Medical and Medical Guardian each offer mobile systems; however, the latter's Active Guardian has a longer battery life and built-in fall detection.
Bay Alarm Medical and Medical Guardian each offer mobile systems; however, the latter’s Active Guardian (right) has a longer battery life and built-in fall detection.

Some mobile medical alerts are even GPS-enabled. This helpful feature allows monitoring staff and even loved ones to locate a user while their device is turned on. This feature is important as some users may be unable to verbalize their location if they are hurt, confused, or otherwise experiencing an emergency.

To learn more, read my rundown of this year’s best medical alert systems with GPS.

Medical Alert SmartWatches

The medic alert smartwatch is a recent addition to the industry. Geared towards both men and women, these modern devices provide safety in a sleek and discrete package. These systems work independently of a cell phone (with no additional cellular fees), and they look like a typical wristwatch. Not only are they stylish, life-saving devices, but they also operate as a functional watch, activity tracker, and messenger. My favorite medical alert smartwatches can even be set up to provide medication reminders and location data.

Emergency Call on the WellBe Smartwatch
Emergency Call on the WellBe Smartwatch

How Does Medical Alert Monitoring Work?

Medical alert systems function as a direct line of contact between the user and a monitoring center. I know what you’re thinking: What’s a monitoring center? Put simply, monitoring centers are contracted by medical alert companies to provide 24/7 care to customers. They do so by receiving distress calls, assessing the situation (emergency or otherwise), and then contacting an appropriate response measure, whether this be medical services or a neighbor who can check in on their friend.

These monitoring centers are not your average call center either. Not only are they staffed well enough to field calls in a matter of seconds, but their specialists often receive extensive training to ensure a high degree of care.

With that said, not all medical alert systems require monthly fees. To learn more, check out my list of unmonitored medical alert systems.

Which Medical Alert System Is Right for You?

If you’re interested in purchasing a medical alert system, here are some questions you should consider.

Life Alert In-Home System
Life Alert’s in-home medical alert system does not offer fall detection, meaning those prone to falls might consider other options.

In-Home or On-The-Go?

Generally speaking, medical alert systems can be broken down into these two categories, systems for use in the home and systems for use outside of it. Both types provide the same functionality; however, each of them suits a different lifestyle.

In-Home Systems connect through either a landline or cellular connection. When you press your help button (generally worn as either a wristband or pendant), you’ll be connected to the monitoring center via the base station, which has both a speaker and microphone for easy communication. This type of system is best suited for those who spend most of their time indoors, although some systems have a large enough connectivity range to cover parts of your yard.

On-The-Go Systems connect through cellular service, allowing you to travel just about anywhere with adequate service. Most often worn as a pendant, though some companies offer wristbands or smartwatch designs, these systems provide the same security and peace of mind as the in-home models but with a greater range of freedom. Generally speaking, these systems come with a higher price tag.

What Are My Monitoring Needs?

Each of the systems mentioned here comes with some form of 24/7 professional monitoring; however, some of them offer additional features suited to individual needs.

With caregiver apps and platforms, loved ones and caregivers can keep tabs on the user, tracking their location, monitoring their activity, and even checking to make sure they are wearing their device. For example, systems from Aloe Care Health are rooted in their smartphone app. With this app, loved ones can make check-in calls to a system, communicate with other caregivers, and even monitor system metrics like home temperature, CO levels, and any emergency alerts sent out from the device.

CVS Symphony activity updates
Aloe Care systems allow caregivers to keep track of a user’s activity and even make direct calls to the system.

Many medical alert providers also offer personalized response plans. With these, a call to the monitoring center can also trigger alerts to neighbors or loved ones. Although a monitoring agent can certainly contact emergency services, not every help call requires such drastic action, so I always appreciate these individualized sorts of responses.

Do I Want Fall Detection?

Most medical alert systems offer automatic fall detection, and it will cost anywhere from $5-$15 extra per month. Although it might be tempting to save money by omitting this feature, I think it’s essential and could even save your life.

What Is Automatic Fall Detection?

With falls being a leading cause of injury to older adults, it’s critical to have the proper ways of addressing this problem. Oftentimes, fall can leave a person unable to reach for help, and that’s where medical alert systems with fall detection come in handy.

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.

Bottom Line

As a lifelong caregiver to older adults, I take great pride in helping people navigate the often-complicated world of medical alert systems. Everyone deserves independence, regardless of age, and a reliable medical alert system is the perfect tool to help you do so.

If you made it this far in the article, you can tell there is a lot to know about these types of systems. But have no fear! I’m here to do the leg work, testing out the latest and greatest in caregiver technology, making it that much easier for you to remain assured that your loved ones are aging gracefully.

To learn more about medical alert systems, be sure to read our helpful guides:

Medical Alert System Frequently Asked Questions

amie-clark
Written By
Amie Clark

Amie has been writing about senior care products and services for the last decade. She is particularly passionate about new technologies that help improve the quality of life for seniors and their families. Seeing her parents and grandparents age made Amie ask herself, “Would this be good enough for my loved ones?” In her spare time, Amie enjoys outdoor adventures and spontaneous road trips. Learn more about Amie here