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Best Medical Alerts for Alzheimers & Dementia

The onset of Alzheimer’s or dementia is distressing for seniors and their caregivers alike. For caregivers, there’s a very real worry that something will happen to mom or dad if they’re alone for any reason.

In some cases, the onset of Alzheimer’s can lead to moving a loved one to a care facility, for their own safety and comfort. But not every senior with Alzheimer’s or dementia lives in a care facility. Many live at home, and some live alone. Some seniors are still able to be a little active. Every person and every case is different.

It’s natural to worry about what would happen if your loved one fell or got ill, was confused and didn’t know where to turn. A medical alert system provides support and reassurance.

How Does A Medical Alert Help Seniors With Alzheimer’s and Dementia?

A medical alert makes it easier for seniors to get help when they need it. When an alert is triggered, trained call center staff get in contact quickly and assess the situation. Because medical alerts connect to live, trained personnel, there’s less worry of what happens if mom or dad is confused or can’t communicate. The monitoring center will send help straight away.

For seniors with Alzheimer’s, there are some extra considerations to keep in mind. Let’s take a closer look.

What Features Are Important When Choosing A Medical Alert For Seniors With Alzheimer’s Or Dementia?

Standard medical alert features aren’t always enough for seniors with Alzheimer’s or dementia. There’s a risk that, due to cognitive impairment, they won’t remember to push the button if something happens. They might also struggle with remembering to wear their device on a daily basis.

Some features to look for that help with these issues include:

  • Watch style alerts. Smartwatch alerts are getting increasingly popular, and are often more comfortable to wear than a regular medical alert button. We think these are better for seniors with Alzheimer’s than standard mobile alerts, as they’re easier to wear. Wearing a watch means there’s a way to track mom or dad if they wander outside the home, plus they can use the watch to call for help.
  • Decent battery life. If you opt for a watch option, the longer the battery life the better, as there’s less need to recharge it.
  • Automatic fall detection. For in-home systems for seniors with Alzheimer’s, look for automatic fall detection. That way, even if a senior can’t press the button or talk to the call center, an alert is instigated and the center will send help.
  • Voice-activated wall buttons. With voice-activated buttons, there’s no need to remember to wear or press anything. Seniors who need help simply give a voice command to get the call center on the line.

Which option works best depends very much on your loved one’s needs and situation. Those who have a tendency to wander might fare best with a smartwatch. Housebound seniors might do better with voice-activated wall buttons. Automatic fall detection is a great add on too – provided mom or dad is wearing their alert, it will contact the call center if a fall is detected.

What Else Should I Look For When Choosing A Medical Alert For A Senior With Alzheimer’s Or Dementia?

Other features we recommend checking out for any medical alert include:

  • Water resistance. You want to know your loved one can wear their alert in the bath or shower, or out in the rain.
  • Good backup battery. That way they’re covered even if the power goes out.
  • No long term contracts. No one should be tied into a long term contract for their medical alert.
  • Straightforward pricing so you always know what you’re paying for.
  • 24/7 call centers.

How We Chose The Providers On This List

We chose providers that offer:

  • Straightforward pricing with no hidden fees.
  • No long term contracts.
  • Reliable equipment that works as it says.
  • Strong customer service focus.
  • Fall detection option on in-home systems

Top Medical Alerts for Seniors with Alzheimer’s or Dementia

MobileHelp

MobileHelp has an impressive range of medical alerts to cover practically every situation and lifestyle. For this article though we’re focussing on their smartwatch, which is a cellular option for those who need support outside the home. Read the full review of the MobileHelp Smart here.

Best systems for dementia or Alzheimer’s: We think MobileHelp Smart is a great option. It’s a sporty, highly functional, smartwatch that features an onscreen help button to connect wearers to the call center.
Caregiver tools: Caregivers can sign in to MobileHelp Connect, where they can see watch usage and status updates.
Water-resistant: Yes
Fall detection: No
Extras and accessories: Every watch features activity tracking, health apps, vital sign sensors, weather reports, heart rate monitor, and GPS tracking.
Range: Goes where the wearer goes.
Battery: Up to two days per charge.
Cost: $24.95 for monthly monitoring.
Long term contracts: No.
Equipment / set up fee: $339.95 one-time fee for the watch itself. Unlike other medical alert systems, you own this watch once you pay the fee.
What customers are saying:

“My mom had several falls and she lives alone. MobileHelp gives us confidence that she can continue to be independent, but that we are available when needed. The lady who answered the phone was extremely kind, professional and understanding.”
“I pushed the help button. Help was on the way and at my door within 7 minutes.”
“My time with MobileHelp has been worth the money and your customer service is excellent”

Pros: We love the range of functions, especially the caregiver options and health tracking. It’s a good, robust watch, too.
Cons: The initial cost will be off-putting for some customers, and not everyone will appreciate the chunky, sporty design (though some will love it.)
The Verdict: An easy and reliable way to help mom or dad stay safe outside the home, with enough caregiver options to provide peace of mind.

Medical Guardian

Medical Guardian is a well known medical alert company which offers an impressive range of alerts to suit every need and lifestyle. Read the full review of all Medical Guardian medical alerts here. 

Best systems for dementia or Alzheimer’s: Medical Guardian’s Classic Guardian in-home system comes with voice-activated wall button add ons. However, we think Family Guardian is of particular interest to those whose loved ones have dementia. This in-home system comes with additional activity sensors and a caregiver tracking app (plus voice-activated button add-ons) so it’s easier to keep an eye on mom or dad.

For those looking for an out of the home option, Freedom Guardian is a sleek and fully functional smartwatch with medical alert features. It has a wide range of features including text to speech messaging, GPS and WiFi tracking, calendar alerts, and weather forecast. See the full review of Freedom Guardian here.
Caregiver tools: The Family Guardian app alerts caregivers if their loved one leaves doors open, wanders out of the home, or deviates from their normal routine. Caregivers can also track device usage.

For Freedom watch wearers, caregivers can sign in to the caregiver app to view device location and usage, send and receive SMS messages with the wearer, and use the day planner to help their loved one with scheduling.
Water-resistant: The in-home buttons are water-resistant, and the Freedom Guardian is showerproof.
Fall detection: Yes, $10 monthly (for in-home, not available for the watch.)
Extras and accessories: Classic and Family Guardian customers can purchase extra standard (not voice-activated) wall buttons and a protection plan. Every order includes a free lockbox and a free second wearable button.
Range: Up to 1300 ft for the home systems; the watch goes where you go.
Battery: 32-hour backup battery for both in-home systems and up to 48 hours per charge for the Freedom watch.
Cost: Classic Guardian starts at $29.95 monthly and Family Guardian starts at $79.95 monthly. Voice-activated buttons cost $2.99 each to purchase for Classic Guardian, or get up to four free for Family Guardian. Each button has a $5 monthly monitoring fee. Freedom watch costs $44.95 monthly for monitoring.
Long term contracts: No
Equipment / set up fee: Not for the in-home systems. One time $99 fee for the watch.
What customers are saying:

“Having it makes me feel safer and when I tested it, their response time was good.”
“Having it changed my sense of security and so far, I'm happy with my experience.”
“I've felt more independent knowing that I have it and that it’s there when I need it. When I had to contact the Medical Guardian team, they were friendly and helpful.”

Pros: Excellent options for caregivers that make it easier to keep an eye on seniors with Alzheimer’s. The setup cost for the watch is reasonable compared to others in its class.
Cons: A little pricier than some systems, especially if you opt for Family Guardian.
The Verdict: A reliable choice for those who are looking for extra reassurance in or out of the home.

Bay Alarm Medical

Bay Alarm Medical is a popular medical alert company whose dedication to their customers is second to none. We’ve been reviewing them for years, and appreciate everything they do. See the full line-up of Bay Alarm Medical alert systems here.

Best systems for dementia or Alzheimer’s: Bay Alarm’s in-home system comes with voice-activated buttons, which offer an ideal backup for those with dementia or Alzheimer’s.
Caregiver tools: Not on this system (though some of their other systems do feature caregiver tools.)
Water-resistant: Yes.
Fall detection: Yes, $10 monthly.
Extras and accessories: Purchase a lockbox, spare buttons, and a protection plan. You can add an extra monitored button for a spouse to wear for just $2 monthly (not many providers offer this.) Most plans also offer a free vial of life.
Range: Up to 1000 ft.
Battery: 32-hour backup battery.
Cost: Starts at $19.95 monthly. Add voice activated wall buttons for $3 monthly individually or $10 monthly for four.
Long term contracts: No
Equipment / set up fee: No
What customers are saying:

“Excellent response time and a knowledgeable customer service team. ‘
“I appreciate the peace of mind Bay Alarm Medical has given to me and my family. Although I never had an emergency in the two years with the company I experienced immediate responses every time I accidentally activated or tested the device. I highly recommend Bay Alarm Medical.”
“Found Bay Alarm very responsive to questions and ready to help. The responders are always very polite and quick. “

Pros: Reliable equipment and excellent customer service.
Cons: No caregiver options on the in-home system and the pricing structure can be confusing at first glance.
The Verdict: A well-liked and reliable medical alert system with an excellent customer service record.

Philips Lifeline

Philips Lifeline offers sturdy but sleek medical alerts for both inside and outside the home. See all the medical alert systems from Philips Lifeline here.

Best systems for dementia or Alzheimer’s: The Philips GoSafe 2 is a traditional wearable alert, not a smartwatch like the other mobile systems featured. However, it has some features that are helpful for seniors with dementia. It’s an integrated system so there’s no need to carry a separate button. It has fall detection as standard, and a 3-day battery life so less pressure to remember to charge it.
Caregiver tools: No
Water-resistant: Yes
Fall detection: Yes, comes as standard on the GoSafe 2 model.
Extras and accessories: Customers can add a lockbox.
Range: Goes where you go.
Battery: Up to three days on one charge. It can even be charged while being worn.
Cost: Starts at $49.95 monthly.
Long term contracts: No
Equipment / set up fee: Yes – there’s a $99.95 one time equipment fee.
What customers are saying:

“Everything has been going really well with my Philips Lifeline device. Thank god, I haven't had to use it at all. Philips has been very prompt whenever I dropped it, and they get in touch with me right away. And I'm happy that they don’t give me a chance to even fall before they’re on the line trying to get a hold of me.“
“I’ve had Philips Lifeline for a long time. I live by myself and I’m 85 years old, so I feel safer having it. I have used it before, and they were very punctual. Overall, I’m happy and pleased with Philips Lifeline.”
“Philips Lifeline has good service. I’ve used it several times. I always call them directly and they are very quick to respond.”

Pros: The device is sleek and nice looking compared to some more bulky ones. We love that you can charge it while wearing it so seniors are less likely to take it off to charge and forget to put it back on again. The standard fall detection is a nice touch too.
Cons: Not much in the way of caregiver options, which could be a problem if your loved one has Alzheimer’s. The upfront fee and relatively high monthly costs could be an issue for some people, too.
The Verdict: Not as full-featured as some options, but a reliable and easy to use mobile wearable for seniors who are still active.

GetSafe

GetSafe bills itself as a medical alert that you don’t have to wear. Their system is built around a series of mini consoles and voice-activated wall buttons that you place around your home, so you can get help from any room without needing to wear a button. See all the alert systems offered by GetSafe here.

Best systems for dementia or Alzheimer’s: All of GetSafe’s in-home systems include at least one voice-activated wall button, making them ideal for those who might forget to wear a button.
Water-resistant: If your loved one is ok with a wearable, GetSafe does offer an optional wearable button, which is 100% waterproof.
Fall detection: No, because the buttons aren’t wearables. However, if your loved one is ok with a wearable, GetSafe does offer an optional wearable with fall detection upgrade.
Extras and accessories: GetSafe doesn’t offer specific extras, but they do offer custom packages. If you can’t find one that suits you, they’ll help you build your own – this is particularly useful if you want more voice-activated buttons than you get in their standard packages.
Range: GetSafe will help you choose or build a package that covers your loved one’s home, no matter what size the home.
Battery: 32-hour backup battery.
Cost: $24.95 monthly for all plans.
Long term contracts: No
Equipment / set up fee: Yes, ranging from $99 – $359 depending which package you choose. Extra voice-activated buttons above what’s included in each package cost $100 each.
Pros: Innovative set up for those who don’t want to wear a button, consoles and wall buttons are small and unobtrusive, straightforward pricing no matter which package you buy.
Cons: Initial set up cost is far higher than most other systems. Lack of added extras or caregiver tools.
The Verdict: Well worth checking out if you need a system for someone who’s homebound and likely to struggle with wearing a button.